The 2022 NFL Draft has entered the history books and the Washington Commanders added eight new players to their roster. It’s a draft class that will be analyzed for many years.
The long days after the NFL Draft. It feels a bit empty. An eerie silence. The hype, mock drafts, prospects research, private workouts, team visits, all-star games, NFL Combine, and team pro days are all history. The end of the draft season comes suddenly and, strangely enough, it leaves us wanting more. However, it is time to move forward and take a look at the draft bounty that Washington has acquired.
The reviews are mixed thus far, but the Commanders were able to fill some needs and added more talent to the roster. Some analysts are generally positive about Washington’s draft and others have something of a negative tilt. It honestly takes a few years to truly determine the impact of any draft class, but we are here today to give some first impressions and provide a detailed analysis of each draft selection.
Welcome to the evaluations and grades of each draft pick and all that it entails. The grades will not focus on the players, but on the front office. All of it will be as objective as humanly possible and there will be no harsh words or malice of any kind. It’s simply an analysis of yours truly. Most of these players were studied in depth since last fall. You will now see a small glimpse of the database (actually, a huge Excel file and PDF File) that I have created and added to since late last year. Let’s get right to it!
Commanders 2022 Draft analysis and grades
Jahan Dotson, Wide Receiver
It wasn’t much of a secret. Every analyst, front office, media outlet, and fan knew that the Washington Commanders were taking a receiver in the first round. Several hours before the draft, a well-placed source revealed to yours truly that defense was not a target in round one, but adding a receiver was the priority. That wasn’t shocking to hear, but it did confirm what everyone was thinking.
Even though general manager Martin Mayhew said in a pre-draft conference that trading down was preferred by the Commanders’ braintrust, the chances of such a transaction seemed as remote as an iceberg in the equatorial Pacific. However, the Burgundy and Gold stunned the football world with an unlikely trade partner in round one – the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints possessed many draft picks at the beginning of the offseason, but a recent trade with Philadelphia depleted some of those assets. New Orleans figured to keep the remaining draft picks entering the draft, but a surprise trade with Washington changed everything for New Orleans. As a result, Washington was able to add two mid-round picks and one additional pick in the middle rounds with another trade. Many analysts lambasted New Orleans for giving away so much draft capital, but the Commanders were obviously very pleased with the trade. All of this means that we will offer two grades for the first round – a grade for the trade and the player selected.
Grading the Trade
Washington made no secret of wanting to trade down, but finding a partner is the tricky part. The Saints came marching in and offered a handsome package. It was exactly what the Commanders were seeking. The addition of a third rounder helped to mitigate the loss of the original third round pick in the Carson Wentz trade and obtaining a fourth rounder in the process secured the deal.
Grading the Selection
A wide receiver was universally expected to be the choice with the eleventh overall pick and studs like Jameson Williams of Alabama and Chris Olave of Ohio State were available. After the trade, Washington elected to choose Penn State wide receiver Jahan Dotson with the No. 16 overall pick.
Dotson comparisons in the NFL would be a mix of former team standout Santana Moss and current cornerstone, Terry McLaurin. Most analysts expected Dotson to be drafted in the latter portion of round one and that is the only effect on this grade today.