4 late-round wide receiver prospects Commanders could draft in 2024

These prospects could be draft steals...
Cornelius Johnson
Cornelius Johnson / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders could draft Cornelius Johnson

Whoever drafts Cornelius Johnson is getting a steal. He was overshadowed at Michigan by Roman Wilson, but at the NFL Scouting Combine, he ran almost as fast as his more highly-touted teammate. At 6-foot-3 and 212 pounds, that is some serious athleticism.

After three straight seasons of averaging over 15 yards per catch, Johnson fell off some in 2023. That can be partially attributed to the emergence of Wilson as the Wolverines' dominant outside playmaker, and partially to their increasing reliance on the run.

At the end of the day, there weren’t enough balls to satisfy all the playmakers on Michigan. Johnson still managed to make plays, and his body control for a player of his size is impressive. He tracks the ball well and can make contested catches. He has the prototypical size and speed for an NFL wide receiver. If the prospect doesn’t have the elite burst of top-tier players, he isn’t that far behind them.

If that were all Johnson offered, he would be an intriguing prospect. But he has something extra that makes me want him as a Washington Commanders player this spring. He is a very smart, mature young man.

Johnson had a chance to enter the draft last season but chose to return to the Wolverines - in part because he thought it would benefit him as a player, and because he wanted a national championship. It is possible that his draft stock dropped a bit, but I think he made a smart choice. He is a more complete player and athlete today, and he got his big prize.

I have heard receivers occasionally describe their battles with opposing cornerbacks as chess matches. When Johnson says that, he speaks from experience. In his free time, he relaxes by playing chess. If I can get a national championship starting receiver who runs a 4.44-second 40-yard dash and plays chess on Day 3 of the draft, I want that guy.