Washington Commanders 2023 NFL Mock Draft 9.0

(Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports) Christian Gonzalez
(Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports) Christian Gonzalez /
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The Washington Commanders still have an opening for the offensive coordinator position, but the front office likely has a very strong focus on the offense in the coming weeks as free agency and the NFL draft draws closer

For many fans of the Washington Commanders, the offseason tends to be as entertaining and intense as the actual regular season and playoffs. The anticipation of discarding older and unproductive players is part of an annual ritual for all teams, but there is also plenty of attention given to analyzing prospects in free agency and the draft. The Commanders have needs at several positions and the front office in Ashburn is very likely to address these issues very soon.

One avenue that the team will navigate is the NFL draft in late April. The Commanders are armed with eight draft choices and they will have a solid opportunity to make the needed changes and improvements for the 2023 season. Welcome to Mock 9.0 for today. We won’t bore you with all of the details, but there are some major changes and some surprises. Let’s jump right in!

***Pre-Draft Activity***

The Commanders trade the rights to Daron Payne (franchise tag) to the Lions and add first (18th overall) and fourth round selections in this draft. The idea for this trade originated with our former colleague and Riggo’s Rag friend Josh Taylor last week.

Round One

Christian Gonzalez, Cornerback, Oregon – 6-2, 200

After transferring from Colorado, Christian Gonzalez made the most of his one year with the Ducks and is one of the top prospects in this year’s draft. Solid in man and zone coverages. Good size for a cornerback.

Tape/games to watch:

Utah, Washington, Eastern Washington, Colorado, BYU, and Oregon State.

Additional Prospects to watch in round one:

  • Broderick Jones, Offensive Tackle, Georgia
  • Joey Porter, Cornerback, Penn State
  • Peter Skoronski, Offensive Tackle/Guard, Northwestern
  • Devon Witherspoon, Cornerback, Illinois
  • Paris Johnson, Offensive Tackle, Ohio State

Anton Harrison, Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma – 6-5, 315 (via trade)

Harrison is a beast in pass protection. At left tackle, he allowed just nine hurries/pressures on nearly 450 passing downs. He is also solid in the rushing offense.

Tape/games to watch:

West Virginia, Iowa State, Nebraska, Baylor, and Kansas State.

Round Two

John Michael Schmitz, Offensive Center, Minnesota – 6-4, 320

John Michael Schmitz elevated his stock considerably during the 2022 season and is generally considered to be the best center prospect in this draft. The fundamentally sound Schmitz is a superior blocker in all aspects of the offense.

Tape/games to watch:

Purdue, Northwestern, Michigan State, Iowa, and Colorado.

Additional Prospects to watch in round two:

  • Emmanuel Forbes, Cornerback, Mississippi State
  • Darnell Washington, Tight End, Georgia
  • Drew Sanders, Linebacker, Arkansas
  • Kelee Ringo, Cornerback, Georgia
  • Darnell Wright, Offensive Tackle, Tennessee

Round Three (Compensatory Pick)

Andrew Voorhees, Offensive Guard, Southern California – 6-6, 325

Andrew Voorhees would be a good pick at this juncture. He is a monster in the running game, but needs some refinement as a pass blocker.

Tape/games to watch:

California, Stanford, Colorado, Washington State, and Fresno State.

Additional Prospects to watch in round three:

  • DeMarvion Overshown, Linebacker, Texas
  • Steve Avila, Offensive Guard, Texas Christian
  • Deonte Banks, Cornerback, Maryland
  • Sam LaPorta, Tight End, Iowa
  • Tyrique Stevenson, Cornerback, Miami

Round Four

Dorian Williams, Linebacker, Tulane – 6-2, 230

Tulane completed a dream season when they upset Southern Cal in the Cotton Bowl and Dorian Williams was a major factor in the Green Wave’s success. He can get to the quarterback quickly, clog the running lanes, but the best part of his game is the superb pass coverage.

Tape/games to watch:

Memphis, Alcorn State, Central Florida (twice, including conference championship), and Houston.

Additional Prospects to watch in round four:

  • Owen Pappoe, Linebacker, Auburn
  • Joe Tippmann, Offensive Guard/Center, Wisconsin
  • Cam Jones, Linebacker, Indiana
  • Olusegun Oluwatimi, Center, Virginia and Michigan (Grad Transfer)
  • Payton Wilson, Linebacker, North Carolina State

Henry To’oTo’o, Linebacker, Alabama – 6-2, 230 (via trade)

Henry To’oTo’o began the season on a positive note, but he struggled somewhat down the stretch. To’oTo’o was given second round grades early in the season, but now he rates a bit lower. Can he re-capture his form at the next level? He is a force against the rushing offense and needs to improve in pass coverage. Unfortunately, he will miss the Senior Bowl due to an injury.

Tape/games to watch:

Vanderbilt, Austin Peay, Mississippi, Texas, and Utah State.