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NFL Draft

3 Offensive Free Agents Washington Should Target

  • The Draft Network
  • March 3, 2021
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It was a season more interesting than anyone expected. 

Despite the overwhelming adversity, Washington earned its first division title in five years behind Alex Smith, which individually was a story in and of itself. Now, the focus turns to 2021 and continuing to build on a roster that features nice building blocks on the offensive side of the ball.

Washington is led by the youth of Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson. Smith’s career revival was one of a movie script, but the quarterback carousel continued to turn throughout 2020 in D.C.—and even into 2021 with Smith reportedly en route to being released. Former 15th-overall selection Dwyane Haskins played himself off the team. Kyle Allen, despite showing flashes, suffered a brutal knee injury in Week 9. And now, Taylor Heinicke’s eye-popping playoff performance against Tampa Bay (albeit in a loss) has raised internal discussion regarding who should start under center for Washington come Week 1 next season, whether it be Heinicke or an outside acquisition via free agency, the draft, or a trade.

Heinicke wasn’t just good, he was elite against the Buccaneers. Heinicke’s 92.0 overall grade against Tampa Bay was the highest single-game grade for a Washington quarterback in the last 14 years. His ability to throw downfield, extend plays with his legs, and run Scott Turner’s offense to a T has left many in Washington feeling their QB1 is already in the building despite rumors of Mac Jones, Sam Darnold, and Marcus Mariota being thrown around the confines in Ashburn.

With cap space in abundance, I targeted scheme fits and players who could add some pop into a Washington offense that has lacked playmaking talent across the board.

Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears

I’m not going to get tricky here. Robinson is the prize of the wideout class this free agent cycle, and as Washington attempted to do with Amari Cooper last year, I expect them to back up the Brinks truck for the uber-talented Robinson.

McLaurin has been exceptional his first two seasons, despite entering the league being known as a speedster with a blue-collar work ethic who provides value at receiver and on special teams. He flipped the narrative becoming the burgundy and gold’s far and away WR1 who’s production could flourish further with additional pop around him.

Enter Robinson.

Whoever is under center come Week 1, No. 12 and No. 17 on the outside would represent one of the most talented receiver duos in the nation’s capital since Art Monk and Gary Clark in the late ’80s.

Gerald Everett, TE, Los Angeles Rams

Logan Thomas enjoyed a nice breakout year in 2020. With Jeremy Sprinkle seemingly on the outs, the addition of Everett alongside Thomas would provide a nice duo of options for Washington’s signal-caller. Sprinkle failed to offer anything more than a further extension of the line, and with Thomas expected back, the addition of the uber-athletic Everett in two-tight-end sets would present matchup nightmares across the board.

Just 26 years old, Everett has consistently produced when given the opportunity. He’s recorded 127 receptions in four seasons in Los Angeles, totaling 1,389 receiving yards, good for 10.9 yards a pop—not bad numbers considering he’s started just 11 games in 61 career appearances. At 6-foot-4, Everett is too big for corners and too quick for linebackers.

His skill set has been muffled as a Ram working primarily behind Tyler Higbee, but Everett has all the tools to thrive in Washington, who in the past has made it a priority to pair tight ends on offense a la the duos of Fred Davis and Chris Cooley, plus Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis.

James White, RB, New England Patriots

Turner enjoys multi-dimensional talents in his backfield. A third-round selection out of Memphis in 2020, Gibson is a hoss in the run game with versatility as a pass-catcher and excellent YAC ability in space. 

Both J.D. McKissic and Peyton Barber are under contract, and hopes remain high surrounding Bryce Love, but Washington could save money by cutting Barber, presenting a true three-headed system in Rivera’s backfield with White’s addition. 

A 2019 fourth-round selection, Love has failed to even dress on Sunday two seasons into his career. Time is running out for him in D.C., and Rivera could be looking for the sure thing in White instead of “what could be” in Love. 

The former Patriot possesses similar traits to Gibson and McKissic and would offer Super Bowl-pedigree for a youth-infused roster with Lombardi Trophy aspirations in the foreseeable future.

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