Pro Football Focus awarded Washington with the best grade in the NFC East for its 10 selections in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Giants weren’t far behind Washington’s A- rating with a B+ of their own while the Cowboys’ B and Eagles B- followed behind.
Washington’s Day 1 pick of linebacker Jamin Davis at No. 19 wasn’t as glamorous as the playmaking wide receivers the Eagles (Heisman winner Devonte Smith) and Giants (Kadarius Toney) took, nor was it “the best linebacker prospect (PFF has) seen in years” like Dallas’ Micah Parsons.
Still, their 10 selections over the next two days in Rounds 2-7 were what moved the needle in Washington’s favor. In his first draft as Washington’s general manager, Martin Mayhew picked up “one of the most athletic offensive tackles in this class” in Samuel Cosmi at No. 51, a cornerback with high trajectory in Benjamin St-Juste, and a wideout who rounds out the vastly improved receiving corps in Dyami Brown, as well as an eye-popping athlete in safety Darrick Forrest.
Pro Football Focus noted how both the Eagles and Giants later round selections provided depth for positions that weren’t the biggest need coming into the draft (Philadelphia’s defensive tackles and New York’s secondary), while the Cowboys took a shot on an inconsistent cornerback (Kelvin Joseph) to bolster their woeful pass defense.
Coming out of a draft with good marks is always a welcome sign, especially for Mayhew’s first go-around with the Burgundy and Gold. Looking to repeat its division-winning season from 2019-20, Washington will look to develop its signed rookies into key contributors all over.
Despite their precise grading tools and in-depth Big Boards, PFF was one of the lone outlets to give Washington the best draft grade in the division. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. knocked Washington down to a B for not being more aggressive trading up for a quarterback like the Bears did with Justin Fields. Kiper also gave Dallas a B for improving their porous defense and both the Eagles and Giants received a B+.