Trent Williams last suited up for Washington in 2018. The team has not replaced the perennial Pro Bowler with a long-term option, but that will be the goal going into the draft.
Washington will look to add a new starting left tackle, with John Keim of ESPN.com noting the team believes it can do so in the first three rounds of this draft. While Washington should be on the radar for a quarterback trade-up, the team sticking at No. 19 and drafting a tackle or trading down and selecting one soon after appears to be firmly in play.
Cornelius Lucas and Geron Christian split time there last season, and Pro Football Focus graded Lucas as a top-25 tackle over the course of the season. Washington has Lucas signed through 2021, with the former UDFA agreeing to a two-year, $3.8MM deal in 2020. Washington only used the 29-year-old blocker as an eight-game starter last season; Christian started six games. PFF graded the latter 60th among tackles. The team drafted Saahdiq Charles in last year’s fourth round, though Keim notes it views the LSU product as a tackle or guard. Charles played one game last season.
While Williams battled myriad injuries as his Washington career waned, the team did not have to worry about adding at this spot. Ron Rivera has since said the O-line is a priority. If Washington either trades up for a passer or does not end up with a tackle fairly early, the team could look to longtime Steelers starter Alejandro Villanueva. However, Washington will not consider the veteran until after the draft, Keim adds.
BeyondPenei Sewelland Rashawn Slater, Scouts Inc. grades Oklahoma State’s Teven Jenkins and Virginia Tech’s Christian Darrisaw as first-round prospects. The likes of Jalen Mayfield(Michigan), Liam Eichenberg(Notre Dame) and Texas’ Samuel Cosmi profile as possible second-round selections. Stanford’sWalker Littleonce loomed as a potential first-round prospect, but his stock has dropped due to a season-ending injury in Week 1 of the 2019 campaign and the fact that he opted out of the 2020 season.
Here are Thursday’s draft pick agreements, with the list being updated throughout the day.
The Vikings picked an interesting year to make 15 draft choices, given the pandemic’s impact on developmental work. But the team is nearly finished with rookie contract agreements. Minnesota signed third-round cornerback Cameron Dantzler (Mississippi State), fourth-round defensive end D.J. Wonnum (South Carolina), fifth-round corner Harrison Hand (Temple), fifth-round wideout K.J. Osborn (Miami), sixth-round tackle Blake Brandel (Oregon State), sixth-round safety Josh Metellus (Michigan), seventh-round defensive end Kenny Willekes (Michigan State) and seventh-round safety Brian Cole (Mississippi State). Minnesota lost Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander this offseason and tripled up on corners in the draft. First-round corner Jeff Gladney is the Vikes’ lone unsigned pick.
Top 2020 Steelers pick Chase Claypool, a second-rounder,is now under contract. The Steelers have their latest Day 2 wide receiver investment signed, along with Round 6 safety Antoine Brooks(Maryland). Claypool’s addition means the top four Pittsburgh wideouts — JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, Diontae Johnson and Claypool — came from the second or third rounds. The Notre Dame product has quite the SPARQ profile, going 6-foot-4, 238 pounds and running a 4.42-second 40-yard dash at the Combine.
After winning the national championship, a number of LSU players are planning their next move. Center Lloyd Cushenberry III, linebacker Jacob Phillips, and offensive tackle Saahdiq Charles were among the notable members of the squad to declare for the NFL Draft today.
This past season, Cushenberry helped lead a unit that earned the Joe Moore Award for best offensive line. The six-foot-four, 315-pound center started 28-straight games during his time with the Tigers. Thanks in part to the consistency and durability, the lineman could end up being a first- or second-round pick.
Phillips is projected to go around the same range as his teammate. The linebacker had a standout season for LSU, compiling 113 tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss. Charles doesn’t have the same draft stock as Cushenberry or Phillips, but he was still a major part of the award-winning offensive line. He missed six games this past season due to disciplinary issues.