3 Washington Commanders newcomers that could surprise in 2023

Cody Barton
Cody Barton / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Cody Barton - Commanders LB

The Washington Commanders relatively ignored their linebacking corps once again this offseason. Not exactly uncommon given how head coach Ron Rivera's gone about his business since joining the franchise, but that does not detract from how thin things appear at the defensive second level currently.

Expect to see plenty of alignments that feature just two linebackers. This is something defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio utilized heavily last season and could increase considering the Commanders added three talented defensive backs through the waiver wire and the 2023 NFL Draft.

Despite this, Cody Barton has an important role to play in 2023. The free-agent signing from the Seattle Seahawks is clearly ascending based on his production last season and this looks like a good fit behind Washington's formidable defensive front.

Barton is an instinctive tackler who represents a readymade replacement for Cole Holcomb, who departed in free agency for the Pittsburgh Steelers. There isn't much to go off from a pass-rushing standpoint, but the former Utah star is a solid presence in coverage that should assist greatly.

Providing Jamin Davis makes the necessary improvements, his partnership with Barton should be productive. But much will depend on how Del Rio compensates for the lack of another legitimate outside presence opposite the Kentucky product.