Commanders 7-round 2023 NFL mock draft: Big splash edition

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Sam LaPorta
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Sam LaPorta /
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(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Dee Winters /

Commanders draft Dee Winters

  • Linebacker | TCU Horned Frogs

Adding some speed at the linebacker position would be prudent for the Washington Commanders during the 2023 NFL Draft. Cole Holcomb has been replaced by Cody Barton amid the free-agent madness, but acquiring someone with upside from the college ranks is another option before preparations ramp up for the upcoming campaign.

Given the more pressing needs at cornerback and left tackle, Washington might be forced to look a little further down the pecking order for a solution. Jack Del Rio’s coaching credentials are among the league’s best on the defensive side of things, so any prospect that comes into the fold is going to get the best possible chance to carve out a successful career for themselves.

Dee Winters is a gamble worth taking here. The second-level presence became a key cog in TCU’s memorable journey to the college football playoffs in 2022, gaining 14.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, and coming up big when his team needed him most.

One thing that stands out above all else when looking at Winters on tape is physicality. He is a ferocious tackler that leaves nothing to chance and has enough closing speed to get around the football consistently for good measure.

While he’s not the biggest, Winters has outstanding instincts and explosiveness. So a key role on special teams is almost assured in 2022 as the player develops other areas of his game.