By Adam Aniba
The much anticipated 2023 NFL Draft is finally here. The top needs for the Commanders are along the offensive line, cornerback and linebacker. Many fans would like nothing more than to see Washington trade back in round 1 and acquire more picks.
During the 2022 draft, Washington traded the #11 overall pick to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for three picks:
#16 (1st round) Jahan Dotson
# 98 (3rd round) Brian Robinson
4 Draft Prospects that Could Be in Play
In this particular exercise a team such as the Cincinnati Bengals, who hold the #28 overall selection could be looking for a game changing tight end. Utah's Dalton Kincaid is the type of receiving tight end that will be coveted and fits the mold that the Bengals could be seeking.
Below are 4 prospects with grades that range from Round 1 to early Round 2. Any of the prospects below would be worthy of the #28 overall pick and immediately fill a need for the Commanders.
6'1" 166 lbs | CB | MISS ST.
Late 1st-2nd Rd Grade
Career (35 games) 142 TAK (89 solo), 6.5 TFL, 1.0 SACKS, 1 FF, 14 INTs, 34 PD, 6 TDs & 1 BLK
2022 (11 games) 39 TAK (20 solo), 1.0 TFL, 6 INT, 15 PD & 1 BLK
*Forbes concluded his career as the FBS career record holder with 6 pick-sixes and the FBS active career leader in overall defensive touchdowns with 6. Forbes is also the FBS career leader with 14 career interceptions.
Forbes has experience playing man and zone coverage schemes, which shouldn't be understated. In a deep cornerback class, Forbes could be the 4th or 5th cornerback selected based on team preference.
Drafting a cornerback with the skill set that Forbes possess is key with Kendall Fuller hitting free agency in '24 and Benjamin St-Juste struggles to stay healthy and a prospect like Banks instantly upgrades Del Rio's defense.
Forbes has a ballhawk mentality, which is desperately needed in Washington's cornerback room that has struggled to create turnovers. (FULL Scouting Report)
6'5" 315 lbs | LT | OKL
*Harrison has the opportunity to be one of the best blindside protectors in this draft class. Add in the fact that he also lined up at right tackle and is stock as a rookie should be even higher.
In '22 and Harrison was on the Outland Trophy Watchlist, starting all 12 regular season games and even started one game at right tackle (season opener vs. UTEP 9/3). His efforts led to the left tackle being named to the All-Big 12 First Team.
Current starting LT Charles Leno has been serviceable, but he looks to be in the last season, counting $14.2 million against the cap in '24 with only a dead cap hit of $2.2 million.
Harrison could line up at RT with free agent addition Andrew Wylie sliding to guard, where he excelled in Kansas City. (FULL Scouting Report)
6'5" 333 lbs | RT/G | UT
*Wright finished his career not allowing a sack in 19 consecutive games (played in 47 games/42 starts) with 27 starts at right tackle, 2 at right guard and 13 at left tackle (2,746 offensive snaps in his 4 seasons).
Wright is a day 1 plug & play play tackle or guard. At right tackle in 2022 he had his best season receiving 1st-team All-SEC honors.
Some evaluators believe he should permanently move inside to guard. The team that selects Wright would be wise to play him at right tackle in year one. In saying that, the Vols tackle has the ceiling to play LT/RT and be a 10+-year mauler in the NFL.
6'8" 360 lbs | RT | OSU
*Jones is a monster of a tackle, but also surprised many with his athleticism during Senior Bowl practices. Although he was once viewed as an early 2nd round prospect, a potential run on offensive tackles could propel him into the 1st round.
There is some that believe that a team should try Jones at left tackle, before conceding that right tackle might be his best position. His issues stem from his unbalanced frame and could struggle protecting the blind side vs NFL quick twitch pass rushers. The OSU tackle is top heavy and losing weight could greatly improve his overall balance at the point of attack.
Jones is ideally suited to play RT and could have a long career on the right side. Again, Andrew Wylie can slide inside to guard with Jones manning the right tackle position for the next decade. (FULL Scouting Report)
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