4 surprising candidates to make the Commanders' 53-man roster in 2023

Tim DeMorat
Tim DeMorat / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Andre Jones Jr. - Commanders DE/OLB

Being a seventh-round selection can go one of two ways. Players manage to step up and become impactful or fall by the wayside and are moved on with very little fanfare.

The Washington Commanders have experienced both sides of this coin in recent years. Their biggest success story in a generation is Kamren Curl, a gifted young safety who rose from obscurity into an indispensable member of Jack Del Rio's defense.

Whether Andre Jones Jr. can do the same remains to be seen. The Louisiana product does have some nice athletic intangibles that can potentially develop into something more, but edge rusher is one of Washington's deepest position groups that obviously complicates matters.

Chase Young or Montez Sweat might not be around in 2024, but they are right now. They are the clear 1-2 alpha tandem, with players such as James Smith-Willams and Efe Obadaa set to assume prominent depth roles once again.

To make matters worse for Jones, the Commanders traded up to select K.J. Henry in the fifth round. Maybe there's a window of opportunity as a 4-3 outside linebacker provided his transition goes smoothly, but the aforementioned reasons are why he's a surprising candidate to make the roster rather than an absolute lock.