4 Commanders players who need a monster offseason in 2023

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Phidarian Mathis
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Phidarian Mathis /
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(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Phidarian Mathis /

Phidarian Mathis – Commanders DT

The Washington Commanders have invested a significant amount in their defensive line in recent years. Despite this, those in power thought Phidarian Mathis was a risk worth taking when he dropped out of the first round and into their laps at No. 47 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Mathis left a solid impression throughout the offseason that indicated a prominent rotational role, at the very worst. But a significant injury suffered in Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars was a huge blow to the defensive tackle and the Commanders.

The one-time Alabama stud looks set to make a full recovery and should be eager to make up for some lost time. Mathis has the tools to feature heavily in 2023, although Washington’s reported intent to put the franchise tag on Daron Payne threatens to hinder his hopes of securing a starting berth.

This is all out of Mathis’ control. What the lineman can focus on is making sure his conditioning is right where it needs to be, his skills develop, and proves capable of stepping in at a moment’s notice when Jack Del Rio dictates.

After such a frustrating start to his NFL career, Mathis cannot afford to become a bystander. Fortunately for the player, there is more than enough in his locker to make this a non-issue with a strong off-season.