The 2023 NFL Draft is officially over and Washington has added 8 new players to their roster. The Commanders entered the draft with 8 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), but they also gained compensatory picks for losing Brandon Scherff(3rd) and Tim Settle(6th) in free agency.
The draft kicked off for Washington with the #16 overall pick, and they went with Mississippi State Emmanuel Forbes over CB Christian Gonzalez. The top offensive tackles were off the board, and the Commanders were expected to go CB early in the draft. Forbes was high on their board, and someone they targeted for his ballhawking abilities. He will join the competition for starting outside corner with Kendall Fuller who is entering the final year of his contract, and Benjamin St-Juste who has dealt with injuries in both of his seasons here.
Washington entered Day 2 with two picks, and they stuck with those picks throughout the day. Washington surprised a lot of people by not going offensive line in the 2nd round. Instead they selected another defensive back, Quan Martin from Illinois. This got a lot of negative reactions, but the player is a perfect fit for what Washington needs, and him likely start in the Bobby McCain role in the slot.
Washington finally got some help for their offensive line in the 3rd round by picking Arkansas center Ricky Stromberg. Ron Rivera said he would be in competition with free agent signing Nick Gates. Chase Roullier is expected to be released after missing significant time over the last two seasons with lower leg injuries. Stromberg could be Washington’s Week 1 starter at center this year.
The Commanders entered day 3 with 5 picks but ended up only making 4 selections. They started the day off by double-dipping on the offensive line. Utah G/T Braeden Daniels joins a team that with have a lot of changes along the offensive line under new Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy. Daniels was announced as a tackle, but has played every position on the line.
Washington made their first trade after they knew they had secured Daniels. The Commanders traded picks #150 and #215 to the Buffalo Bills for pick #137. They selected Clemson edge rusher KJ Henry with that pick, filling a future need at DE. Washington is going to decline Chase Young’s 5th-year option, and Montez Sweat is also set to become a free agent along with the rest of the depth chart. Washington will likely retain one of their starters, but will have plenty of opportunities for new blood at the position.
Washington filled another need by drafting Kentucky RB Chris Rodriguez, Jr. in the 6th round. J.D. McKissic has unfortunately dealt with season-ending neck injuries two years in a row and was released after the season. Rodriguez will join a Commanders running back room with Brian Robinson, Antonio Gibson, Jonathan Williams, and Jarrett Patterson.
The Washington Commanders closed out their draft by finally taking a LB! Andre Jones from Louisiana joins Washington’s LB crew that will be led by Jamin Davis and free agent signing Cody Barton.
How did Washington do in the draft this year? Where did they miss? Which was your favorite pick?
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 - Chris Rodriguez Jr, RB, Kentucky
#215 (compensatory pick) Traded to the Bills
7th Round: #233 - Andre Jones, LB, Louisiana
What grade does Washington’s 2023 draft class get?
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