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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(Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports) Daiyan Henley /

Commanders draft Daiyan Henley

  • Linebacker | Washington State Cougars

Jack Del Rio made a solid impression as defensive coordinator in 2022. The former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach is one of the league’s soundest minds in this key area of play, but he was let down by the offensive side of things and especially when it came to the quarterback position.

With that being said, fine-tuning this unit with some fresh faces could take them into a completely different stratosphere. Especially at the linebacker spot, which needs a dominant presence manning the interior capable of making plays consistently.

Although he’s still learning the linebacker position after switching to the defensive second level in college, the growth demonstrated by Daiyan Henley makes him an intriguing option. His athleticism is absolutely off the charts, which enables him to become a sideline-to-sideline presence capable of making plays in all three phases.

Henley is a force against the run, can rush the passer when required, and is also an asset in coverage after starting his football career as a wide receiver and defensive back.

The proof is in the production where Henley is concerned. He racked up 200 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, four sacks, and five interceptions over his final two seasons at Washington State, so there’s every chance Del Rio can nurture his exceptional physical traits into an immediate contributor in this scenario.