Washington Commanders Draft Grade
The Washington Commanders are trying to improve on their 7-10 record from 2021. The NFC East always seems to be up for grabs, so a few key additions could put them in the hunt for the division title. The Commanders made a splash before the draft by trading for Carson Wentz, hoping to solidify their quarterback position. Let’s see who else they added and give the Washington Commanders a draft grade.
Round 1: No. 16 (from NO via IND via PHI) – Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
The Commanders needed another receiver, Scary Terry can’t do it all. Carson Wentz, and whoever is quarterback going forward, is going to need weapons if they’re to have any success. Dotson is a good pick, however I did prefer Treylon Burks a little more. Still, Dotson should immediately contribute to the Commanders’ offense.
Round 2: No. 47 (from IND) – Phidarian Mathis, DT, Alabama
The Commanders sure love defensive tackles from Alabama. Mathis joins former Crimson Tide tackles Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne in the trenches. I don’t see him starting over either of these guys, so Mathis is going to be a rotational lineman this year. Payne’s contract is up at the end of this year, so maybe Mathis is his replacement. A safety or tight end would have contributed immediately and there was talent available.
Round 3: No. 98 (from NO) – Brian Robinson Jr., RB, Alabama
Robinson is a good powerful running back and the Commanders could use another running back. Is Washington’s strategy to build the professional Crimson Tide? Honestly, it’s a solid strategy. Robinson will be a good rotational back with Antonio Gibson. Most teams like to have two solid running backs in their backfield, and Robinson accomplishes that for the Commanders.
Round 4: No. 113 – Percy Butler, S, Louisiana Layfette
You can describe Percy Butler with one word, fast. He’s a small school product, but I personally love the Ragin’ Cajuns. It’s a risky pick, Butler looks like he needs a lot of polish. I want to see him improve both his tackling and coverage, but the Commanders are betting that his excellent athleticism pays dividends. Literally the next pick was Iowa safety Dane Belton who I was very high on. I would have preferred Washington look Belton’s way.
Round 5: No. 144 (from CAR via JAX) – Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
The quarterbacks were insanely underrated in this draft. In my opinion, Sam Howell should have been a late first round pick. It’s a pretty safe bet that Carson Wentz won’t stay healthy, or he’ll just underperform. I like Taylor Heinicke a lot, but Howell gives them a possible quarterback of the future. He’s going to be number three on the depth chart, so hopefully he uses his time to study hard. If he does, I think he is a legitimate competitor for the starting spot next season.
Round 5: No. 149 (from CAR) – Cole Turner, TE, Nevada
Another good value pick, Turner was in the top five tight end talk. He’s a huge receiving target for whoever is throwing the ball in Washington. Turner is a touchdown catching machine, being 6’6” 250 lbs. helps you in the red zone. Turner needs to work on his blocking and athleticism, but his size alone provides a good red zone option to the Commanders.
Round 7: No. 230 – Chris Paul, G, Tulsa
I really hope Paul chooses the number three, because we need another CP3 in the world. This Chris Paul is an extremely versatile offensive lineman. He has played both guard and tackle spots. He’s got decent athleticism and strength, but he was getting beat too much for my liking. The good news for the Commanders is that was at tackle and he projects as a guard in the NFL. I think his versatility almost guarantees him a spot on the active roster, and if he can really focus on the guard position exclusively he could turn into a starter. Excellent value in the seventh round.
Round 7: No. 240 (from PHI via IND) – Christian Holmes, CB, Oklahoma State
Holmes has decent size and athleticism for the corner position. His measurements are exaggerated, he measured in at 5’11”, not 6’1”. He is a solid tackler, but his straight line speed could be better, however he is quick. Holmes needs to have a good camp and preseason to make the team, or show that he can be a good special teams contributor. He’s alright, but I would have preferred a big lottery ticket here. It’s the seventh round, let’s go boom or bust.
Overall Grade: B+
Final thoughts on Washington Commanders Draft Grade
The Washington Commanders upgraded their offense immediately with Dotson and Robinson. Look for Turner to become a red zone specialist at the very least. I understand I’m higher on Howell than most, but that’s fine. He’s probably competing for a starting spot next year. Mathis is good, but there were talented players who filled needs available in the second round. Butler is a gamble who needs polish. The grade was on the line between B and B+, but those upgrades on offense and the versatility of Chris Paul give them the benefit of the doubt.