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KS4GM’s Combine Hangover Third 2023 Commanders Mock Draft

Ohio State v Maryland Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

The Underwear Olympics are over, free agency is less than a week away, and the draft is just over the horizon. We’re fully in the midst of draft fever at this point and the mock draft big boards are beginning to crystallize. The hype machine is in overdrive.

Washington goes into the 2023 draft with a ton of uncertainty swirling around the future of the franchise’s ownership and management, but has some fairly solid components in place, in terms of the team itself.

This is the third of my 2023 pre-draft mocks, conducted using the Pro Football Network mock draft simulator. To an extent, with these successive drafts, I’m going to make an attempt to draft a different constellation of players in each. That gives me - and you - the opportunity to get to better understand the full portfolio of talent available.

As per usual, I was looking to trade back if the right opportunity arose. Houston offered picks #33, #65, #73, and #104 for #16. According to the Rich Hill chart, that’s 305 points being offered up by Washington in exchange for 356 points from the Texans (180 + 78 + 65 + 33). That was simply too good to pass up, and I was really interested to see who I might be able to pull in that second round/early third round range.

The Texans took Myles Murphy (EDGE) at number 16, for those curious.

Round 2, Pick 33 - Dawand Jones (OT)

Based on the positional importance and talent pool in this year’s draft, I’m consistently looking for either a tackle or a cornerback with Washington’s first pick - unless someone completely unexpected happens to drop precipitously. On many boards, Jones is considered a second tier tackle prospect, but as LASkin laid out so elegantly here, Washington shouldn’t let that stop them from grabbing him as a likely, eventual, contributor to the team.

From his draft profile:

Massive right tackle with rare length but limited athleticism that impacts his consistency. Defenders accustomed to winning with power will need to switch up their approach against Jones. His physical traits help cover up some of his athletic deficiencies, while his power can be better unleashed with accurate hand strikes and a run scheme tailored to what he does best. The former high school basketball standout has decent slide quickness in protection but is unable to find his feet when attempting to match inside counters or stall out gaming fronts. Jones is a work in progress with holes that will have to be covered up with scheme help, but he should become a starting right tackle if he maintains the playing weight his team desires.

Another huge but relatively unathletic tackle: Orlando Brown.

Round 2, Pick 47 - Steve Avila (G)

Washington needs interior help as well, though, so the OL search heuristic doesn’t get turned off just because we landed a tackle with our first pick. Avila has center/guard flexibility, is a former team captain, and is strong as an ox.

From his draft profile:

Three-year starter who offers versatility, power and athleticism. Playing at a lighter weight should not be a problem if teams want that from him. His girth makes him resistant to opposing power, and he’s light enough on his feet for pass protection duties and run blocks that extend beyond the box. He’s not a consistently nasty finisher and below average hand work has a clear impact on his ability to sustain blocks. Avila is likely to start right away as a Day 2 draft pick and should have a solid NFL career as either a guard or center.

Round 3, Pick 65 - Sam LaPorta (TE)

I profiled LaPorta here, and I’m very high on him, even though I’m not convinced TE is a serious area of need for Washington this year. The talent pool at the position in this year’s draft is just too deep to pass on.

I would avoid a Michael Mayer or a Dalton Kincaid, who are going to be too costly for Washington to reasonably draft, and instead focus on a player like LaPorta who already has a well-developed blocking skillset and is also a plus wide receiver. A player of LaPorta’s eventual caliber could be exactly what Eric Bieniemy is looking to add to his offensive quiver.

Round 3, Pick 73 - Garrett Williams (CB)

Williams is recovering from an ACL injury, which will likely cause his draft position to slide a bit, but Washington has a little time to allow a young CB or two to develop. As with TE, this is a very strong class for CBs, and Washington should be looking to re-load at the position for the future this offseason.

From his draft profile:

Williams is a physical and aggressive defender that exhibits an alpha mentality in everything he does on the football field. I love the way he triggers downhill, plays through contact, and finishes. He has the type of mindset and skill to be an asset at the next level in run support. There’s a lot to like about his movement skills and reactive athleticism. Williams is a twitched-up athlete with good short-area quickness, speed, and change of direction skills. I like his ability in zone coverage to cue the backfield and trigger. Williams is disruptive at the catch point and showcases the ability to play through the receiver’s hands to force incompletions while flashing the ability to take away the football. I wish he got more opportunities to play press coverage because he profiles as a standout.

