The 2023 Washington Commanders draft likely won’t include Ron Rivera and Co. taking a quarterback early. Washington’s embattled head coach has noted multiple times that youngster Sam Howell will likely be the Week 1 starter.
With that said, there’s a ton of holes this underperforming team must fill in order to become relevant in the NFC East. Getting more help at a specific skill position while adding talent on defense makes a ton of sense.
Here, we provide you our full seven-round Washington Commanders mock draft for 2023 with a trade mixed in.
Related: 2023 NFL mock draft
Washington Commanders draft needs 2023
Heading into the 2023 offseason, prior to NFL free agency, here are the Washington Commanders draft needs.
- Offensive tackle
- Tight end
Washington Commanders draft picks
- Round 1, 16th overall
- Round 2, 47th overall
- Round 3, 97th overall
- Round 4, 118th overall
- Round 5, 152nd overall
- Round 6, 193rd overall
- Round 6, 216th overall
- Round 7, 235th overall
Related: Updated 2023 NFL Draft rumors
Washington Commanders mock draft
Sportsnaut used Pro Football Focus’ NFL Draft simulator, which provides the flexibility to trade and work through a variety of scenarios. Let’s dive into our Commanders mock draft.
Round 1, 22nd overall: Dalton Kincaid, tight end, Utah
TRADE: Washington Commanders deal 16th pick to the Baltimore Ravens for 22nd pick, 3rd-round pick and a 4th-round pick in 2024
Why would Washington trade down in the first around, only to add a tight end to the mix? There seems to be a whole bunch of other needs right now for the Commanders. That’s just on the surface.
Imagine what Kincaid and his athletic ability could do in new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy’s system. Here’s a coach who helped turn Travis Kelce into one of the best tight ends in NFL history during his time with the Kansas City Chiefs. The 6-foot-4 Kincaid recorded 70 receptions for 890 yards and eight touchdowns for Utah a season ago.
Despite being unable to perform in at the NFL Scouting Combine due to a small fracture in his back, Kincaid should be 100% cleared soon. He has all the tools to be an All-Pro performer at the NFL level.
Related: 2023 NFL Draft TE rankings
Round 2, 47th overall: Dawand Jones, offensive tackle, Ohio State
Washington seems prepared to go with young quarterback Sam Howell under center next season. Given his greenish ways and the Commanders’ struggles in pass protection last season, it makes perfect sense to exhaust an early-round pick on an offensive tackle.
Commanders quarterbacks were sacked a whopping 48 times a season ago. Charles Leno Jr. and Sam Cosmi just are not long-term solutions in D.C. regardless of who is going to play quarterback for Ron Rivera’s squad.
That’s where Jones comes into play. At 6-foot-8 and 374 pounds, Jones dominated at the NFL Scouting Combine. He towered over other offensive tackles and shocked with a 5.36 40-yard dash. His dominance on the field at Ohio State and recent combine performance could make this a pipe dream for the Washington Commanders. But we’re looking at a Day 1 starter at right tackle.
Round 3, 86th overall: Eli Ricks, cornerback, Alabama
In the selection acquired by Baltimore earlier in this Commanders draft, Ron Rivera and Co. add a potential starter at cornerback. The 6-foot-2 former Alabama star didn’t do much last season after transferring from LSU. But he did put up five career collegiate interceptions and has the physicality Rivera likes in his cornerbacks.
There are certainly some questions at cornerback in Washington outside of starters Benjamin St-Juste and Kendall Fuller. Primarily, the slot cornerback area should be addressed this offseason. With his body of work, Ricks makes a ton of sense.
Round 3, 97th overall: Karl Brooks, EDGE, Bowling Green
Chase Young’s future in Washington is up in the air. The Commanders have a decision to make on his fifth-year option for the 2024 campaign this offseason. Washington’s No. 2 overall pick back in 2020, he has recorded just five quarterback hits and 1.5 sacks in 12 games over the past two seasons due to a multitude of injuries.
Washington likes what it has in fellow edge rusher Montez Sweat. But if the team opts not to hang on to Young long-term, EDGE becomes a need in the 2023 NFL Draft. The single-most productive college player at his position in this draft, Brooks makes sense in Round 3. He recorded 30.5 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks over the past two seasons. He can play both inside and outside in Rivera’s scheme. It’s just an ideal fit.
Washington Commanders mock draft results
- Round 1, 22nd overall: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
- Round 2, 47th overall: Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State
- Round 3, 86th overall: Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama
- Round 3, 97th overall: Karl Brooks, EDGE, Bowling Green
- Round 4, 118th overall: Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, CB, TCU
- Round 5, 152nd overall: Dorian Williams, LB, Tulane
- Round 6, 193rd overall: Stetson Bennett, QB, Georgia
- Round 6, 216th overall: Caleb Murphy, OL, Indiana
- Round 7, 235th overall: Mohamed Ibrahim, RB, Minnesota
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.