4 first-round draft scenarios for the Washington Commanders in 2023

(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Eric Bieniemy and Ron Rivera
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Eric Bieniemy and Ron Rivera /
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What potential scenarios could the Washington Commanders face during the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft?

The Washington Commanders currently own the No. 16 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. With immediate help needed at cornerback and offensive line, those in power have the opportunity to improve those positions with this pick, but nothing should be off the table currently.

Currently enduring a bit of an underwhelming free agency, fans are left scratching their heads as all three division rivals have added significant pieces to their rosters, while the Commanders have used the early parts of free agency to add some adequate players on the cheap.

Does the team have some surprising big plans come draft night, or will they continue to tread cautiously? Here are four first-round scenarios for the Commanders in 2023.

The players that are listed available are based on several mock drafts run on the Pro Football Focus mock draft simulator.

Scenario No. 1

(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Joey Porter Jr. /

Commanders must consider their secondary

The Washington Commanders’ secondary has skidded significantly since the outstanding 2020 season, digressing from a top-five pass defense to a bottom-five unit in back-to-back seasons.

Kamren Curl has been a savior in the back end and slot, while veteran Kendall Fuller has produced at a high level for three consecutive seasons. Unfortunately outside of those two men, there has not been much consistency in the secondary.

Four defensive backs who may be available at pick 16 to improve the secondary are:

Joey Porter Jr. – A 6-foot-2 cornerback with speed is a meta in today’s NFL. Porter has the ability to match up with larger wide receivers and be a shutdown outside presence for years to come.

Devon Witherspoon – Not a physical specimen compared to most defensive backs, but his tape does the talking. Witherspoon was easily the best shutdown cornerback in college football last season.

Brian Branch – Similar to Curl, Branch is a versatile slot/box safety. With the former seventh-round selection taking most snaps in the box, the Alabama product would be able to slide into the staring slot role, while also playing deep safety when needed.

Deonte Banks – Banks put on quite the performance at the NFL Scouting Combine. The 6-foot-0 cornerback has blazing speed and athleticism to play on the outside or potentially the slot if necessary.