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Best of Who’s Left: 2023 Draft Day 2

Washington Commanders’ next pick is at No. 47

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Boston College Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

I’m still processing Washington’s Day 1 pick of cornerback Emmanuel Forbes, but it’s not too early to take a look at who is likely to be left on the board for Washington’s next pick, at No. 47 tonight, midway through the second round.

With 15 selections before Washington, I’m going to cluster the highest rated 25 (or so) players remaining on the board by position areas. Under each is a portion of their profile:


Will Levis

Levis is one of the most physically gifted quarterbacks in the draft, but there are warts in his game that might not be easily corrected. He has prototypical size and experience operating in a pro-style passing attack. He’s an athletic passer, with the ability to zip off-platform throws with plus velocity from a compact release. He struggled to put together an extended period of high-caliber quarterback play in 2022, but was also dealing with injuries that he fought his way through for much of the season. Levis has the arm to beat coverages on all three levels, but inadequate placement and accuracy have created a lot of uncatchable throws. He’s a capable runner outside the pocket but needs to improve his feel for pressure and his consistency when throwing on the move. Levis’ talent is well worth an investment, but could require a talented quarterback coach and a patient plan to tighten up his mechanics, rebuild his confidence and explore an offensive scheme that best suits him. (Comp: Jay Cutler)

Hendon Hooker

Hooker’s age and ACL tear will be starting points for many draft conversations, but the most important question to be answered is whether he can thrive outside of the Tennessee offense. Hooker was frequently a half-field reader, which means he could lean on spacing, speed and/or route combinations to make life easier. He’s more accurate outside the numbers than between the hashes and his deep ball placement was much more uneven than expected. However, Hooker plays with excellent poise and footwork as a pocket passer. He will make quarterback coaches and play-callers happy with his adherence to keeping plays on schedule. He’s still showing signs of improvement and growth at the position, and his ability to hurt teams with his legs creates opportunities to help his offense outside of what he does in the pocket. His recovery from the ACL tear will require monitoring, but he has the talent to become a starter in a timing-based, spread offense. (Comp: Desmond Ridder)

Tight End:

Michael Mayer

Big combination tight end with the demeanor for run blocking and the size for tough, chain-moving catches underneath. Mayer will come into the league with better blocking technique than most tight ends in this year’s draft. He’s built for in-line duty and was an extension of the Notre Dame offensive line at times. His feet are a little heavy getting into and through his routes, but he has the hand strength and contact balance to win heavily contested catches on the first two levels. Mayer might need to polish his route running to become a high-volume target, but he’s a safe pick and will be a good pro who can become a plus player as a run blocker and pass catcher. (Comp: Jason Witten)

Luke Musgrave

Between the abbreviated 2020 season and an injury-shortened 2022 campaign, Musgrave’s snaps have been somewhat limited, but it’s easy to like what he’s put on tape. His route running harkens back to his slalom days with nimble feet and smooth hips helping to generate rhythm and separation in and out of breaks. He needs a little more bulk for combat in the trenches, but he offers what evaluators are looking for in technique, strain and demeanor. Musgrave has starter potential and should gain a coveted slot on draft boards from teams looking to add versatility to their 12 personnel (two tight ends) packages. (Comp: Dallas Goedert)

Darnell Washington

In-line tight end with rare size and power at the point of attack to help soften defensive edges up front. Despite sloppy overall technique, Washington can be effective at moving defenders when he’s centered on his block. He must improve his footwork and hand usage, as NFL defenders will slip away from his clutches more easily if he’s unsound. He plods into his routes but catches with above-average focus and can be a handful to bring down. Washington could become a dominant run blocker with better technique, which makes me wonder if a team might give him a look at offensive tackle at some point in his career. (Comp: Darren Fells)

Sam LaPorta

Highly targeted tight end whose playing style and physical abilities land somewhere between a connected (in-line or wing) and move tight end. LaPorta has the ability to threaten zone coverage and will make the basic catches. However, he lacks the desired elusiveness and ball skills to come away with the more challenging catches. LaPorta takes on run-blocking chores with inconsistent positioning but has the potential to improve with more work in that phase of the game. His catch production is splashy, but he appears to have average-starter potential at the next level.

