The 2022 NFL Draft is officially over and Washington has added 8 new players to their roster. The Commanders entered the draft with 6 picks, but committed to added more picks in a draft they felt was strong in the middle rounds. They went in missing their 3rd round pick(Carson Wentz trade) and 5th round pick(Eagles trade last year), but ended up picking in both of those rounds.
The draft kicked off for Washington with the #11 overall pick, but they received several calls and decided to take the deal being offered by the Saints. They dropped down to #16 and picked up 3rd and 4th round picks. Fans watched favorites like Chris Olave, Jameson Williams, and Kyle Hamilton get taken before Washington was on the clock again. They drafted Penn State WR Jahan Dotson, a player they didn’t have much pre-draft interaction with, but had rated very highly on their board.
Washington entered Day 2 with two picks, and they spent them on a pair of Alabama players. DT Phidarian Mathis was taken with the 47th overall pick, a move that was made due to their backups either leaving in free agency(Tim Settle) or being cap casualties(Matt Ioannidis. Mathis was projected to go later which became a theme for most of this draft. Ron Rivera and Co. have their ratings and they don’t match the consensus. They also don’t care about your mock drafts or anyone else’s prospect rankings, for better or worse.
Washington went back to offense in the 3rd round and took Alabama RB Brian Robinson Jr. He was a bruising back for the Crimson Tide last year and is expected to get a lot of work early in his year as he works alongside Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic. Gibson dealt with multiple injuries and has had issues with putting the ball on the ground. These are two issues that Robinson didn’t have in college.
The Commanders entered day 3 with 5 picks and ended with a different group of 5 picks. They were up early in the 4th round, and added Louisiana safety Percy Butler. He’s a burner on special teams, and has been called the best pure safety in the draft. He was also projected to go later than the top of the 4th round, which caused more consternation from the fanbase.
Washington had another pick 7 slots later, but were able to negotiate a deal with the Carolina Panthers who were looking to move up. Carolina traded two picks at the top of the 5th for Washington’s 4th and 6th round picks.
Washington had the first pick in the 5th round courtesy of the Panthers trade, and used that pick to stop the fall of North Carolina QB Sam Howell. He was projected as high as the 1st round at times, but is part of the worst QB class in a long time based on where these players got drafted. Howell joins the Commanders as their 3rd QB, and he will have to compete with last year’s starter Taylor Heinicke for the #2 job. Long-term he has the chance to supplant recently-acquired starter Carson Wentz.
Washington had their next player come off the board 5 selections later. Nevada TE Cole Turner is a big move TE who was a receiver to start his college career. He switched to tight end, and will now be in the mix for playing time here. Logan Thomas tore his ACL in early December and hopes to be ready for Week 1, but that’s not guaranteed. John Bates was drafted last year and showed some promise in his limited playing time. His blocking will keep him on the roster if Turner jumps him on the depth chart.
Washington drafted two players in the 7th round. First up was Tulsa guard Chris Paul. He’s a versatile OL who played every spot on Tulsa’s line except for center. Look for him to try to compete for a backup spot with Saahdiq Charles as Wes Schweitzer likely earns the starting role this season.
Washington’s last pick went back to the secondary and added Oklahoma State CB Christian Holmes. They can always used depth and competition at the cornerback position, and that’s what Holmes looks like here.
How did Washington do in the draft this year? Where did they miss? Which was your favorite pick?
Washington’s draft picks:
Round 1(#19): Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
Round 2(#47): Phidarian Mathis, DL, Alabama
Round 3(#98): Brian Robinson Jr., RB, Alabama
Round 4(#113): Percy Butler, S, Louisiana
Round 5(#144): Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
Round 5(#149): Cole Turner, TE, Nevada
Round 7(#230): Chris Paul, OG, Tulsa
Round 7(#240): Christian Holmes, CB, Oklahoma State
What grade does Washington’s 2022 draft class get?
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