Commanders 7-round mock draft: Trades, surprises in final 2023 edition

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Jakorian Bennett
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Jakorian Bennett /
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Our last 2023 NFL mock draft of this year’s cycle features plenty of trades and surprises for the Washington Commanders to consider throughout the process.

I do a lot of mock drafts for fun, but not so many for publication. They are a good way to test out draft strategies and get a sense of what players might be available at various points.

Now that the actual draft is just days away, everyone’s mocks get a little more serious and focused. So here is my final mock for the Washington Commanders.

I used Pro Football Network’s simulator. Whichever one you use, it becomes more suspect as player values begin to fluctuate in the final weeks. You will see an example of that in this mock.

You will also see my general rule for this – and for most drafts. I like trading back, but I do not trade back more than half a round. Therefore, if I were offered a trade-back late in the first round this year, I would have taken it.

But in this draft, I would have had to move into the second round and I wasn’t willing to move that far. In the later rounds, I was offered a lot of small trade-backs, and I accepted several. As a result, I came out of this draft with ten picks, after beginning with eight.

I also employed a general strategy of prioritizing offense early. That is a direct result of the Eric Bienemy hire. I suspect he will hold greater sway than Scott Turner in the past few years, and that there are some new toys he will want to play with.

As you will see, that resulted in a draft that loaded up on offense early, and on defense late.

I also made one mistake, and that is another reason to do these exercises. To learn where you can take chances, and where you should play it safe. But more on that in a few minutes.

We’ll begin, as most good stories do, with Round No. 1.