Commanders 5-round 2023 NFL mock draft: Molding a contender

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) John Michael Schmitz
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) John Michael Schmitz /
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(Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports) John Michael Schmitz /

Commanders draft John Michael Schmitz

  • Center | Minnesota Golden Gophers

Finding assistance on the offensive line is another big need for the Washington Commanders this offseason. This bears more significance to the center position, which became a constant source of frustration in 2022.

Chase Roullier might have the talent and proven track record when it comes to NFL production. But the veteran has been seldom seen over the last two seasons and the Commanders could save a significant amount on their salary cap by releasing him after June 1 later this year.

Having stability at the center spot would also benefit Sam Howell or another quarterback during their transition to a starting role. Something the Commanders could address via the 2023 NFL Draft given the wealth of talent available.

In this scenario, Washington snaps up arguably the best center prospect in this year’s class at No. 47 overall. John Michael Schmitz is riding on the crest of a wave after a phenomenal final season at Minnesota, which was enhanced by a dominant Senior Bowl week that won’t have gone unnoticed by NFL scouts.

Schmitz’s nifty footwork and explosive power at the point of attack already look NFL-ready. His communication pre-snap is another standout feature of his game, as is the prospect’s pure dominance as a run blocker.

There’s every chance Schmitz will enter first-round consideration when the time comes. But if he’s still around by this point, the Commanders shouldn’t think twice.