Wide Receiver:

Jonathan Mingo

Big, strong slot receiver possessing the mental and physical toughness to outperform his speed limitations. The career production is nothing special, but it’s clear he’s put time and effort into his craft. He runs crisp, well-paced routes and ramps up his focus when it’s time to go get the football. A lack of separation burst and long speed could make for more contested catches, but he has the body type and willingness for that work. Mingo can get tough yards after the catch and is an above-average blocker. He has the skill level and demeanor to become a starting slot receiver for teams using 11 personnel (three WRs) as their base offense. (Comp: Anquan Boldin)

Jayden Reed

Utility wideout with the ability to take snaps at multiple receiver positions while offering both kickoff and punt return talent. Reed looks smaller in many of his matchups, but he is rarely deterred by size. He’s too tight-hipped for stop-start routes on the tree, but he operates with good route speed and should improve his ability to separate with additional development and experience on the next level. His ball skills and feel for positioning on deep throws and jump balls are unquestioned. Limiting his focus drops on short and intermediate throws will be critical to becoming a long-term NFL contributor. (Comp: Greg Ward)

Jalin Hyatt

Long, slender wideout with deep speed that could force defensive coordinators to alter coverage considerations. Hyatt’s gliding gait disguises explosive acceleration that can lead to easy separation on deep throws. However, he does display inconsistency on contested catches comes. Hyatt is ordinary getting in and out of intermediate breaks and might be best with a limited route tree full of slants, crossers and a series of field-stretching patterns. Hyatt is an instantly credible WR2 with the ability to make a huge impact, but production could be erratic due to the limitations of his game. (Comp: Desean Jackson)


Joe Tippmann

Two-year starter with the weight room strength and athleticism for work in a variety of run schemes. Tippmann is taller than your average center, but he can bend enough to neutralize at the point of attack. He’s a fluid move blocker who can make wide pulls, climbing cut-offs and adjustments to moving targets in space. He’s recognized for his football intelligence in the pivot and is an effective communicator. He needs to play with better posture and tighter hands to stay mirrored in protection and to improve his body control through engagement. Tippmann’s size, strength, smarts and athleticism should help him become a starter in the NFL. (Comp: Josh Myers)

John Michael Schmitz

Schmitz is a highly consistent zone-scheme center with decent size. He is well-schooled in all phases of the run game. He consistently uses the proper footwork and angles to find early positioning and has the tenacity to finish blocks at a high rate. He has plus football intelligence and makes the calls for his offense. His drive power is average and he can be hit-or-miss getting to second-level targets. Schmitz lacks length and his edges will get a little leaky in pass protection from time to time, but his overall technique and teamwork in the run game should create a plug-and-play opportunity in the pros. (Comp: Ben Jones)


Steve Avila

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. (Comp: Chris Kemoeatu)

O’Cyrus Torrence

Broad guard prospect whose physical limitations are balanced by his feel for the job and ability to use his size in his favor. Torrence is not a natural bender. He is forced to engulf and push rather than leverage and drive as a run blocker, but he’s solid at neutralizing the man across from him. He uses his hands well to jab and maintain feel for the rush, but quick interior rushers with well-developed counters could be too much for his limited foot quickness to handle without help. He projects as a future starter for downhill offenses who covet size over athleticism. (Comp: Tyre Phillips)

Cody Mauch

Mauch’s two front teeth are missing (they were knocked out during a junior high basketball game) and he wears a big mop of shoulder-length red hair, so you get the sense you are about to watch a hockey player on turf when you turn on the game tape. As expected, Mauch is a rugged player with an attacking demeanor who does his most consistent work as a drive blocker in the run game. Inconsistent footwork in pass protection and below average arm length could foreshadow a move inside to guard, where he is capable of competing for a starting job as a scheme-versatile tough guy. (Comp: Alex Cappa)


Matthew Bergeron

A college tackle who could be best playing inside at guard, Bergeron is evenly proportioned and wears his weight well on a compact frame. He’s a dynamic run blocker, able to excel in all three phases (positioning, sustain and finish). He’s just as capable of climbing and tagging second-level linebackers as he is at opening run lanes at the point of attack with leg drive. He’s athletic enough to play tackle, but inconsistent anchor and hand placement could cause concern for evaluators. While his protection issues are potentially correctable, Bergeron’s scheme-versatile, Pro Bowl-caliber run-blocking potential might hasten a team’s decision to move him inside. (Comp: Joel Bitonio)

Dawand Jones

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. (Comp: Trent Brown)

Defensive Line:

Keanu Benton

Benton is a powerful interior defensive lineman with size and persistence. However, he needs to play with consistent explosiveness early in the rep for decisive wins at the point of attack at the pro level. Block engagements become drawn-out brawls at times, but he does a nice job of defeating block sustains and often finds himself near the play. He lacks a wide base and sturdy anchor, so he’ll need to improve his pad level to prevent double teams from moving him around too easily. He’s solid and has flashed starting potential, but he needs to become a more consistently impactful force in the middle to make noise as an NFL starter.


