WFT Rookies Who Will Make Instant Impact in 2021 Season

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistMay 3, 2021

WFT Rookies Who Will Make Instant Impact in 2021 Season

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    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    Don't look now, but the Washington Football Team could be a problem in the NFC in 2021. The Football Team is the defending NFC East champion, added a veteran signal-caller in Ryan Fitzpatrick and addressed some key needs during the draft.

    No, Washington didn't draft its quarterback of the future, as teams like the Chicago Bears and New England Patriots did. However, it added multiple players who should make immediate impacts on the playing field.

    Let's not forget that this is a roster that pushed the eventual champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the playoffs, losing by only one score. It's an even stronger roster now, and here we'll examine the three players most likely to be effective early.

LB Jamin Davis

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    As good as the Washington defense was in 2020—it ranked fourth points allowed and second yards allowed—it was susceptible to the run. On the season, the Football Team ranked 13th in rushing yards surrendered.

    Adding Kentucky linebacker Jamin Davis at No. 19 should immediately improve one of Washington's few defensive areas of concern.

    "Davis should fit well as a run-and-chase linebacker in Washington's zone-heavy scheme," The Athletic's Sheil Kapadia wrote. "He has elite athletic traits and gives Washington another talented player in its front seven."

    Though perhaps not quite as talented as budding Buccaneers star Devin White, Davis possesses a similar skill set and should be Washington's sidelined-to-sideline centerpiece from day one. He's capable of making big plays in both run defense and in coverage and from all areas of the field.

    In 2020, Davis finished with an impressive 102 tackles, 1.5 sacks, three interceptions and a touchdown.

OT Samuel Cosmi

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    Geron Christian was a serviceable starter at left tackle last season before landing on injured reserve, but he should be pushed immediately by second-round pick Samuel Cosmi. Though not one of the elite tackle prospects in this draft class, Cosmi has the size (6'6", 314 lbs) and the skill set to be an early starter.

    At the very least, the Texas product will provide instant depth as a swing tackle.

    "Washington addressed its need at offensive tackle midway through the second round, even though fans probably wanted that position handled in the first," NFL Media's Chad Reuter wrote. "Cosmi can play either side of the line, and he has plus athleticism, if not a lot of bulk—which is why he ended up available at No. 51."

    Cosmi should help improve the pass protection for Fitzpatrick, which was a concern coming into the draft. Washington surrendered 50 sacks last year.

WR Dyami Brown

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    Gerry Broome/Associated Press

    Wide receiver was another position of need, even after adding Curtis Samuel in free agency. While Washington has a legitimate No. 1 receiver in Terry McLaurin, the depth under him was severely lacking last season.

    McLaurin produced 1,118 receiving yards. No other wideout reached 500 receiving yards on the season.

    Adding North Carolina receiver Dyami Brown in the third round, however, should change the dynamic of Washington's receiving corps. He is a long (6'1", 189 lbs), explosive pass-catcher who can stretch the field for the Football Team.

    "Feast or famine deep-ball specialist with buildup speed that surprises cornerbacks who are tardy to open and run with him," NFL Media's Lance Zierlein wrote. "Brown is a little thin but has good length and excellent ball-tracking talent with the ability to follow the flight over his shoulder and bring it in for the score."

    Brown amassed 1,099 yards on just 55 receptions last season. Expect him get on the field early and make plays often.