Updated: Nov 29, 2021
By Adam Aniba
Washington continued to fill needs during the NFL draft, but after selecting linebacker Jamin Davis, Coach Ron Rivera selected 3 offensive players within the next four picks. It's no secret that Washington's defense is a lot farther along than the offense, but they didn't select a safety until round 5, pick #163 when they selected Cincinnati safety Darrick Forrest. The Bearcat safety is viewed as a developmental prospect who spent time at FS/SS, but could lead a revamped special teams unit.
On Thursday, Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio addressed the situation at safety, when he had the following to say about Landon Collins and Kam Curl.
"Kam will be playing like he did last year, whether he plays in the Buffalo nickel, whether he plays free safety, whether he spells Landon, however he creates his time," Del Rio said. "The thing about Kam, he came in here and all he did is work from Day 1. This is a young man drafted in the seventh round, nobody really expected much of him, and he just went about his business every day, and when he was asked to play, he played and played well."
Although Collins is the presumed stater ar SS, his return to 100% from an achilles injury could be tricky, as Washington fans witnessed with former pass rusher Junior Galette, who tore his achilles in back-to-back off seasons, ending his career in the league. With 2022 being the year Washington could get out from under the aging safety's hefty contract, with a minimal dead cap hit, the urgency to return to form will be there for Collins.
As mentioned, Kam Curl will continue to have a large role in Del Rio's defense, so where does recently released FS Bobby McCain fit into the picture, if signed, by Washington?
The former Dolphin Captain was a surprise release and should come with a relatively cheap price tag this late in the free agency process. Durability has not been an issue for the veteran safety (9 games missed in six seasons). McCain played in all 16 games in 2020 and was a key piece to the overachieving Miami defense.
Career (55 starts)- 254 TAK (200 solo), 7 ints, 30 PD's, 9 TFL's, 7 QB Hits and 1 FF
2020 (16 games)- 46 TAK (39 solo), 1 int, 5 PD's and 2 QB Hits
McCain would add to an already versatile Washington defensive backfield. With the additions of Forrest and CB/FS Benjamin St.Juste, this defensive backfield gained valuable depth and potential future starters. Adding a veteran, such as McCain, would add another experienced defensive back to a group that underperformed in 2020. The health of Landon Collins will be something to monitor, making the Monday visit with McCain all that more intriguing. This could be the year Washington's defense catapults to the top of the league and Bobby McCain could help swing the pendulum.
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