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Three Roster Moves the Commanders Should Consider Making

NFL: Washington Football Team Training Camp Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2022 NFL Draft just three days away, Washington still has many holes, and limited draft picks to fill them with, on the team.

Since Ron Rivera arrived two offseasons ago, he had preached patience and development.

Fans have very little of the first, and hope to see the second happen much more quickly than the current pace we seem to be at...a dichotomy in itself. The larger issue at hand may be some mid-to-later round picks that currently seems to be stuck in limbo, or simply buried on the depth chart.

Instead of giving up on these picks or just using them for depth or special teams, a position change, where they have a bit more ability to make an impact on this team, could be in the cards.

Below are three moves I’d like to see the staff make to help fill current roster holes and maximize the talent of the players I have identified.


Antonio Gandy-Golden to MOVE TE:

I actually suggested this move a few times, most recently yesterday on Twitter.

At 6’4” 223 pounds, Antonio Gandy-Golden is Washington’s biggest wide receiver. He has the frame to be able to carry 240 pounds without being more cumbersome that he currently is.

As an outside presence, Antonio has struggled to release and separate against NFL corners. However, as a MOVE TE, he could be matched up against linebackers, safeties and hybrid defenders where he could used his size, catch radius and vertical jump to become a mismatch threat out of the slot. He also recorded 22 reps at 225 pounds, so he has the upper-body strength to block when needed.

The Eagles recently announced they were moving the 6’2” 225 pound J.J. Arcega-Whiteside to MOVE TE, as they are not yet ready to give up on the 2019 first round pick. Some other receivers who have made the move to TE are Darren Waller, Jordan Matthews, and Juwan Johnson to name a few.

It’s worth a try, because Gandy-Golden won’t be seeing the field as a wide receiver in the NFL...


Darrick Forest to Money-Backer:

Washington let Landon Collins go this offseason. Their desire was to retain Collins, however at a much lesser salary. Collins was not about to take another pay cut so the sides decided to part ways.

Many fans have since championed ND defender Kyle Hamilton with the 11th overall pick in the draft to fill Collins’ role. But does this team, with so many holes, need to spend yet another non-premium pick on the defensive side of the football - all while this anemic offense has averaged just 18.5 points per game over the last three seasons (4th worst in the NFL)?

Washington may not need to go down the road of drafting a money-backer, as the replacement for collins may already be on the roster.

Darrick Forrest, a 5’11” 205 pound strong safety who was drafted in the fifth round last year, had some impressive collegiate statistics to go along with outstanding Pro Day numbers. His 4.43 40, 39” vertical, 4.22 short shuttle and 6.91 3-Cone ranked him at or near the top of last year’s safety class in all previously mentioned measurables.

We saw a few gaffs during his rookie year early in the preseason (mainly a fake reverse he chased for what seemed like forever in a preseason game), and he was placed on injured reserve to begin the regular season with a hamstring injury. Forrest was activated two months later and played in four games, primarily in a hybrid role, and collected seven total tackles.

With his rookie season under his belt, and Collins no longer on the team, could Forrest fill that role as a more athletic, fierce hitting, field-prowling money-backer?


Shaka Toney to SAM Linebacker:

You’ve all heard me talk about this move a few times after Toney was drafted by the team in the seventh round last year. With a very crowded defensive end room, and Toney showing very little as a hand-in-the-dirt edge presence, a move to SAM linebacker SHOULD be in the cards.

Now, Washington played with three linebackers just 15 percent of the time in 2021, but there are a few different roles Toney could play in this defense.

As a true SAM, he has the size (at 6’2” 243) to take on blockers at the point of attack, and set the edge as a pure run defender. He can also be used as an outside linebacker in an under front (much how the Seahawks used Bruce Irvin). Finally, you can play him as a move defender on situational blitzes, where his 4.5 speed and pass rush ability can be deployed all over the defensive front.


Poll

Which one of these moves should have the highest priority for Washington’s staff?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    Gandy-Golden to MOVE TE
    (854 votes)
  • 19%
    Forrest to Money-Backer
    (348 votes)
  • 31%
    Toney to SAM linebacker
    (541 votes)
1743 votes total Vote Now