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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(Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports) Malik Cunningham /

Commanders draft Malik Cunningham

  • Quarterback | Louisville Cardinals

The Washington Commanders have themselves a quarterback battle upcoming this summer. Sam Howell is the current frontrunner heading into Year 2 of his professional career, but Jacoby Brissett joining the team free agency adds another fascinating element to this crucial equation.

Brissett wouldn’t have joined the Commanders if he didn’t feel like he could beat out Howell for the starting gig. But the veteran also acknowledged the need to help his young teammate in whatever way possible throughout the process.

The primary focus will be on these two, there’s no doubt about that. But acquiring a development project that can be a gadget weapon in the later rounds could be worth its weight in gold under Eric Bieniemy.

Malik Cunningham might not ever become a productive NFL starter, but there’s nothing to suggest he cannot grow into a potential backup. He also has outstanding ability carrying the football, which Bieniemy might see as an opportunity in wildcat packages or other elements designed to throw opposing defenses off balance.

In this scenario with every major need filled, taking Cunningham is an affordable luxury. Something that allows the Commanders to see for themselves what the Louisville product could offer in the short and long term.

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