How the Ereck Flowers trade impacts Washington's decision at No. 19 in Draft

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Ethan Cadeaux
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How the Ereck Flowers trade impacts WFT's decision at No. 19 originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Washington Football Team brought back a familiar face on Tuesday, trading for guard Ereck Flowers from the Dolphins in exchange for a seventh-round pick swap.

The move, which comes just two days before the 2021 NFL Draft, will also play a role in the decision head coach Ron Rivera, general manager Martin Mayhew and the rest of Washington's revamped front office will have to make on Thursday night with the 19th overall pick.

How exactly? The addition of Flowers likely rules out the chance of Washington taking an interior offensive lineman with its first-round pick.

Why?

Flowers provides another starter-quality guard to Washington's interior offensive line. Between him, 2020 All-Pro Brandon Scherff, Wes Schweitzer, Saahdiq Charles, Keith Ismael and Wes Martin, Washington has plenty of depth on the interior. It's simply not a position of need.

USC's Alijah Vera-Tucker is a player that's been linked to Washington during the pre-draft process, as he has the versatility to play both guard or tackle (although primarily a guard). There's a decent chance he'll be on the board when it's Washington's turn to pick, too.

But, with bigger needs at other positions -- linebacker, wideout and offensive tackle are a few that stand out -- it makes sense for Rivera and co. to look elsewhere with this selection. 

When Rivera spoke with the media a few weeks ago, the head coach stated that the team's big acquisitions in free agency -- QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, WR Curtis Samuel and CB William Jackson III -- "freed ourselves up" for the draft.

The trade for Flowers is another example of the same thing. With interior offensive line depth no longer a worry, Rivera and his staff can attack another position in the draft that will immediately improve the club.

What Washington will ultimately do with its first-round pick remains a mystery. Both Rivera and Mayhew stated earlier this month that "everything is on the table," including moving up or down, depending on what happens in front of them. That remains the case, even with the draft just two days away.

But, the Flowers move is telling. While adding the 27-year-old guard shouldn't massively sway what Washington will do throughout the draft, one direction the team could have gone with the 19th pick is likely crossed off.