2023 Mock Draft 4.0: Commanders solidify secondary with Big Ten star

(Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports) Joey Porter Jr.
(Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports) Joey Porter Jr. /
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(Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)
(Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) /

Round Six

Roschon Johnson, Running Back, Texas

When it was announced recently that versatile running back J.D. McKissic was going to see a specialist regarding a neck injury, it caught local media, analysts, and fans by surprise.  Perhaps the Commanders are being overly cautious with a minor injury, but it could be much more serious than the team is telling us at this time.  A bad neck injury is potentially career ending, but it is very premature to consider this possibility.

The Commanders seem set with Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson as their one-two tandem and if McKissic’s health improves soon with little or no concerns, then the position is certainly set for 2023.  The fourth running back for now is Jonathan Williams, but he has rarely played this season.  Depth is an issue and Williams is probably not a candidate to return next year.

A depth piece will be needed and Roschon Johnson can provide that missing part of the running back puzzle.  Similar in size to Gibson and Robinson, this Longhorn can churn out some tough yardage as needed and give a breather to the regulars.  He is also a very good receiver coming out of the backfield and on screens.  His pass blocking is what you would want in a running back.  Johnson is the primary backup to All-American running back Bijan Robinson, but the fourth year senior would be the primary rusher at many programs.

Round Seven

Keondre Coburn, Defensive Tackle, Texas

Adding depth along the defensive and offensive lines in any draft is always a good idea, especially defensive tackles.  It’s a position that is generally overlooked by analysts leading up to any draft, but front offices fully understand the importance of having the big space eaters on the defensive line.  The Commanders drafted defensive tackle Phidarian “Phil” Mathis in the second round of the 2022 draft and were able to surprisingly add former Cowboys tackle John Ridgeway from the waiver wire a few weeks ago.

Ridgeway, a fifth round pick this year, was a surprise addition after Dallas needed the roster space for a day and was looking to add him to their practice squad.  Washington put in a claim (and so did other teams) and scored a major coup.  To have two of the better defensive tackles from the 2022 draft is a major win for the Commanders.  Current defensive tackle Daron Payne could walk after this season and Washington could gain draft compensation in 2024.

The Burgundy and Gold could draft Texas defensive tackle Keondre Coburn at this juncture.  At 6-2, 345, he is a decent player with plenty of potential.  Coburn will need to lose about twenty pounds if he hopes to have an impact at the next level.

Commanders 2023 NFL Draft Thoughts

The Commanders currently own the No. 16 overall pick in the first round.  Given the schedule and expected record after seventeen games, a mid-first round selection seems likely.

If Logan Thomas continues to have troubles with his recovery from a knee injury last year, the Commanders could draft a tight end next year.

A couple of months ago, the free safety position was considered a need in the 2023 draft.  The emergence of Darrick Forrest has changed that strategy.

For now, we’ll continue to include a quarterback in these bi-monthly mocks.  If Carson Wentz returns from his injury and demonstrates that he is able to successfully lead this team, the need for a quarterback in the offseason will dwindle.

Mock 5.0 will be here in about fourteen days.  Major changes are coming for Thanksgiving week and there will be a few surprises.  Will a tight end be mocked at that time?  See you as we go along.

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