The Washington Commanders have many needs to fill via free agency and the NFL draft during this critical offseason. The draft process is going to be front and center with several all-star games on the near horizon.
Welcome to the first offseason edition of these mock drafts. The Washington Commanders have multiple positions that need upgrades and an obvious infusion of young talent. The recent in-season mock drafts have centered on perceived team needs from the late summer of 2022 to the final game of the season. The mocks will now see a new focus as we draw closer to free agency and the draft.
Mocks 1.0 to 7.0 introduced you to a number of possible prospects. That list will continue to grow, but it will also become much more compartmentalized. Team needs have shifted a bit, especially at the quarterback position. A greater emphasis shifted to the offensive line in recent weeks and that will continue in upcoming mocks – especially with a new offensive coordinator coming to Ashburn very soon.
Other areas of need will include cornerback, linebacker, and overall depth. Let’s dive directly into Mock Draft 8.0 and begin the process of examining the best prospects available for the Commanders later this spring.
Note: There are no trades today and bios of each player will now be condensed to simply feature brief descriptions and individual measurements.
Joey Porter, Cornerback, Penn State – 6-2, 195
Porter has been featured here several times. He is a shutdown corner and will be a starter on opening day. Solid tackler and superb in man coverage. His stock continued to rise throughout the season.
Jaelyn Duncan, Offensive Tackle, Maryland – 6-6, 320
One area of significant need for the Commanders is the offensive line. Jaelyn Duncan is one of the better tackles of a solid class. His presence could allow Sam Cosmi to be the right guard. Duncan is a solid left tackle who pulls well and provides solid pass protection. Duncan could start at right tackle.
Round Three (Compensatory Pick)
Steve Avila, Offensive Guard/Tackle/Center, Texas Christian – 6-4, 330
TCU was blasted by Georgia in the college football championship, but Steve Avila is going to be blasting defensive linemen in the NFL for a decade or more. Ron Rivera likes diversity on the offensive line and Avila can play center and both guard positions. He has the prototypical size and talent of an interior lineman.
Nick Herbig, Linebacker, Wisconsin – 6-2, 228
Nick Herbig is a lean, mean sack machine. Great defender against the rush. He can also produce in pass coverage. He has a knack for being around the football on most plays.
Rezjohn Wright, Cornerback, Oregon State – 6-2, 200
Rezjohn Wright is not rated among the most talented cornerback prospects, but his skillsets are above average. His stats over the last two seasons are quite good and his stock could rise with a good showing at the Senior Bowl.
Joe Tippmann, Offensive Center, Wisconsin – 6-6, 317
Joe Tippmann is a force on the inside. Wisconsin always produces a superb rushing offense and Tippmann has been a huge part of that success. Adequate pass protector. Will need a year to adjust to the NFL.
Payton Wilson, Linebacker, North Carolina State – 6-4, 230 (Compensatory Pick)
Payton Wilson has quickness (estimated 4.5 40) and agility. He can pursue the quarterback, limit the running back, and intimidate receivers over the middle. Likely to be a core special teams player.
Tyler Lacy, Defensive Tackle, Oklahoma State – 6-4, 295
Tyler Lacy is sneaky good and tends to fly under the radar, but he is a solid run-stuffer and will produce a few sacks. Naturally strong, but will need to add about 20 pounds of bulk and muscle.
And there you have Mock 8.0 for today. Mock 9.0 will arrive in a little over a week and contain many changes, including another format adjustment. See you as we go along.