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The Washington Commanders Select KJ Henry, EDGE, Clemson in the Fifth Round of 2023 NFL Draft

Washington welcomes the newest member of the family, KJ Henry, after making him the 137th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Louisville v Clemson Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Washington Commanders have made their first trade in the 2023 NFL Draft. They sent their 5th round pick(#150) and their 6th round comp pick(#215) to the Buffalo Bills for pick #137. They selected Clemson edge rusher KJ Henry. Washington is reportedly declining the 5th-year option for Chase Young, and the other DEs on the roster are all set to hit free agency after this season. Washington was expected to pick up an edge rusher in the draft, and it looks like they identified their guy, and moved up to get him. 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.


Community-oriented team captain with high personal character.

Disruptive snap quickness as run defender.

Plus pursuit burst to tighten the outside run lane.

Ankle flexion allows for tight turns.

Reaches in and targets throwing hand around the rush arc.

Capable of transitioning speed to power in his rush.

Stays low and smooth for electric inside rush counter.

Reads quarterback and frequently bats down the pass.


Upper body stays too square for tackles to punch.

Needs to develop go-to moves to grease outside rush edge.

Ineffective hand fighting at the top of the rush.

Could struggle with NFL edge-setting duties.

Ducks head into first contact.

Can be jostled off his base at point of attack.

Washington Commanders 2023 Draft Picks

1st Round: #16 - Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State

2nd Round: #47 - Jartavius Martin, DB, Illinois

3rd Round: #97 (compensatory pick) - Ricky Stromberg, C, Arkansas

4th Round: #118 - Braeden Daniels, G/T, Utah

5th Round #137 - KJ Henry, EDGE, Clemson

5th Round: #150 Traded to the Bills

6th Round: #193

#215 (compensatory pick) Traded to the Bills

7th Round: #233