Commanders 7-round 2023 NFL mock draft: Striking lucky edition
By Dean Jones
Commanders draft Chris Rodriguez Jr.
- Running Back | Kentucky Wildcats
The Washington Commanders are seemingly comfortable moving forward with Brian Robinson Jr. and Antonio Gibson as their starting running back duo. However, adding a third option at some stage during the 2023 NFL Draft should be considered after the team released J.D. McKissic with a failed physical designation.
While there remains some speculation about Bijan Robinson being the pick at No. 16 overall, it would be a bombshell and a luxury that those in power cannot really afford considering the stakes next season. Further down the pecking order, it becomes more realistic.
Chris Rodriguez Jr. has a lot of likable traits that could be of use. The Kentucky product gained 6.2 yards per carry throughout his college career – which is no mean feat in the SEC – with the player’s red-zone vision something else that stands out considerably when watching his film.
The former three-star high school recruit isn’t the quickest by any stretch, but Rodriguez is patient, physical, and can get through seams when opportunities arise. This is matched by a willingness to keep plowing through contact with aggression that is sure to go down well in the pros.
Landing in the right spot will be crucial. In this scenario, Rodriguez would be nothing more than a complimentary piece behind Gibson and Robinson, which might actually be a good thing as he works on pass-blocking and catching deficiencies.