The DeMatha Stagline

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The DeMatha Stagline

The DeMatha Stagline

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April 15, 2024

Commanders Draft Projections


After finishing the NFL season 4-13, the Washington Commanders acquired the 2nd, 36th, 40th, 67th, 99th, 101th, 138th, 178th, and 222nd picks in this year’s NFL draft. All the conversation has been centered around what the Commanders should do with the 2nd overall pick.

Former owner Daniel Snyder sold ownership to Josh Harris for $6.05 billion, and then the team fired head coach Ron Rivera and hired Dan Quinn, the former head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, they have gone all-in on the rebuild with new general manager Adam Peters.

Many of the Commanders’ struggles have been assessed to former Rivera, who was even called one of the worst coaches in the NFL by several news outlets including the Washington Post. In relation to why the Commanders are bad, sophomore Andrew Speed says, “Their terrible coaching, terrible front office decisions, [and] offensive line has been lackluster since trading with the Niners. You’ve got zero quarterback help, with that offensive line… you’ve got no real redeemable factors.”

Andrew spoke about Washington’s defense, particularly the fact that they had one of the best defensive lines in the league and “all you’ve got left is Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne.” With cornerbacks who are undersized or under-skilled, Andrew feels the Commanders have a lot of holes to fill.

The Commanders last season gave up the most passing yards per game and the most passing touchdowns per game. Many mock drafts have the Commanders drafting a offensive tackle, perhaps Kingsley Suamataia from BYU, with the 36th overall pick, and using their other later round picks to fill the gaps in their defense. In regards to what the Commanders should do with their later round draft picks, freshman Adrian Fernandes says, “Offensive lineman, defensive lineman, we should really focus on someone because we lost Chase Young and Montez Sweat, so we should probably draft someone that’s young and the same position as both of them.”

The major talking point about the Commanders draft projections has been what they should do with their second overall pick. The three names that seem to be mentioned the most are Caleb Williams from the University of South Carolina, Drake Maye from North Carolina, and Jayden Daniels from LSU, all quarterbacks. There are however two other options. They could draft wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. from Ohio State or trade down to get more picks.

Caleb Williams is widely considered the consensus number 1 pick, a generational prospect according to many scouts. In regards to Caleb Williams, former NFL player Joel Klatt said in one news article, “Well he does a lot of things like Mahomes, he’s even better than Mahomes was in college, and all of those things are true.” In another article from Bleacher Report’s NFL scouting department, Williams was compared to Kyler Murray and Josh Allen, but other news outlets like CBS sports joined Klatt in comparing Williams to Patrick Mahomes.

Many mock drafts have Drake Maye being picked by the Commanders. NFL scouts have compared Maye to players like Jordan Love and Justin Herbert. Mock drafts had Jayden Daniels going third in the draft, but recent buzz has occurred around the Commanders and Daniels, a prospect who has garnered varied draft comparisons. He has been compared by NFL scouts to players ranging from Tyrod Taylor to Deshaun Watson, and even to two-time MVP winner Lamar Jackson.

Daniels addressed the Lamar Jackson comparisons at the NFL combine, saying, “Lamar is a great player. I don’t like to compare myself to anybody but there’s some similarities in what he’s doing. What he’s doing, he’s playing at a very high level, so kudos to him. He’s the GOAT of this running and throwing, and I’m just following suit behind.”

The last mocked prospect the Commanders may draft is Marvin Harrison Jr. Not many mock drafts have Harrison going to the Commanders due to the team’s QB needs, but it wouldn’t be a bad choice. Greg Cosell, a NFL analyst, wrote in one article, “Harrison Jr. is one of the best wide receiver prospects we have seen in a long time. He has an elite traits profile and no discernible weaknesses.” Harrison has been described as the clear top wide receiver of the class and if he were to go 2nd overall, it would be the first time since 2007 a wide receiver was selected with a top two pick. Harrison has been compared from A.J. Green all the way to Randy Moss.

Overall there are many things the Commanders could do this draft. They have many options with the abundance of picks they have. Sophomore Patrick Moran says, “I think Drake Maye is the best fit for the Commanders. His strong arm can bring the better side out of two solid wide receivers in McLaurin and Dotson.” Fellow sophomore Jaylen Goode says, “I think they need to trade back, take a later pick and get some capital. There’s a couple quarterbacks I like down in the draft like Michael Penix and J.J. McCarthy. I think both of those players will be good options for the team, and I’d rather have more young players on the team than one really good quarterback.”

Regarding the possibility of Jayden Daniels going second to the Commanders, Fernandez says, “I’m fine with that. Jayden Daniels is actually pretty good. He’s young he’s fast, he’s more of a team player, and I’m really fine with that.” Considering the possible selection of Harrison, Speed says, “I don’t think that’s the smartest decision because you need that quarterback. They’re definitely moving away from Sam Howell, this draft class is so deep with wide receivers you can take a second round draft pick and make him a star wide receiver.”

Speed went on to say that the Commanders should trade the 2nd overall pick, two future 1st, and Jonathan Allen in order to receive the 1st overall pick and potentially draft Caleb Williams. This draft will mark the first year of the Commanders rebuild.

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