Commanders 7-round 2023 NFL mock draft: Trench warfare edition

(David Banks-USA TODAY Sports) Paris Johnson Jr.
(David Banks-USA TODAY Sports) Paris Johnson Jr. /
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(Barbara Perenic-USA TODAY Sports) Paris Johnson Jr. /

Commanders draft Paris Johnson Jr.

  • Offensive Tackle | Ohio State Buckeyes

Fixing the trenches on offense is something that should be high on the list of priorities. Although quarterback Carson Wentz was inconsistent at best, no quarterback was aided by an offensive line that lacked cohesion and consistency almost from start to finish in 2022.

Fortunately for the Washington Commanders, they have a chance to completely renovate this critical area of the field in the coming weeks. Adding a veteran or two in free agency wouldn’t hurt, but finding a franchise left tackle via the draft is something else to consider with so many quarterback-needy teams in the top 10.

If Paris Johnson Jr. is still available at No. 16 overall, he could be the guy. The former Ohio State standout is arguably the best edge protector entering the NFL this year, which is thanks to his unique blend of size, athleticism, and power to keep opposing rushers at bay.

The former five-star high school recruit leads from the front, is highly intelligent, and plays with ruthless aggression that’s hard not to love. Johnson is equally adept in running or passing situations, which is matched by eye-catching athleticism and quick-twitch capabilities.

Johnson has just one season of experience as a tackle, so there could be even more to come from the player once he receives NFL-caliber coaching. Something that could propel him into a Day 1 starter with a quick transition.