The Washington Football Team is riding high entering the 2021 season, as Ron Rivera and new general manager Martin Mayhew put together quite an impressive offseason. While they didn't find a longterm answer at quarterback, they did sign a proven, big-armed veteran in Ryan Fitzpatrick. Washington also picked up a talented, versatile wide receiver in Curtis Samuel, and a starting cornerback in William Jackson in free agency before putting together a draft class most pundits were fans of.
This is a very different franchise from what we are used to seeing out of the football team in Washington, and they are set on making the playoffs again in 2021. Below, we will break down what Washington's 2021 depth chart will look like. Several players mentioned will not make the final 53-man roster, but let's take a look at what a rough depth chart would look like for Washington right now.
Rookies will be denoted with a (*).
Lamar Miller/Jaret Patterson*
Steven Sims Jr.
Temarrick Hemingway/Sammis Reyes*
|Charles Leno Jr.|
Fitzpatrick is expected to be the starter in Week 1, but who will be his backup? Heinicke became a fan favorite after his heroics against the eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but Allen is seemingly a favorite of Rivera, and was the starter before he went down with an ankle injury last year. Either way, this is probably the most confident fans have felt about the quarterback room in a couple years -- even though it's not perfect.
It's no longer McLaurin vs. the world, as Samuel will come in and make an immediate impact on this offense. You would hope Gandy-Golden can develop into the draft steal Washington believes they have in Year 2, and this offense also returns the very athletic Harmon, who tore his ACL before the 2020 season. Another receiver to keep an eye on is the rookie Brown out of UNC. He's someone who could make an impact in 2021, as the receivers behind Samuel and McLaurin will likely be jockeying for position when it comes to the touches hierarchy.
The offensive line also was revamped this offseason, as Washington picked up a legitimate left tackle in Leno Jr., and parted ways with Morgan Moses. You also have to be excited about Cosmi, who has NFL size and could potentially be a franchise left tackle. That's certainly being optimistic at this point, but Cosmi should see some playing time at right tackle at the very least in 2021. Another underrated move Washington made was trading for Flowers, who somewhat shed the "bust" label with Washington in 2019 as a starting offensive guard, but was poached by Miami in free agency -- who had money to spend.
|William Jackson III|
Washington has the best defensive line in the NFL, but the depth is a bit questionable at defensive end. Sweat and Young are monsters, and Washington hopes they found a steal in the seventh round with Penn State's Toney. The linebacking corps received a big upgrade with No. 19 overall pick Davis. He's an athletic defender who is relentless in his pursuit of ballcarriers, and is capable in coverage, although that is an area many linebackers struggle in when making the jump to the NFL. Still, Davis should be an immediate starter and someone who helps improve this already-loaded front seven.
Washington finished with the No. 2 pass defense in the league last year, although much of the credit can be given to the pass-rush as opposed to those actually patrolling the deep part of the field. This secondary should be much improved in 2021, however, as Washington signed Jackson III to start opposite of Fuller and drafted St-Juste as a depth player who has potential. Another potentially big move Washington made was signing McCain. We struggled trying to find a place to fit him on the depth chart since he can play cornerback or safety, but expect him to play a role in Rivera's scheme immediately.
|Steven Sims Jr.|