By Adam Aniba
Washington's offensive line will have a facelift in '23 with new starters at every position, with the exception of left tackle with starter Charles Leno Jr. returning.
As for free agency, the Commanders signed T/G Andrew Wylie to start at right tackle and C/G Nick Gates to be their starting center.
Although there will only be a few reserve positions up for grabs, undrafted rookie T/G Mason Brooks will add his name to the mix. Similar to the other lineman mentioned, Brooks has experience at LT, RT and G with 5 years of college football experience.
6'6" 315 lbs | OT/G | Ole Miss
Undrafted FA WSH
Brooks grew up in Cedar Park, TX and played football for Cedar Park HS, where he was named 1st-Team All-District 19-5A offensive lineman in back-to-back seasons. As a junior he earned 1st-Team All-State honors.
The Cedar Park lineman received a 2-star ranking and committed to play for Western Kentucky University for the '18 season.
As a freshman in 2018 Brooks was active on 7 games, playing multiple positions along the offensive line (256 snaps). On the session Brooks allowed 10 QB hurries, 3 QB hits, and no sacks while lining up at left tackle.
Fast forward to 2020, after only playing in 3 games (14 snaps-QB hurries, no QB hits, and no sacks) during the '19 season.
As a junior though, Brooks was active for 12 games (764 snaps) giving up 11 QB hurries, no QB hits, and 2 sacks while playing at right tackle. Brooks earned Conference USA Honorable Mention.
As a senior in '21, Brooks played in 14 games with a career best 1052 snaps. The Hilltoppers lineman allowed 13 QB hurries, one QB hit, and 4 sacks while playing at right tackle. Brooks received All-Conference USA First Team honors for his efforts and displayed tremendous strides as an overall blocker.
Brooks decided to utilize his extra year of eligibility and transferred to Ole Miss as a 5th year senior. Although he only saw 113 total snaps in 8 games for the Rebels, he allowed no QB hurries, no QB hits with the majority of snaps coming at right guard.
The dip in snap count certainly hurt his draft stock, after being projected as a potential day 3 prospect for the '22 NFL Draft. One positive did come out of his '22 season with Ole Miss though. His play at guard seemed to fit his skill-set with tackle being a stretch on the next level.
Very strong with adequate quickness while facing the bull rush
Displays impressive leverage at the point of attack, while utilizing effective blocking angles
Impressive pre-snap awareness while diagnosing stunts/blitzes
Displays flexibility to play right tackle and guard (higher ceiling playing inside)
Busy hands with a strong initial punch
Better in a phone both, as opposed to playing out in space
Needs to keep feet moving, at times this got him in trouble
Too often allows speed rushers to get under his pads
Needs to become more of a finisher
Limited overall athleticism pigeonhole him to the interior
Brooks certainly has an uphill battle to make the final 53-man roster with multiple rookies and veterans ahead of him on the depth chart.
His ability to play to the strengths of his teammates and excel in combo blocks, definitely stood out in his film.
As it stands, the practice squad/scout team is the likely destination for the undrafted lineman. As we've seen though, injuries occur and Brooks will get a limited window during training camp to show coaches he can be an effective and reliable reserve.
*Games Watched- 10/1/22 vs Kentucky, 10/22 vs LSU, 10/29 vs Texas A&M, 11/12 vs Alabama, 11/19 vs Arkansas & 12/28 vs Texas Tech