Why linebacker Micah Parsons could end up falling to Washington at pick No. 19

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Peter Hailey
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Why Micah Parsons could end up falling to Washington at No. 19 originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons is one of those draft prospects that Washington fans would love to see in the Burgundy and Gold, yet any conversation about him joining the club includes a sentence that goes something like, "But him falling to the 19th pick isn't going to happen..."

One NBC draft expert, though, is actually somewhat optimistic that he could.

During an interview during Monday's BMitch & Finlay show on 106.7 The Fan, Thor Nystrom was asked to identify the best potential outcomes for Washington in the first round, and after discussing the possibility of the team adding another pass catcher, he turned his attention to the defense's weakest position.

"You have to monitor the Micah Parsons situation very closely," Nystrom said. "When we think about guys that could start falling in round one, he’s on the short list."

Well that would be interesting.

The reason Nystrom envisions a possible draft-night tumble for Parsons has nothing to do with his on-field potential, which is significant and important. The thought of him roving behind Chase Young and the rest of that defensive line is one hell of an image, after all.

Like any organization interested in perhaps selecting the 21-year-old, Nystrom is instead wary of how Parsons being mentioned in a lawsuit that a former Nittany Lion player filed against Penn State coach James Franklin could impact Parsons' immediate future.

In the suit, the player alleged that he and Parsons got into a fight in March 2018, which ended with the purported victim pulling a knife on Parsons. The player also claimed that Franklin told him to not contact police about the incident for fear of losing Parsons to some sort of suspension. 

"Parsons is going to lose the tiebreaker every time in the war room if it’s very, very close because of the off-field things," Nystrom said on the radio. 

Should a few of those tiebreakers truly not go the linebacker's way, Washington could find itself with a player it didn't expect to be there. Now, of course, that'll only be true if 1) He actually makes it to 19 and 2) Ron Rivera and his scouts believe they can trust the soon-to-be rookie on the field and off it.

If that pair of boxes does somehow get checked, however, Nystrom views Parsons as a "legitimate top-10 talent," and he's not alone in that assessment.   

"I think Washington, as far as their needs and how the board stacks, I think they’re really in a good spot there on Thursday night," he said.