New year, new draft position for the Washington Football Team.
Following its 31-23 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card round, Washington officially has the No. 19 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Its 7-9 record warrants a higher pick, but since it won the NFC East title and made the playoffs for the first time since 2015, it could not pick any higher than 19th.
Here are all of Washington's picks in the 2021 NFL draft, which is scheduled for April 29 to May 1 in Cleveland. Specific slots will be announced at a later date.
Round 1 (Pick 19) Round 2 Round 3 - from the San Francisco 49ers Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 7 - from the Las Vegas Raiders Round 7 Washington collected an extra third-round pick by trading tackle Trent Williams to the San Francisco 49ers last April. Washington also received a fifth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, which it used to select offensive lineman Keith Ismael. Washington gave up its sixth-round pick in a trade with the Las Vegas Raiders for David Sharpe and a seventh-round pick. Washington will pick twice in the seventh round for the second straight year. It added standout safety Kam Curl and versatile defensive lineman James Smith-Williams with those picks last year. There is also a chance Washington receives compensatory draft picks between Rounds 3 and 7. According to NFL Media Draft Analyst Lance Zierlein, compensatory draft picks are awarded "based upon a league formula that takes into account the following criteria for players who left the team to sign elsewhere as free agents: average salary per year (APY), snap count and postseason awards. While there is an expected level of compensation for a player based on the amount he has signed for, his playing time (or lack thereof) in the upcoming season could alter the expectation. To qualify for compensatory picks, teams must end up with more qualifying free agents lost than gained in a particular year."
Based on how head coach Ron Rivera has structured Washington's culture, he'll expect these players to compete for immediate playing time.
Just look at last year's draft class, which includes Defensive Rookie of the Year frontrunner Chase Young (second overall), leading rusher Antonio Gibson (66th) and Curl (216th), the team's second-leading tackler. Its fourth-round picks, wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden and tackle Saahdiq Charles, were also in line for bigger roles before injuries derailed their rookie campaigns.
"We've got a good foundation," Rivera said in his final press conference of the 2020 campaign on Sunday. "We've got to add onto it, and we've got to strengthen it so as we go forward, we continue to get better."