Cole Turner, TE, Nevada
There was some thought that the Commanders could double dip and take Nevada teammates Carson Strong and Cole Turner in Round 5. That dream ended after the Howell pick, but they managed to snag Turner at pick No. 149.
At 6-foot-7 (!) and 247 pounds, Turner epitomizes everything Washington currently lacks in its receiving arsenal. With Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel and Jahan Dotson all shorter than 6-foot-1, they needed to add another big-bodied target.
With Logan Thomas likely to miss the start of 2022 as he recovers from a torn ACL, Turner could step in as the team’s sturdiest red zone presence, as 16 of his 20 career touchdown catches for the Wolfpack came inside the red area.
A tight end turned receiver, Turner has the frame and length to make contested catches look ordinary. With that said, he’s struggled with drops and will need to be more sure-handed to earn a steady role in Washington’s offense.
Chris Paul, OL, Tulsa
Not to be confused with the NBA point guard, Tulsa’s Chris Paul is another steal for Washington (at least on paper) in the seventh round. A four-year starter in college, Paul shined alongside Cowboys’ first-round pick Tyler Smith for the Golden Hurricanes and has experience at every position except center.
At 6-foot-3 and 324 pounds with a bulldog mentality and that aforementioned versatility, Paul should walk right into Washington’s OL rotation as a rookie.
Christian Holmes, CB, Oklahoma State
It’s pretty fitting that Washington’s first Big 12 selection was also the first cornerback they selected in this draft.
Fans will be left wanting more from the position given the lack of depth behind Kendall Fuller and William Jackson, but it’s clear the coaching staff views Benjamin St-Juste and Danny Johnson, who re-signed in free agency, as quality backups.
With a 9.06 relative athletic score, Holmes figures to play a big role on special teams as a rookie. His seven pass breakups last year helped him earn second-team All-Big 12 honors and he packs a big punch defending the run.
That’s put a wrap on the 2022 NFL Draft. The Commanders have made a knack of finding late-round steals, so let’s hope for more of the same this time around. How does every feel about the incoming draft class?!