2023 NFL Draft: Washington Commanders
The Washington Commanders have top-end talent, there’s no question. Guys like Terry McLaurin, Chase Young, Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen, and Montez Sweat are players you can build a championship roster around. Bringing in guys like Curtis Samuel in free agency two years ago and drafting Brian Robinson Jr. and Jahan Dotson last year were great moves to build upon that foundation.
Washington will need to have a solid draft this year as there are some obvious holes. On top off that, this is a group that lacks depth across the board, relative to the other NFC East rosters,. For Washington, it seems like anything is on the table in the NFL Draft.
Top Draft Needs: CB, IOL, LB
Washington needs better quarterback play, plain and simple. But with the news that Sam Howell is expected to be under center for the 2023 season, I left QB off the list. The Commanders may consider one in later rounds or via free agency, but by pointing to Howell as the likely starter so early, it tells me that Washington is content rolling the dice with Howell and QB is not a top need.
In my view, that means Washington’s top draft need is cornerback. In a division with A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, CeeDee Lamb, and Kenny Golladay (sorry Giants fans, that’s a joke; I couldn’t resist), Kendall Fuller is just not going to cut it. Benjamin St-Juste has progressed nicely, but a true lockdown corner would do wonders for this defense.
The linebacking corps also needs a major upgrade. Jamin Davis came a long way in his second season, stepping into more of a leadership role when Cole Holcomb went down after seven games. Davis led the team in tackles and looks like a nice piece moving forward. That said, he can’t be the only piece. As it stands, Holcomb is set to be a free agent and Davis is the only starter-level linebacker under contract. Adding contributors to this unit needs to be top-of-mind.
Similarly impacted by injuries this season, the interior offensive line needs to be prioritized in April as well. Washington started four different centers this season and both starting guards could use an upgrade. The Commanders gave up 48 sacks this year (7th most). Adding a guard in the NFL Draft is almost a must. Another option would be to grab an offensive tackle if the right guy is there, and kick Sam Cosmi inside to one of the guard spots.