Keion White

Athletic big man offering scheme versatility and projectable upside. White has good short-area quickness as well as speed in space. He lacks consistent early phase technique to control the rep, but his recovery talent, hustle and athletic traits put him in position to get in on the action. His pass rush is predictable and lacks focus, but he’s bendy and could take a big leap forward in this department provided the coaching catches up with the physical gifts. He’s still in the developmental phase, but his physical/athletic profile gives him a chance to become a plus starter as a 4-3 or 3-4 defensive end. (Comp: John Franklin-Myers)

BJ Ojulari

Stand-up rush linebacker with upside as a pass rusher but inconsistent effort stopping the run. Ojulari is bendy as an edge rusher and will wreak substantially more pocket havoc once he builds a more complete rush plan. He plays contain as a run defender and has the pursuit speed to spill the run wide or make tackles in space, but needs to play with consistent effort on all run snaps. B.J. Ojulari possesses all the tools necessary to start for an NFL team once he adds a bit more polish to his game. (Comp: Harold Landry)

Adetomiwa Adebawore

Adebawore seems like a positional tweener, checking in a little short for the edge and a little light for the interior. However, he was able to handle himself at the point of attack at the Senior Bowl and is just a few hearty meals away from checking in at a weight that could pass for an even front three-technique. He’s a powerful man who wins with force over fluidity. He will need better play recognition in the future, but his explosive first contact and ability to play under his opponent’s pads could earn him a spot as a base end with sub-package rush ability or simply as a rotational interior defender.


Trenton Simpson

Chiseled weakside linebacker with rare speed for the position to run down the action in all directions. Simpson played inside in 2022 but displayed average play recognition and a lack of patience that saw him get caught in traffic near the line. He can play run-and-hit football with his speed when playing outside. He needs to cut back the arm tackles and pursue with better angles to the ball. He’s a premium athlete capable of squeezing routes from zone and attacking the pocket as a blitzer. Simpson isn’t quite game-ready yet, but players with his traits and range eventually find the field. (Comp: Darron Lee)

Drew Sanders

Unique linebacker prospect with the physical traits, athleticism and skill set to be deployed as an inside linebacker or a stand-up edge rusher. The former five-star Alabama signee transferred to Arkansas for the 2022 season and posted eye-catching production with the Razorbacks. He plays with good technique in take-ons and has plenty of pursuit range, but he’s still finding his footing with his run fits and tackle consistency. He’s a tough out for interior protection as a blitzing linebacker and has natural rush talent to hunt quarterbacks off the edge. Sanders’ athletic gifts, versatility and toughness could help him become a highly impactful playmaker with Pro Bowl upside. (Comp: Tremaine Edmunds)

Defensive Back:

Joey Porter Jr.

Ascending cornerback combining traits and above average play strength that create a clear definition of who he is as a player. He can reroute the release and has the frame to close catch windows against big receivers in press-man or Cover 2 looks. Delayed transitions and sluggish change of direction put him in conflict in off coverages, so teams must pay attention to matchups and scheme in order to avoid a field full of yellow laundry. There is work to be done to improve tackle consistency in the run game, but he finishes tackles after a catch. Porter has scheme limitations, but he also has CB1 potential with more work and if utilized properly. (Comp: Amani Oruwariye)

Brian Branch

Plug-and-play defensive back with every ingredient necessary to become a high-performing starter early in his career. Branch has primarily handled nickel coverage at Alabama but has the range and instincts for single-high or split safety looks. He’s quick, fast and strong with the ability to match up with shifty slots, bigger possession receivers and pass-catching tight ends. He’s urgent and has a mind for the game. He takes playmaking angles into the throwing lane but does have a tendency to play it a little safe from off-man coverage. There are areas where he can improve but no real weaknesses, which could make him one of the safest picks in the draft. (Comp: Minkah Fitzpatrick)

Tyrique Stevenson

Big cornerback with the size and play strength to help match up with bigger receivers in the league. Stevenson is patient but physical in press-man and has good recovery speed when he falls behind. He struggles as a pattern matcher in off-man and had issues with busts in zone, so he might be scheme-dependent. Stevenson is talented when attacking the catch point and has the ball skills to make plays on 50/50 throws. He needs to become more consistent in run support but has the physical attributes to become a starter in a press-man scheme. (Comp: James Bradberry)

Julius Brents

Brents is a classic zone cover corner with an outstanding blend of size, length and leaping ability. He has the disruptive traits to reroute the release and the dog in him to handle his business in run support. He can play some press-man on a vertical plane but lacks the top-end speed and pattern matching to play in that scheme full-time. Brents needs to maintain eye discipline from zone but has the ball skills to win a battle for the pass when he’s in position. While he’s likely to be targeted in the draft as a zone-based corner, he has the instincts and demeanor to make a move to safety if needed. (Comp: Trumaine Johnson)

DJ Turner

Explosive athlete combining fluidity, speed and superior technique to excel at his craft. Turner is scheme-diverse with the ability to line up inside or outside in coverage. He’s graceful with his mirror and match movements from press or off-man coverage, but he is plenty feisty when challenging throws or hitting receivers after the catch. Despite his competitiveness, big receivers can bounce him around and beat him on 50/50 balls. Turner has the tools and talent to become an early starter as a nickel corner capable of matching up with both shifty and speedy opponents. (Comp: Avonte Maddox)

Who would you be targeting at pick #47 tonight?


What position group is your top focus tonight?

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