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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(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Hendon Hooker /

Commanders draft Hendon Hooker

  • Quarterback | Tennessee Volunteers

I will be shocked if Hendon Hooker is available at pick No. 47 in the second round. He has been rising in the past few weeks, and will likely go in the first round. But he was still available in my simulation, so I had to take him.

This is not a knock on Sam Howell, who would still enter training camp as the presumptive Washington Commanders starter under center. This is more of an acknowledgment that finding a first-rate quarterback is very hard and increasing your odds by investing in two talented young players is a smart idea.

There have been some knocks on Hooker that initially had him going in the third round. I don’t care at all about his injury or about his age – he is 25 years old. I do care a bit about the fact that Tennessee’s offense does not resemble a pro set.

Despite this, I feel like Hooker is a mature enough player to make the transition. Eric Bieniemy has spent considerable time speaking with the signal-caller throughout Washington’s evaluations, so the notion cannot be completely dismissed despite Rivera’s apparent happiness about moving forward with Howell and Jacoby Brissett in 2023.

Taking Hooker in the first round seems unlikely. If he makes it this far, it’s a possibility.