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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(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) Keondre Coburn /

Commanders draft Keondre Coburn

  • Defensive Tackle | Texas Longhorns

Even though the Washington Commanders rightfully placed the franchise tag on Daron Payne, there will be a sense of nervousness among fans until a long-term deal is agreed upon. The team does have Phidarian Mathis coming back from injury, but adding another depth piece at the defensive tackle position once other needs are secured late in the draft is a nice luxury to have.

If this scenario comes to fruition, the Commanders could do far worse than Keondre Coburn. The former Texas standout is a formidable man to look at and despite being a little undersized for the interior, has no trouble making an impression in almost every phase.

Coburn is aggressive against the run and is hard to shift off the block thanks to his thick lower frame. He is a savvy pass-rusher when opportunities arise, but there’s no telling for sure how effective he’ll be against bigger, more imposing NFL offensive linemen.

This is a shot in the dark for Washington. Coburn does have some qualities, but whether this is best suited to the way Jack Del Rio runs things is the million-dollar question.

Even so, the Commanders wouldn’t ask a great deal from Coburn over the first two seasons unless injury strikes. So this is a flier worth taking to find out whether his specific skills can make a successful transition to the professional ranks.

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