3 Commanders who must hit the ground running at rookie minicamp

These Commanders must make a strong first impresson at rookie minicamp.
Javontae Jean-Baptiste
Javontae Jean-Baptiste / Greg Swiercz / USA TODAY NETWORK
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The Washington Commanders are set to welcome in their draft class and undrafted free agents for the official on-field start of their NFL journey. Adam Peters was lauded for his approach throughout the college selection process. Now, the task falls on head coach Dan Quinn and his accomplished staff to get them up to speed.

Washington's first stage in the process is rookie minicamp. This is the bedding-in period for the budding hopefuls before they link up with established veterans for the remainder of preparations heading into the 2024 campaign.

It's a small step, but one that brings excitement and urgency in equal measure. Everyone is getting a clean slate under the new regime, so making a good first impression is essential in the pursuit of roster spots, key depth pieces, or perhaps even surging into starting roles.

With this in mind, here are three Commanders players who must hit the ground running at rookie minicamp.

Javontae Jean-Baptiste - Commanders DE/OLB

The Washington Commanders acquired some capable veteran edge rushers in free agency. They also hold out high hopes for K.J. Henry to make a bigger impression next season after flashing as a rookie in difficult circumstances. Despite this, there could be an opening for Javontae Jean-Baptiste to force his way onto the rotation with a strong offseason under his belt.

Jean-Baptiste is still a little raw from a technical standpoint, but his athleticism is off the charts. The Commanders need to find out where he's best-suited, but deploying him as a stand-up rusher from the second level might be an option to consider given his explosiveness and lack of NFL-caliber size for a defensive end.

The former Notre Dame star is a seventh-round pick, so he'll be working almost from the bottom up. It'll be a tough challenge for Jean-Baptiste and others in a similar situation, but his outstanding work ethic and growing leadership credentials indicate he'll be well up for the fight.