4 unsung DBs with Dan Quinn and Joe Whitt Jr. ties the Commanders must target

These defensive backs could reunite with Dan Quinn and Joe Whitt Jr. this offseason.

Tavierre Thomas
Tavierre Thomas / Al Pereira/GettyImages
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Commanders could sign Tavierre Thomas

Tavierre Thomas was a walk-on at Division II Ferris State and has been beating the odds ever since. The Cleveland Browns signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2018, and he stayed with them until 2020. His final season there was the year Joe Whitt Jr. arrived to coach the defensive backs.

One of the things Whitt did was take Thomas - who had played almost exclusively on special teams during his first two seasons - and get him on the field as a nickel cornerback. He played well enough in the role to spin it into three years with the Houston Texans.

Last year, he played under head coach DeMeco Ryans. If you are a defensive back playing for someone like him, you have to be able to tackle.

Thomas has been a very steady presence for both Cleveland and Houston. He generally plays in nickel packages, but he performed well whenever asked to take on a bigger role. With the Washington Commanders, reunited with Whitt, it is not hard to imagine Thomas as a starter - or as a very solid nickel back.

If you place value in Pro Football Focus ratings, Thomas was the No. 31 corner in the league last year - but only fourth best on the Texans. As I said, Ryans sets very high standards for his defensive backs.

After Kendall Fuller, who finished in the top 10 amongst cornerbacks, the Commanders' next highest-rated in 2023 was Benjamin St-Juste, at No. 81.