Rookie Edition: Chris Paul Has a Bright Future | Washington Commanders


By Adam Aniba


Washington heads into the season with a new look interior offensive line. They lost pro bowl right guard Brandon Scherff, after multiple franchise tenders and failed to come to an agreement on a LTD.


They released another guard in Ereck Flowers, but quickly replaced both Schreff and Flowers with seasoned veterans Andrew Norwell and Trai Turner. Although Wes Schweitzer is returning, interior o-line depth is something to keep an eye on during training camp.


Washington and Ron Rivera waited until day 3 of the NFL Draft, to address offensive line and with pick #230 in the 7th round they selected Tulsa IOL Chris Paul. The Golden Hurricanes guard was a 4 year starter, that played every position on the offensive line except center. Although Paul was more than serviceable at right tackle, he projects best to guard for the Commanders.



Chris Paul

6'4" 323 lbs | G/T | Tulsa

Games Played 32 (28 starts)


Quick Background

Paul grew up in Jersey CIty, TX and attended Jersey Village HS. Paul played two way football, but his play on the O-line earned him team captain honors as a senior. During his senior year, the offense averaged 446 yards per game, leading to a 1st-Team All-DIstrict selection. In addition, Paul was named to the Academic 1st-Team All-District.


Paul was the President of his senior class and made a tremendous impact in his community, even having April 28th deemed "Chris Paul Day" at Jersey Village HS. As a 2-Star prospect, Paul received the most attention from the University of Tulsa, ultimately accepting the offer to play for the Golden Hurricanes.


In '17, Paul redshirted as a freshman and sat out the season, while learning the intricacies of playing guard. In '18, Paul was active for all 12 games (8 starts), earning Top 10 Freshman SAAC Conference honors.


In '20 Paul was moved to RT, earning 2nd-Team All Conference. He even briefly moved to left tackle vs USF for the 2nd half. Paul stayed at right tackle during his senior season in '21 and concluded his career with 28 starts in 4 seasons. He also had a prominent role on the NCAA’s D1 Football Oversight Committee as a SAAC representative.


During the Senior Bowl, Paul held his own, lining up at tackle and guard during drills.

"That group of guys was definitely stacked. It was great to utilize my technique and fundamentals against those guys. On Day 3, I was excited that I had the opportunity to move to the interior and take reps at guard. That felt really comfortable.”


PROS

  • Versatility is key for Paul who played multiple positions on the O-line

  • Strong initial punch and utilizes effective hand placement

  • Effective run blocker who is a finisher

  • Displays an impressive push on goal line/short yardage

  • Impressive when blocking on the second level, seeks out contact

  • Intelligent with strong leadership qualities (aspires to be the U.S. Secretary of Defense)


CONS

  • Struggled to open up his hips as a tackle, leading to bad angles when facing the rush

  • Too stiff in pass pro and needs to lower his base

  • Not a natural knee bender

  • Struggled to redirect pass rushers at times and allows rushers into his pads too often

  • Needs to display more of a nasty streak, particularly in pass pro in order to establish himself as an NFL Guard

  • Issues with balance in pass pro and needs technique refinement


Season Projection

Paul is an interesting developmental guard prospect, who moonlights as a musician known as "The Seventh" and is a member of multiple racial equality community groups.


Paul strength is as a run blocker and some of his shortcomings at right tackle, can be diminished by moving inside. Although Paul is a development project at guard, he has tremendous upside as a smart and athletic O-lineman.


Washington's current situation at guard, with no long term answer, could lead to Paul seeing the field, sooner rather than later.


*Games Watched- 9/2/22 vs UC Davis, 9/11 vs OKS, 9/18 vs OSU, 9/25 vs ARK St, 10/1 vs Houston, 10/9 vs Memphis, 10/16 vs USF, 10/29 vs Navy, 11/6 vs UCin, 11/13 vs Tulane, 11/20 vs Temple and 12/20 vs ODU


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