The NFL Draft might be the most unpredictable event in all of professional football. Seriously, think about it. While the NFL playoffs always boast one or two new teams each season, it was hardly a surprise the Chiefs won the AFC last season or that Tom Brady hoisted another Lombardi Trophy. Both teams were among the betting favorites to land in the Super Bowl when the season started.
On the other hand, nobody expected pictures of Laremy Tunsil in a bong gas mask to emerge during the first round a few years ago - or last season for the Packers to use a first-round pick on a quarterback with Aaron Rodgers still on the roster.
The draft is chaos, always, and that's why mock drafts are so hard. Making predictions is hard too, but still, we march on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
Without further literary theft, here are five predictions for the Washington Football Team in the 2021 NFL Draft:
- There will be no trade up for Trey Lance - This rumor got legs in the pre-draft process and might be exciting for some fans, but it doesn't seem very believable. Washington was willing to trade a lot to get veteran QB Matthew Stafford, but he's a star that could make Ron Rivera's team a threat in the NFC this fall. Lance isn't that guy; he might be a stud but he needs time. The North Dakota State passer has fewer than 350 collegiate dropbacks in his career, and Washington general manager Martin Mayhew said during pre-draft comments that a QB without much experience would be a concern for him. That big trade-up for Lance? It's not happening.
- Go big or go home - Washington will draft an offensive lineman with the 19th pick. It's not just about the hole at left tackle. All-Pro right guard Brandon Scherff is only under contract for one more season. Right tackle Morgan Moses is only under contract for two more seasons. That's not exactly settled for the long-term, and that's the settled part of the line. The left side is completely up in the air, and Washington will either look for their left tackle anchor in Christian Darrisaw or Tevin Jenkins or take USC's Alijah Vera-Tucker, a more versatile option.
- There will be linebackers - Rivera played linebacker. Jack Del Rio played linebacker. Both coaches complained about Washington's LB play last season, and the team lost Kevin Pierre-Louis already in free agency. During pre-draft comments, Rivera mentioned the depth of the linebacker position in this draft, and that's a good thing, because Washington will end up drafting two LBs in 2021.
- More help for Logan Thomas - Sammis Reyes is an intriguing prospect, but Washington needs at least one more tight end on the roster that has actually played the sport before. The prediction here is not just that Washington will draft a tight end, but that the pick comes between the second and fourth-rounds.
- Weaponizing the offense - Everybody wants to know if Washington will take a QB, and while that likely won't happen in the first round, it could happen later in the draft. What will certainly happen is the Football Team will continue to add skill position players. That will mean another wide receiver even though Rivera's squad spent early in free agency to bring in Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries. Rivera talked about the great depth at the receiver position in this draft, so expect a rookie wideout to join Washington's offense this summer.
Bonus - No matter what happens, the coaching staff will say how much they love the draft and fans will expect another NFC East title. That's life in the NFL.