By Adam Aniba
Washington enters the 2022 NFL Draft with no 3rd or 5th round selections. It's more imperative than ever that Ron Rivera hits on his late round selections. This draft features a deep receiver class, talented defensive backs and some intriguing small schoolers. With the draft a few weeks away, it's time to analyze a few potential late round gems that would fit in Washington.
6'1" 184 lbs | WR | Va Tech
7th Rd Projection
Turner finished his career in Blacksburg with 134 rec 2,292 receiving yards 14 touchdowns and a 17.1 ypc average. Turner leaves Va Tech ranked in the top 5 all time in school history in receptions and receiving yards, He also showed his versatility with 456 rushing yards and 4 scores.
Turner registered an underwhelming forty time at the combine of 4.51 sec. His ability to get in and out of his breaks with suddenness speaks to his overall value. His basketball background is evident with his suddenness and ability to come down with the tough catch.
Turner has soft hands, impressive body control when high-pointing the ball and displays the ability to create after the catcher. Although special teams reps were limited by coaches, Turner could be developed him as a returner (only 1 PR for 23 yds).
Washington will no doubt invest at receiver early in the draft, but also looking to add more depth in the later rounds should be in play as well. Turner is the type of developmental receiver that can lineup inside or outside. With two picks in the 7th round, the Hokies pass catcher could be an ideal late round investment for the Commanders.
6'4" 299 lbs | DE | Mizz St
7th Rd Projection
Johnson had a distinguished career as an interior lineman for Mizz St and was viewed as an iron man, playing in 55 consecutive games as a 5-year starter. His final season would be his best with 43 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss and 3 blocked kicks.
Small schooler, Eric Johnson put up some notable numbers for a prospect his size during the NFL combine. He clocked an official time of 4.87 seconds in the forty, 20 reps of 225 lbs on the bench press and registered a 27" vertical leap. Johnson is known for his powerful bull-rush and the versatility to lineup anywhere on the defensive line.
Johnson has been typecast as a fit in a 3-4 DE, but his versatility and power make him an ideal rotational lineman. His multiple blocked kicks also display his potential value for the special teams unit as well.
After the release of Matt Ioannidis and departure of Tim Settle, Washington all of a sudden finds itself lacking depth along their defensive line. Johnson will be in featured in an upcoming prospect evaluation, so stay tuned for more on the defensive lineman.
6'1" 184 lbs | CB | Iowa
7th Rd Projection
Hankins had a five year career at Iowa with '21 being his best season. His ability in zone coverage and solid play against the run, led to 3 ints, 44 tak and 9 passes defended in only 9 games. His aggressive style can sometimes get him in trouble, but his ability to make the big play in key moments standout.
Hankins has a high ceiling and some added weight could really make a difference. Some durability issues will cause him to fall, but nothing notable, other than some nagging injuries in his history. The Iowa corner's combination of a high football IQ and playing in the structure of the Iowa defense will aid his transition.
Teams looking for a late round cornerback, shouldn't be gun shy with the potential of this late round gem. Washington and Jack Del Rio come into the '22 season, seemingly content with their current depth after re-signing Danny Johnson. A late round investment on a cornerback just can't be ignored by the Commanders.
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