10 critical observations from the Commanders 2023 NFL Draft

(Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) Emmanuel Forbes
(Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) Emmanuel Forbes /
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What critical observations can be taken from a fascinating 2023 NFL Draft for the Washington Commanders ahead of the new campaign?

The 2023 NFL Draft is in the books. You’ve probably already read about the seven newest Washington Commanders and, trust me, you will be reading a lot more.

I already knew a fair amount about the first four picks – they all were included in Washington’s top 30 visits, and a little bit about the picks in rounds five and six – they had interviews with the team at the Senior Bowl. Still learning about the final pick.

Until I learn more, I’ll offer you these ten quick observations about the Commanders’ draft.

Critical Observation No. 1

(Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports) Emmanuel Forbes /

Commanders doubled down on DBs

The last time Washington doubled up on defensive backs at the top of the draft was in 1985 when they took Tory Nixon and Raphel Cherry in the second and fifth rounds respectively – their top two picks that year. Let’s hope Emmanuel Forbes and Quan Martin turn out a little better.

Commanders played to draft strengths

Washington went in the correct order, according to the strengths of this draft. There was a bigger drop-off from the elite cornerbacks than there was from the elite interior linemen, so it made sense to get your cornerback early.

The reason Martin’s development is so crucial is that by doubling up, the Commanders passed on John Michael Schmitz in round two. As much as I like Ricky Stromberg in the third, I think the former Minnesota standout is a significantly better prospect.

Martin has to show he was worth passing on Schmitz.