It was chaotic and nerve-wracking, but the Washington Commanders had a worthwhile first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday.
In need of a receiver and extra draft picks to fill additional holes, the Commanders struck a trade with the Saints, moving back five spots to No. 16 overall while picking up an extra third- and fourth-round pick in the process.
Fans will postulate whether the front office got too cute and should have taken Jameson Williams, Kyle Hamilton or Chris Olave at No. 11.That’s fair, but Washington had a first-round grade on Jahan Dotson and he represents another playmaker for Carson Wentz. Hard to be upset with that, right?
As we know, nailing Round 1 means nothing if you can’t replicate a similar success level over the remaining rounds. With that in mind, let’s highlight players the Commanders could target with their two Day 2 selections.
Potential targets for Commanders on Day 2 of NFL Draft
Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson
It was a surprise to see Booth fall out of Round 1. Whether he’s available for Washington at pick No. 47 remains to be seen, but he can play multiple schemes, has playmaker instincts and flies to ball-carriers when defending the run.
Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor
A Commanders fan-favorite throughout the pre-draft process, Pitre would be a plug-and-play draftee at the Buffalo nickel position. As an interchangeable DB who can play deep, cover the slot or patrol the box, drafting Pitre would go a long way towards helping fans move on from passing on Hamilton in Round 1.
Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
Another potential first-round pick, Gordon figures to be off the board pretty early on Friday. With ideal athleticism, fluid hips and great footwork, Gordon has all the necessary tools to be a longtime starter in the NFL. He brings added value as a core special teamer and loves making an open-field tackle.
Kenneth Walker, RB, Michigan State
The Commanders seem like a safe bet to draft a running back this year, but that’ll hinge on how the draft board unfolds. A forced missed tackle machine who has excellent contact balance and top-end speed, Walker checks all of the boxes of what the Commanders are looking for as a backup for Antonio Gibson.
Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
Like Walker, the Commanders hosted Brisker on a pre-draft visit. Another candidate to fill the vacant Buffalo nickel role, Brisker is one of two FBS players who played 400 snaps at safety, 100 snaps at slot corner and 100 snaps at inside linebacker in 2021, per ESPN Stats & Info. Even if Brisker’s more comfortable at safety, his arrival could move Kam Curl to the Buffalo nickel, where he excelled in limited opportunities.