The Washington Football Team came away from the 2021 NFL draft with high marks for several of their picks. First-round linebacker Jamin Davis, second-round offensive tackle Samuel Cosmi, and third-round wide receiver, Dyami Brown, received high praise.
Notice someone missing?
That would be Washington’s first third-round pick — cornerback Benjamin St-Juste.
When Washington selected St-Juste, most fans had never heard of him. The choice wasn’t necessarily criticized, but the selection wasn’t universally praised, either.
At minicamp, the former Minnesota Golden Gopher introduced himself to the entire team — and the fans.
On one day, St-Juste was everywhere, breaking up passes, picking off passes and showing the confidence of a top cornerback when he broke up a pass intended for Terry McLaurin.
ESPN’s NFL Nation recently named one surprise standout from every NFL minicamp, and John Keim chose St-Juste for the Football Team.
The third-round rookie was drafted this high for a reason, but he also showed that he might be ready to help sooner than anticipated. St-Juste showed excellent eye discipline and awareness, especially when in zone and passing off receivers leaving his area while picking up others entering. He showed that he was always ready to react, which resulted in numerous plays on the ball. While there were times he was beat, it’s not as if he looked lost or out of place. St-Juste’s length will help diversify Washington’s coverage — it can match bigger receivers now with two taller corners, St-Juste and William Jackson III. He has to prove he can play press at an NFL level to get more time, but St-Juste got off to a strong start.
If St-Juste can help Washington in 2021, it would allow Kendall Fuller to kick back inside, where he is one of the best slot corners in the NFL. That would give the WFT a formidable trio at corner with William Jackson III, Fuller and St-Juste.