Mel Kiper mocks linebacker to Washington in Round 1, QB in second round

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Kiper mocks LB to Washington in round 1, QB in 2nd originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

There are a number of different directions the Washington Football Team can take with the 19th overall pick in next week's NFL Draft, especially if each of the top five quarterbacks are off the board by the time they're on the clock. 

If Washington isn't going to trade up for a quarterback in the first round, it can simply address a different need with No. 19 and target someone in the second round. In some mock drafts, that's been the consistent theme for Washington, including Mel Kiper and Todd McShay's latest version for ESPN

Kiper and McShay alternated picks for three rounds in this particular mock draft, and Kiper ended up making three of Washington's four selections in the top 100. First up, a linebacker out of Kentucky. 

Round 1, Pick 19: Jamin Davis (LB, Kentucky)

With Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Mac Jones, Justin Fields and Trey Lance off the board, Kiper addressed Washington's need at linebacker by going with Davis. The former Wildcat was First-Team All-SEC in 2020 and demonstrates superior athleticism at the linebacker position. He ran a 4.47 40-yard dash at his pro day. 

"Washington has a great front four, but it could upgrade at middle linebacker," Kiper wrote. "Davis has elite tape from the 2020 season, and he has some coverage ability, too."

Round 2, Pick 51: Davis Mills (QB, Stanford)

Mills is one of the three best available quarterbacks outside of the top five prospects at that position, depending on who you ask, and Kiper has Washington snagging him with their second-round pick. In this particular mock, Mills is the sixth passer off the board. 

"Mills is all over the place on teams' boards, but he makes sense in Washington, which isn't picking high enough to take one of the top five signal-callers," Kiper said. "Mills played in only 14 games at Stanford, so there is some risk taking him any higher."

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Round 3, Pick 74: James Hudson (OL, Cincinnati)

Perhaps Washington's biggest need on the offensive side of the ball other than quarterback is on the offensive line, and Hudson has some positional versatility to play at guard or tackle. Washington probably needs a tackle more than a guard, however. 

Round 3, Pick 82: Shi Smith (WR, South Carolina)

Washington has some legitimate weapons on the perimeter with Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries in the fold already. Smith is an absolute burner who could provide even more speed to Washington's wide receiver group and wouldn't be put in a situation where he'd have to produce right away. 

"The Washington offense needs more weapons, and Smith is a strong route runner with good speed and hands," McShay wrote. "He really impressed at the Senior Bowl and then ran a 4.33 in the 40-yard dash at his pro day."