Bleacher Report identifies two CBs as free-agent fits for Commanders
By Jerry Trotta
We’ve reached the doldrums of the offseason, Washington Commanders fans.
All of the significant free agent dominos have fallen. The draft is more than two months old and spring practices are suddenly a thing of the past. In other words, only a few weeks separate the start of training camp, and odds are Ron Rivera and Martin Mayhew aren’t done adding to the team’s 90-man offseason roster.
In terms of free agency, the Commanders rested on their laurels following their blockbuster trade for Carson Wentz. As far as newcomers go, Andrew Norwell, Trai Turner, Alex Erickson and Efe Obada represent the only outside pickups.
It’s unclear if Washington will add to that tally, but Bleacher Report recently identified two potential targets with camp on the horizon.
In a recent article, writer Ian Wharton ranked the 10 best players under 30 who remain unsigned and listed their best fits. In doing so, Wharton identified a pair of upside cornerbacks — Kevin King and Mackensie Alexander — for the Commanders.
Could the Commanders target one of Kevin King or Mackensie Alexander before training camp?
King is definitely the more intriguing name here, as he filled in admirably for the injured Jaire Alexander for the Packers in 2021. A former second-round pick of Green Bay in 2017, King dealt with his own injury issues last season, but was excellent when he was on the field. In 10 games, the 27-year-old produced a 68.1 coverage grade, 72.0 pass-rush grade and 70.6 run-defense grade, according to PFF.
At 6-foot-3, King’s length is his most appealing attribute. He’s largely been restricted to a boundary role, but he has experience in the slot.
With Washington experimenting with the 6-foot-3 Benjamin St-Juste in the nickel role this spring, King would offer quality insurance behind the second-year corner, who is hopefully over his concussions that derailed his rookie season.
Regardless, King’s experience (51 games, 42 starts) at cornerback would give the Commanders four reliable options at the position.
The same can be said for Alexander, though the former Viking disappointed in coverage last campaign. The 28-year-old is bet suited in zone schemes, but he packs a punch against the run and has the speed and low center of gravity to keep up with shifty receivers and running backs at 5-foot-10 and 192 pounds.
Alexander has regressed since a representative rookie year in 2018 and a change of scenery could be just what he needs to rediscover that form. Can you really blame Alexander for underperforming under the recently-fired Mike Zimmer? By all accounts, the former head coach had no grasp of the locker room.
We’re markedly more seduced by the idea of adding King tot he secondary, but Alexander would be a solid consolation prize if Rivera is confident he can get the most out of the former Clemson star.
What do you think, Commanders fans? Would you like to see Washington sign another cornerback before the start of training camp?