- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 1, 2021

The Washington Football Team added another piece to its secondary Saturday, drafting Cincinnati safety Darrick Forrest in the fifth round with the 163rd overall pick. Forrest, who was captain for the Bearcats, is the second defensive back Washington has taken in the draft. 

Washington was in need of a free safety as the team rotated between players at the position last year. Troy Apke started the year, but was benched. Washington then turned to Deshazor Everette and Jeremy Reaves, who did a solid job in the backend. 

Forrest, who is 5-foot-11, started three of his four seasons at Cincinnati, contributing in a number of areas. He excels against the run, but has the versatility to play deep against the pass. NFL.com called Forrest an “urgent player” who can get downhill, though has a tendency to bite too hard on routes.

In Round 3, Washington added cornerback Benjamin St-Juste. The team’s defense was among the best in the league last year, but coach Ron Rivera and his staff had prioritized adding more speed and flexibility in hopes that the unit could keep dominating. Washington also signed cornerbacks William Jackson III and Darryl Roberts in free agency.

If Forrest doesn’t see the field right away, there’s a chance he’ll still be able to contribute on special teams. He played primarily on special teams during his freshman year and runs a 4.38 40-yard dash — excellent speed for a potential gunner. 

At Cincinnati, Forrest recorded 200 tackles, grabbed six interceptions and defended 12 passes in 49 games. 

Washington now has two picks left in this year’s draft, each coming in the seventh round. 

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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