4 Commanders UDFAs who could steal a roster spot in 2024

Chigozie Anusiem
Chigozie Anusiem / Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports
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Chigozie Anusiem - Commanders CB

Acquiring Mike Sainristil with one of their second-round selections could be a genuine draft steal for the Washington Commanders. The cornerback's production, leadership, and ability to make plays consistently played a huge role for the Michigan Wolverines en route to a convincing college football national championship triumph. He was even touted by former Alabama head coach Nick Saban as the best pound-for-pound player in the 2024 class.

Sainristil projects to be a STAR cornerback, operating primarily from the slot. His impact should be immediate, but there are still questions about the outside tandem of Emmanuel Forbes and Benjamin St-Juste despite their scope for improvement under the Commanders' new coaching staff.

Forbes and St-Juste went through significant complications last season. Having Dan Quinn and Joe Whitt Jr. - two renowned defensive back developers - means there should be no more excuses for the duo. Adding another veteran from the remaining free-agent pool cannot be dismissed, but the Commanders found an intriguing contingency plan in the form of Chigozie Anusiem during undrafted free agency.

The Commanders had to pay to acquire Anusiem. According to Tom Pelissero from the NFL Network, half the league was looking to secure his services, but Washington got the deal done thanks to a $50,000 signing bonus and $300,000 in guaranteed base salary.

That's a hefty sum for an undrafted free agent, but Anusiem has the tools to potentially carve out a role for himself. He's athletically gifted with the physical prowess needed to excel in press coverage, although his work around the football needs to improve in pursuit of taking that next step.

Anusiem needs to hit the ground running throughout offseason workouts. That said, there could be an opportunity to sneak onto the roster as a depth piece who can also make a lasting contribution on special teams while working on other areas of his game.

If the Colorado State product can turn opportunities into turnovers more frequently, this could be an absolute steal.