Undrafted Edition: Donovan Jeter Added to the Rotation | Washington Commanders


By Adam Aniba


The loss of rookie DT Phidarian Mathis was a blow to Washington's already thin depth along the defensive line. Fans on social media hoped Washington would sign one of the bigger names on the free agent market, such as; Ndamukong Suh,

Star Lotulelei, Linval Joseph or Seldon Richardson. Instead, Ron RIvera opted for youth and signed UDFA Donovan Jeter after he was recently released by the Steelers.

The Michigan graduate student fit the blueprint for Washington, considering many of this year's draft picks/undrafted rookie free agent signings had 4-5 years of college football experience.


Although the release of Ioannidis and Settle were CAP saving moves to make room for Carson Wentz, Settle was signed relatively cheap by the Buffalo Bills for 2-years $9 million and the move was questionable.


Second year DT Daniel Wise will vie for reps with Jeter, but the former Wolverine will have the opportunity to become a mainstay in the defensive line rotation once he learns the system.


Donovan Jeter

6'3" 325 | DT | Michigan

Career (37 games) 38 tak (19 solo), 2.0 TFL, 3 PBU, 1 FR & 1 TD

2021 (14 games) 24 tak (12 solo), 2.0 TFL & 2 PBU

Background

Jeter started all 6 games in an abbreviated '20 senior season, cut short due to the COVID pandemic. The Wolverines defensive lineman elected to return for another season in '21 and had his best season. The four-year letterman never started more than 10 games (2019), but played in 14 games last season having his best statistical season. Primarily used in a rotational role, Jeter did have 4 starts during his time in Ann Arbor.


Although Jeter's highlight moment came in 2020 when he returned a fumble for a score vs Minnesota, he had career highs in tackles for a loss (2.0) and pass breakups (2.0). In addition, Jeter displayed is value on special teams with a timely blocked field goal vs Western Michigan (9/4/21).


PROS

  • Does a decent job of getting hands up to challenge passes at the line of scrimmage (2 pass breakups '21)

  • Provides the desired size & length to play the interior

  • Can be an asset in goal line situations

  • Very strong with the ability to occupy blocker and take on double teams

  • Displays decent ball awareness pre-snap, particularly vs the run and screens

  • Solid Special Teams contributor


CONS

  • Limited as a pass rusher

  • Issues with hand usage and block shedding if held up at the line

  • Struggled at times when faced double teams

  • Needs to be more decisive with run/pass recognition

  • Limited versatility

  • Zero career sacks is a concern


*Games Watched- 9/4/21 vs W.Mich, 9/18 vs N.Illinois,10/9 vs Nebraska, 10/30 vs Mich St, 11/13 vs Penn St, 11/20 vs Maryland, 11/27 Ohio St & 12/21 vs Georgia


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