2023 Mock Draft 4.0: Commanders solidify secondary with Big Ten star
Round Three (Compensatory Pick)
Dawand Jones, Offensive Tackle, Ohio State
In recent weeks, analysts and fans have been suggesting right tackle Sam Cosmi should be moved to right guard. The coaching staff for the Commanders have hinted that it could be a possibility him when a hand injury is fully healed. That would leave an obvious need at right tackle once again and Dawand Jones can fill that position starting in 2023. At 6-8, 360 pounds, the massive Buckeye will probably need to lose about ten pounds and become faster on his feet.
The Commanders trade down in round four and gain a fifth round selection with the transaction.
Daiyan Henley, Linebacker, Washington State
The Commanders could use some quality depth at the linebacker position. Cole Holcomb has cemented his status as a team leader on defense and Jamin Davis has improved substantially this season. Both players are locks to be starters for years to come, but another linebacker is needed for rotational purposes and superb depth. Daiyan Henley was a stud for the Nevada Wolfpack for five years (he was injured in 2019) and he received a rare sixth year from the NCAA.
He is a leading tackler for the Cougars and can get to the quarterback quickly. Henley is also fantastic in coverage and has a knack for forcing turnovers. It helps that he is facing quality competition in a Power 5 conference and doing so at a high level of play.
Cody Mauch, Offensive Guard, North Dakota State
The guards for the Commanders this season have struggled at times, but they have also produced a few decent games as well. Andrew Norwell and Trai Turner were signed during the offseason, but they are aging quickly and likely to be gone after this season. Saahdiq Charles is a 2020 fourth round bust and Wes Schweitzer can’t seem to stay healthy. Washington needs to find replacements in the draft and free agency.
Cody Mauch of perennial FCS powerhouse North Dakota State (the alma mater of Carson Wentz) is your classic northern plains corn-fed farm boy from North Dakota. He is an offensive tackle for the Bison, but his place in the NFL is on the inside. At 6-6, 305 pounds, Mauch certainly has the height for an NFL guard, but he will need to add about twenty pounds of muscle and bulk to his frame. He is a better-than-average run mauler and pass protector and could be a starter in his first season at left guard.
Henry Bainivalu, Offensive Guard, Washington
The Commanders could return to the Pacific Northwest and add another guard in the middle rounds in next spring’s draft. The Rivera regime places a certain significance on the size of their interior offensive linemen. Norwell (6-6, 310), Turner (6-3, 320), Tyler Larsen (6-4, 335), Chris Paul (6-4, 325), Charles (6-4, 322), Cornelius Lucas (6-8, 327), and Chase Roullier (6-4, 315) provide the beef up front. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Burgundy and Gold draft another sizable guard could happen in late April.
Henry Bainivalu of the Washington Huskies would add plenty of size and excellent depth for the other Washington. At 6-7, 330 pounds, he certainly fits what the current coaching staff is looking for in a guard. For several years now, Bainivalu has been a starter at right guard. However, he will need at least a year to adjust to the life of an NFL offensive lineman. He is another player that was granted a sixth year by the NCAA and has taken the time to add some needed weight and muscle to his frame.