Round 3, Pick 97 - Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson (CB)

It wasn’t my expectation to double-dip on cornerbacks in the third round, but that’s the way the talent lined up, and - in retrospect - I’m pretty happy with it. Hodges-Tomlinson makes a pretty logical replacement for Bobby McCain, given his skillset.

From his draft profile:

I think Hodges-Tomlinson is a great competitor and athlete, which will benefit him greatly. However, I am concerned about his size to consistently start as an everyday outside corner in the NFL. I would not feel comfortable lining him up against a team’s “X” receiver due to his small frame. I could see him getting a shot at outside early in his career, but I think a move to the inside at nickel would eventually become his role. Ideally, I think the best position for him would be as a starting outside corner with the ability to play in the slot at nickel corner. I feel he would match up better covering smaller, faster receivers in the slot, although I would like to see his tackling improve in order to provide effective run support as a nickel.

Round 4, Pick 104 - Tank Bigsby (RB)

Going into the draft, I had no intention of taking a running back this high, but Bigsby was the best player available. Plus, how on earth do you pass on a running back named “Tank?” Bigsby and Robinson would make the consummate “thunder and thunder” combo.

If anyone thinks the trade at the beginning of the draft was too generous, Bigsby would be the player to go, if it were pared back a bit.

From his draft profile:

Bigsby is a talented running back prospect. As a one-cut runner, he has the quick planting skills to work exclusively in zone schemes. That said, he has the vision, footwork, and processing skills to win as a between-the-tackles/gap scheme runner as well. At the moment, a team will find his success on running downs until teams are comfortable with throwing passes to him on third downs. I think an arc for Bigsby is similar to Dalvin Cook or Kenneth Walker III, neither are high-volume receiving backs but are talented runners.

Round 4, Pick 118 - KJ Henry (EDGE)

Henry was not someone I was familiar with going into this mock, so it gave me the opportunity to learn more about him. He’s another team captain, high character guy who is capable of being highly disruptive in the passing game. He needs to refine his pass rushing skills, and could be just the sort of guy who would benefit from a year of sitting behind Young/Sweat and training with Ryan Kerrigan.

From his draft profile:

Highly athletic edge defender with good size. Henry has upfield burst, but he tends to be a face-up rusher and will need to improve his hand usage for more effective corner turns. He can be dynamic when twisting and blitzing as a moveable piece around the defensive front and he does a nice job of setting up a buttery smooth inside rush that is often too quick for tackles. He can dart and disrupt as a one-gapper with his hand in the ground but has more trouble than expected in setting firm edges as a run defender. Henry’s strengths and weaknesses are well-defined, with the upside to become a starter.

Round 5, Pick 152 - Jerrod Clark (DI)

From Clark’s draft profile:

In all, Clark is an enticing defensive tackle prospect. His ability to clog running lanes between the tackles and slice/slant through zone reach blocks. Clark can be a nice asset to teams that love twists and stunts on the defensive line. He would assume the role as the penetration defender to free up his looping teammate. There is meat left on the bone in terms of his development. Clark is not the most technically sound prospect, especially with his hands. Improving on this will help shorten his rush process to pressure opposing quarterbacks.

Round 6, Pick 193 - Joshua Gray (OT)

Apparently Gray has recently decided to go back to Oregon State for another year, and hasn’t yet been taken out of the PFF database. That’s too bad for us, but good for him. Maybe next year.

Round 6, Pick 215 - Tyson Bagent (QB)

Here, Bagent is a sixth round swing on a potential back-up QB.

From his draft profile:

Expectations for Bagent early in his NFL career should be low. He’s facing a significant jump in the level of competition and he is unlikely to be ready for live NFL action early in his pro career. But given the time to marinate and develop, there’s going to be an opportunity for an NFL team to secure a quality quarterback. He’s got the traits to play in the league and potentially be a long-term backup, but he’d be best off being protected as a team’s third quarterback for his first season.

Round 7, Pick 235 - Chad Ryland (K)

Washington needs competition for Joey Slye at kicker. Ryland is a local kid with a heck of a leg. Let’s give him a shot.


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