The Washington Commanders had a massive hole at the quarterback position heading into the offseason. However, they filled that hole with the addition of former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz. The Commanders sent picks 42 and 73 in the 2022 NFL Draft and a conditional pick in next year’s draft to the Colts in exchange for Wentz and picks 47 and 240. If Wentz plays over 70 percent of the snaps in 2022, Washington will send the Colts their 2023 second-round pick. However, if Wentz plays under 70 percent of the snaps, the Commanders will send their third-round selection. How has the addition of Wentz impacted Washington’s 2022 NFL Draft plans? Let’s dive into it.
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Round 1, Pick 11: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
After adding Wentz, Washington’s top need on offense is arguably a wide receiver. Terry McLaurin is a star, but Curtis Samuel struggled to stay healthy his first year in Washington. Last year the Commanders used a third-round pick on Dyami Brown. However, he made little impact as a rookie. If Wentz is going to succeed in Washington, the Commanders must do the one thing the Colts didn’t do and give him weapons. Wilson had a terrific final year at Ohio State with 70 catches for 1,058 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. Pairing him with former Buckeye McLaurin would give Wentz two dynamic wide receivers.
For more on Wilson, check out our scouting report on him.
Round 2, Pick 47: Tyler Smith, OL, Tulsa
The Commanders lost both starting guards in free agency. Brandon Scherff signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars after spending seven years in Washington. Meanwhile, Ereck Flowers got cut to save $10 million in cap space. Washington did sign former Jaguar guard Andrew Norwell to fill one of the starting spots. However, the other starting spot still needs to be addressed. Smith left Tulsa as only a redshirt sophomore and won’t turn 21 years old till next month. While he struggled with holding penalties last season, Smith has plenty of upside. Smith also has experience playing multiple spots on the offensive line. Whether he plays at guard or tackle, Smith will be a valuable piece of the offensive line for years to come.
Round 4, Pick 113: Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati
Washington invested in the cornerback position last year. First, they signed William Jackson to a three-year deal. Then they spent a third-round pick on Benjamin St-Juste. However, the Commanders had several reserve cornerbacks hit the free agent market and need to replenish the depth. While his teammate Ahmad Gardner will be a top-10 pick, Bryant also played a critical role in Cincinnati’s elite defense last season. Over his final two years at Cincinnati, Bryant had 18 passes defended and six interceptions. He would step in as a rookie and provide Washington with a rotational cornerback with starting upside.
For more on Bryant, check out our scouting report on him.
Round 6, Pick 189: Mike Rose, LB, Iowa State
Last year Washington used their first-round pick on Jamin Davis. While he played some snaps as the MIKE linebacker, he is better suited on the outside. The Commanders could still address this position in free agency, either before or after the draft. However, the team needs depth even if they add a veteran. While Rose lacks elite athleticism, he has a high football IQ. He does a great job diagnosing plays, whether a run or pass. Despite the lack of elite athleticism, Rose is capable of dropping into coverage, totaling five interceptions his final two years at Iowa State. Rose would add be a solid addition for the Commanders, regardless if he starts as a rookie or not.
Round 7, Pick 230: Verone McKinley, SAF, Oregon
While they didn’t make a splash move in free agency, opting against signing safeties like Justin Reid, Marcus Williams, and others, the Commanders did re-sign Bobby McCain. However, they also released Landon Collins in a salary-cap saving move. While McCain and Kamren Curl are solid starters, the Commanders need to add some depth at the safety position. McKinley is a good athlete and has excellent quickness in coverage. He also has superior ball skills, totaling 11 interceptions over the past three years at Oregon. However, McKinley is inconsistent at times and can get caught out of position. Yet, his upside is too good to pass up at this point in the draft.
Round 7, Pick 240: Abram Smith, RB, Baylor
Smith started his college career playing linebacker at Baylor. However, he switched to running back before the 2021 season. In his lone season as a running back, Smith had over 1,600 rushing yards, 12 rushing touchdowns, and averaged 6.2 yards per rushing attempt. His physical style of play and ability to play special teams will intrigue teams in the later rounds. While the Commanders re-signed J.D. McKissic, they reportedly want to add another body to the running backs room. Thanks to his physical play and ability to play special teams, Smith would be a valuable pick for any team this late in the draft.
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