Commanders 7-round 2023 NFL mock draft: Striking lucky edition

(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson /
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(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Trenton Simpson /

Commanders draft Trenton Simpson

  • Linebacker | Clemson Tigers

There are numerous ways the Washington Commanders can go with their second-round selection. If the offensive line becomes their focus at No. 16 overall, then adding to the defense might be a viable possibility for those in power if the right prospect falls.

This is the exact scenario that presented itself here. Although Trenton Simpson is seen by most analysts as a mid-to-late first-round selection, he dropped to a spot that the Commanders would be foolish not to take advantage of.

Simpson is an explosive linebacker that represents a three-down force. His instincts against the run are tremendous, which is matched by pass-rushing ability and coverage capabilities in equal measure.

The former Clemson star is aggressive and physical, which matches the way Jack Del Rio deploys his defense. If Simpson adds a little extra discipline to his game, someone is going to have the complete package on their hands at the defensive second level.

Standing out on such a gifted Tigers’ defense wasn’t easy. Yet it’s hard to look at their film and not be taken by how Simpson made his presence felt.

Whether the need for a shutdown cornerback trumps their desire to find another productive linebacker remains to be seen. Much will also depend on whether Simpson makes it this far down the pecking order considering what he could become with additional development.