If Washington wants to trade up for a non-QB, these three prospects make sense

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Peter Hailey
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If WFT wants to trade up for a non-QB, these prospects are legit originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

In an NFL Draft context, when you hear the words "trade up," the first position you think of is quarterback.

Yes, teams jump up in the order for other prospects and that becomes quite common as the event moves along. But if a club trades up in the first round, especially from the back half of the line to the front half, odds are they're doing so for a signal-caller.

At one point near the start of this offseason, there was some intrigue about whether Washington would try to pull off such an act, considering they had a major hole at QB. Since then, however, the squad has signed Ryan Fitzpatrick, giving them someone who can help the organization through the 2021 campaign.

Also, it's becoming increasingly likely that most, if not all, the top passer options will be taken quite early. Mac Jones, for example, is being talked about as a true target for the Niners at pick No. 3 and it wasn't too long ago that he was tabbed as a potential choice for Washington at No. 19.

Therefore, the Burgundy and Gold would have to offer up a serious package in order to vault into a spot where they could snag a potential franchise face and that's something Ron Rivera doesn't seem thrilled about doing, as he indicated in a press conference earlier this month. 

But what about the possibility of Washington trading up in order to steal someone who isn't a quarterback? That might be very appealing.

Think about it: If the draft commences and all of these arms fly off the board one after another, inevitably, other well-regarded players will fall. And if they fall far enough, perhaps Washington could pounce. 

So, let's examine a few guys who'd be worth that sort of aggressive decision.

Kyle Pitts

Why he makes sense: Because, as ESPN's Dianna Russini recently tweeted, Pitts "gets so many GMs and head coaches excited and geeked out when they talk about him." The Florida tight end's combination of size and speed, as well as an endless wingspan that is unbelievably rare, has many with informed opinions believing he's the Next Big Thing on offense.

While Washington already has Logan Thomas and, thankfully, also really addressed its wide receiver woes, Pitts is going to be — and this is the scientific term — a freakin' problem for pro defenses. 

What going after him could cost: The 10-year anniversary of the Falcons sending five selections to the Browns to end up in a place where they could come away with Julio Jones will occur next month and that feels like a blueprint for Washington if they badly wanted Pitts.

In that deal, Atlanta swapped 2011 first-rounders with Cleveland — allowing them to go from 27th to sixth overall — and also shipped away a 2011 second-rounder, a 2011 fourth-rounder, a 2012 first-rounder and a 2012 fourth-rounder. So it was expensive, no doubt.

What's interesting is that Pitts should hear his name called at roughly a similar time that Jones did and Washington is actually in a superior slot compared to where the Falcons were when they went all-in on the receiver. If they wanted to work the phones, they could definitely assemble a compelling haul for the Florida stud.

The likelihood of it all happening: It's gotta be low, but it isn't zero.

Though Rivera explained to the media that he wouldn't want to heavily pursue a quarterback, sacrifice a lot of capital in doing so and, in turn, bring that quarterback onto a roster that's devoid of talent elsewhere, adding Pitts to Washington's offense would elevate the unit considerably and make Fitzpatrick and any other starter's job so much easier.

On the flip side, Rivera's team appears to be a year away from being a full-on contender, meaning such a power play might not come to fruition until 2022. 

Micah Parsons

Why he makes sense: Washington's linebackers are — at best — passable and — at worst — underwhelming. Parsons would raise the group's floor and ceiling considerably. 

From tackling to blitzing to covering, Parsons can do whatever's required in the middle of a defense. There isn't a situation or a down-and-distance where he couldn't contribute; Rivera and Jack Del Rio simply don't possess someone like that as of now.

What going after him could cost: Parsons could go in the top five and, in all likelihood, won't make it past, like, No. 10 or so (unless apparent character concerns scare front offices away).

If four or five QBs, Pitts, a lineman or two and another pass catcher are chosen first, for instance, then Washington could opt to end his slide by scooting into his range.

The likelihood of it all happening: Probably about the same as a move for Pitts, give or take.

On one hand, Pitts is more highly-touted, so if Washington is going to do something crazy, they might as well go all-the-way crazy and get the prized tight end.

On the other hand, Parsons would fill a bigger need for Rivera, and he's got a bigger chance of sliding, if only by a little bit. 

Overall, both are long shots, but neither should be fully ruled out.

Christian Darrisaw 

Why he makes sense: Cornelius Lucas, Saahdiq Charles and Geron Christian are a few in-house left tackle candidates for Washington and that trio has enough to cobble together 16 decent games up front. Yet Darrisaw, an ex-Virginia Tech Hokie who's already spoken about going to the next level but staying local, has the skill set to produce much more than that.

What going after him could cost: Many mocks have Darrisaw ending up with Washington where they currently reside, but teams like the Vikings (14th) and Raiders (17th) might want him, too.

So, should Rivera want Darrisaw and not risk someone else stepping in front of him, he could part with one of his two third-rounders and a Day 3 sweetener depending on how high he wants to go.

The likelihood of it all happening: Relatively high — only if necessary.

Darrisaw is viewed as a promising tackle but isn't this class's most beloved one, so Washington can realistically hope that he just falls to them. But again, to ensure he's on their line and not another team's come Week 1, they might need to trade up slightly.