3 most important players on the Commanders roster who are not starters
By Jerry Trotta
2. Cornelius Lucas
The value of the swing tackle position has grown exponentially over the years, so Washington deserves major props for re-signing Lucas. While Charles Leno is as durable as they come at left tackle, 2021 second-round stud Sam Cosmi was limited to just nine games as a rookie due to injury.
Over the last two seasons, Lucas has appeared in 29 of a possible 31 games, including 15 starts and playing just under 60% of the snaps. Not only has Lucas gotten consistent playing time, but he’s made the most of his reps, logging three straight years of a 72.2 player grade or better, per Pro Football Focus.
During that span, the Kansas State product’s 79.8 pass-blocking grade ranks 25 amongst tackles. That can be attributed to the fact he’s allowed just seven QB hits, four sacks and 39 pressures while committing just two penalties.
It’s unclear how much Lucas will see the field in 2021, but he’s a good bet to log double-digit appearances and at least a handful of starts. Not only is he too good to keep on the bench, but OL injuries are inevitable in today’s NFL.