Analyzing the Washington Commanders’ offensive newcomers, pt. 1
By Jonathan Eig
Andrew Norwell, G, 6’6”, 310, 30 years old: signed as free agent 3/17
Norwell was signed to replace the departed Pro Bowler Brandon Scherff. Is Norwell as good a player as Scherff? Maybe not. But he has been consistently healthy throughout his career and he has been a very sold, above-average lineman. And he will cost the Washington Commanders about one-third of Scherff’s salary. So he may end up being a better value.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: Plays all 17 games and replicates his 2021 output (a PFF grade in the high 60s)
Chris Paul, G, 6’4”, 324, 23 years old: Drafted in 7th round, 2022, signed 5/6
I’m very intrigued by Paul. He played a lot of tackle for Tulsa, but is clearly better suited to play inside in the pros. He has an outstanding record of leadership and academic success in addition to being a very powerful blocker. He will need to refine his technique, but he should get both the time (Washington has four quality veterans ahead of him) and coaching he needs (from John Matsko, Washington’s best position coach in the Rivera regime). He could prove to be a real find three years down the road.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: Practice squad, watching and learning from the vets
Tyrese Robinson, G, 6’3”, 324, 22 years old: singed as UDFA, 5/2
Robinson has a similar college career to Chris Paul, shifting to tackle in his later years to fill a void. But his future is also on the inside. He has the power to be a good straight ahead run blocker, but like Paul will need technique work on both his feet and hands to show he belongs at the next level.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: The same as Chris Paul. It’s likely that one sticks and the other doesn’t
Trai Turner, G, 6’3”, 320, 28 years old: signed as free agent, 5/3
Turner has been rumored to be signing with Washington (and rejoining Ron Rivera) for more than a year now. With the departure of both 2021 starters (Scherff and Ereck Flowers), that reunion finally came to fruition. As with Andrew Norwell, Turner should provide what Flowers did last season at about half the cost. He has been very good at times in his career, and should have several more quality years at minimum.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: Washington may be better off with Turner starting opposite Norwell, and with super-sub Wes Schweitzer available to step into any of the three interior line spots when needed. As with Norwell, replicating 2021, with a PFF grade in the high 60s, will be just fine
Aaaron Monteiro, T, 6’7”, 320, 25 years old: signed as free agent 5/23
The most recent addition, Monteiro is a bit of a consolation prize, snapped up after tackle Drew Himmelman was unable to pass his physical. But Monteiro could be an important player for Washington in 2022. With only three pure tackles on the roster, and injury to Charles Leno, Samuel Cosmi or Cornelius Lucas could open the door for Monteiro. Saadhiq Charles would get the first call, but his future is at guard. Monteiro has yet to play in an NFL game, but he has been around several camps, including – you could have guessed – spending some time on the Carolina practice squad.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: Practice squad – eating, drinking and breathing whatever Coach Matsko is serving up
Next time – the nine new additions at wide receiver and in the backfield.