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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(Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports) Jarrett Patterson /

Commanders draft Jarrett Patterson

  • Center | Notre Dame Fighting Irish

As stated previously, finding solutions on the offensive line is extremely important for the Washington Commanders. Whether it’s Sam Howell or someone else under center, Eric Bieniemy cannot afford suspect protection getting in the way of silencing some doubters who question whether or not he can effectively run an offense without Andy Reid overseeing matters.

Looking at the current state of affairs, finding a reliable center is almost guaranteed. Chase Roullier is solid enough, but the player has had a hard time staying healthy over the last two seasons and could be a post-June 1 cut candidate given the $8 million in savings involved.

If the Commanders want a little more bang for their buck, then this is a good draft class to find someone. Jarrett Patterson is among the best looking at his overall body of work in college, which is thanks to his communication of pre-snap reads and ability to soundly understand blocking angles depending on any specific play call.

Patterson has room for growth as a player. But the athletic attributes indicate more improvement is on the way provided he’s given time to learn what it takes to succeed in the NFL.

The biggest knock on the one-time Notre Dame standout is a rawness in pass protection. However, Patterson has enough to make him a versatile rotational piece that could start quickly if he takes on coaching.