By Adam Aniba
Washington's offensive line has been a topic of concern among fans, especially post draft. Although Ron Rivera selected Ricky Stromberg in the 3rd round (Pick #97) and Braeden Daniels (Pick #118) , the general consensus among fans is the Commanders have neglected to sufficiently upgrade the O-Line.
Some would point to the defensive line, which features four 1st round starters as a well thought out blueprint, in contrast the only offensive lineman on the roster drafted in the Top 55 is Sam Cosmi in '21. The former Longhorns tackle was expected to be the starting right tackle for the foreseeable future, but in less than two seasons he was moved inside to guard.
Signing former Kansas City right tackle Andrew Wylie to a 3 year-$24 million was the Commanders most notable offseason free agent signing, but thus far the former Chiefs tackle has been a disappointment. Although he was apart of the 2023 Super Bowl Champion CHiefs squad, he was one the the five worst tackles in regards to pressures allowed during last year's playoffs.
Quarterback Sam Howell shares the load of the blame when it comes to the league leading 19 sacks through 3 games. If they keep this pace, the'll more than double the number of sacks allowed in 22 (48 sacks).
As Howell continues to adjust, coaches should consider some adjustments of their own and reshuffling the o-line might yield better results in regards to pass protection.
Giving up on Wylie after only 3 games is unlikely, the move would essentially say that they made a mistake in signing the free agent for $8 million a season. On the other hand, some evaluators believe that Wylie had some decent tape while playing guard in Kansas City, although limited.
Veteran Cornelius Lucas has been a solid backup tackle and decent when his number has been called to start at right tackle.
Wylie could slide inside to right guard, which would be more of an adjustment as opposed to admitting they were shortsighted in signing him to be their starting RT. Cosmi is also an option, but Lucas has displayed more upside at tackle.
The Team 980's Chris Russell mentioned during our thread discussion on Twitter, run blocking grades also play a factor in inflating overall o-line individual ratings. So Pro Football Focus ratings should be taken with a grain of salt.
The entire discussion of replacing Wylie at right tackle is hypothetical of course, but another outing like the one vs Buffalo, should push coaches to think long and hard about making changes along the offensive line.