Commanders traded up to draft K.J. Henry
K.J. Henry may turn out to be a very good player. We haven’t seen nearly enough of him to draw any conclusions yet.
He was drafted as a hedge against the potential loss of defensive end Chase Young during or after the 2023 season. He was also selected based on the common wisdom that in today’s NFL, you can never have enough quality pass rushers.
That is the wisdom I agree with. But had Efe Obada not gotten hurt, there’s a decent chance Henry would not have made the final 53-man roster.
That’s because seventh-round pick Andre Jones Jr. looked equally good in training camp and the preseason. The Washington Commanders already had serviceable young players like James Smith-Williams and Casey Toohill in the fold, and William Bradley-King behind them. How important was it that they added another defensive end in the draft? Especially when the team seems to have gotten equal value two rounds after the former Clemson stud was taken.
Who might the Commanders have drafted in place of Henry in Round No. 5? There were two Day 3 quarterbacks I wanted Washington to seriously consider.
My first choice, Jake Haener, was already off the board. But Dorian Thompson-Robinson was still there.
The Cleveland Browns took him three spots after the Henry pick. Had Washington drafted the UCLA product, he would have come in as the third quarterback.
Thompson-Robinson would have been Jake Fromm with a vastly higher ceiling. He would not have challenged either Sam Howell or Jacoby Brissett, but he would have been an asset to develop, especially if the current No. 1 doesn’t live up to the task.
Given how exceptionally polished he looked for the Browns during pre-season, Thompson-Robinson might end up being this year’s Brock Purdy. I’d feel a lot better about the quarterback room with both Howell and the aforementioned rookie on board.