4 Commanders players with unrealistic expectations in 2024

These Commanders players have unrealistic expectations on their shoulders.
Brandon Coleman
Brandon Coleman / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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Brandon Coleman - Commanders OT

Releasing veteran left tackle Charles Leno Jr. was a calculated risk by the Washington Commanders. His production was dependable enough once again in 2023, especially from a pass-protection standpoint. But general manager Adam Peters felt like he could get more bang for his buck elsewhere.

The Commanders stood pat in free agency aside from re-signing swing tackle Cornelius Lucas. Peters attempted to trade back into the first round for an elite-level edge protector. When these efforts failed to materialize, the front-office leader settled for someone lower down the pecking order instead.

Washington spent the No. 67 overall selection on Brandon Coleman. His production at TCU was outstanding and the player's athleticism suggests he can carve out a successful career for himself. However, expectations of him becoming a franchise-caliber blindside presence for Jayden Daniels are setting him up to fail.

Coleman might win the starting job outright this summer, which would be tremendous news for the Commanders. That said, several concerns mean this could go either way.

The player is undersized for an NFL offensive tackle. Many players have overcome this in recent years, but the coaching staff must ensure improvements arrive technically and from a core strength standpoint if they want Coleman to get prominent reps right out of the gate.

Even the most gifted tackles go through complications in Year 1 of their professional careers. Pass rushers are bigger, more explosive, and capable of exploiting even the slightest weakness in the pros. Coleman might be a very rare exception, but anything less could result in a confidence-sapping campaign.

Much will depend on how the player fares when preparations get more intense throughout the summer. There's a big opportunity awaiting Coleman if he takes on coaching and cements his status. At the same time, the Commanders have enough financial resources to bring in someone else if they feel like the first-year pro needs some extra time.

It's a fine line - one that could have lingering implications on Daniels' chances of taking the league by storm immediately for good measure.