Commanders solidify the trenches in 2023 mock draft

(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) Peter Skoronski
(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) Peter Skoronski /

The Washington Commanders solidified the trenches in Chad Reuter of’s latest 2023 mock draft.

Ron Rivera looks set to provide Sam Howell with a real shot at securing the starting job in 2023. The head coach declared he’d be atop the quarterback depth chart heading into OTAs, although the Washington Commanders will cast their net far and wide for additional options with Carson Wentz likely to be released.

If Howell does enough to convince the coaching staff he’s worthy, then it’s essential Washington figures out how to improve the protection in front of him. The Commanders got almost no consistency from their offensive line last season, so they can ill afford more of the same in pursuit of an immediate playoff return.

This is something those in power should identify as a significant priority. Especially considering the likes of Trai Turner and Wes Schweitzer are out of contract and might not return.

Washington can free up substantial financial sums to become players in free agency should they wish. The team also has eight 2023 NFL Draft selections to secure cheaper, long-term alternatives across the offensive line.

Commanders enhance trenches with Peter Skoronski in 2023 NFL mock draft

This is a topic that was discussed by Chad Reuter of in his latest 2023 NFL mock draft. In this scenario, the respected analyst provided the Commanders with instant assistance in the form of Peter Skoronski at No. 16 overall, who is widely considered to be among the best offensive linemen emerging from the college ranks this year.

"“(Peter) Skoronski’s lack of length could be an issue for NFL teams in the top half of the first round. Washington had great success converting another Big Ten tackle to guard when the team moved former Iowa Hawkeye Brandon Scherff inside. Could be déjà vu all over again, with Skoronski’s mobility and power making him an excellent pro lineman no matter where he lines up.”"

Skoronski’s athleticism is absolutely off the charts, which makes him an exceptional pass-blocker despite not having what teams normally look for from a length standpoint. His footwork already looks NFL-ready and this is matched by a mentality that goes looking for work either on the edge or at the second level.

Much will be made of Skoronski’s short arms when the NFL Scouting Combine arrives. This could mean he’s better suited to the guard position, but the Commanders need help along the interior and his transition should be a smooth one.

Lacking elite functional strength is something that could also work against Skoronski when push comes to shove. However, the Commanders are in no position to be picky and the prospect has all the intangibles needed to be a Day 1 starter capable of providing an instant upgrade wherever he lines up.

Obviously, the Commanders’ needs could alter depending on what free agents arrive before the draft. As of right now, adding a blue-chip lineman early seems like a foregone conclusion given how things unfolded last season.

Anything else would be detrimental to Washington and Howell, who demonstrated enough poise in Week 18 against the Dallas Cowboys to get a prolonged look during the upcoming preparation period. Having a prospect like Skoronski to lean on would make a huge difference.

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