5 critical Commanders observations from the 2024 NFL Draft

A good few days' work.
Adam Peters
Adam Peters / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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After months of waiting, debating, and speculating, the first draft of the Josh Harris era is in the books. Adam Peters and his staff made one trade and chose nine players during the three-day process. We can finally begin analyzing where the team’s roster stands without guessing as to their intentions.

There is still more work to be done. There will be more free agent signings - both undrafted rookies from this year’s draft class and veterans who have yet to latch on with a new team. But the bulk of the Washington Commanders 2024 roster is now in the fold.

In general, Adam Peters is getting excellent reviews for the players he added. But as we all know too well, everyone is delighted in the immediate aftermath of the draft - unless you are a fan of the Atlanta Falcons, it seems.

We can project the very best for all of our newest acquisitions. The reality of their limitations is still months or years away. I remember just one year ago how fans and analysts alike were predicting rookie stardom for Emmanuel Forbes.

It doesn’t always work out that way.

Admitting that none of us know anything about how these players will ultimately pan out, here are five observations we can make about how the Commanders navigated their first draft with Peters leading the charge.

Commanders read the QB situation perfectly

There was never a strong likelihood that Adam Peters was going to trade out of the No. 2 spot in this year’s draft. Still, there were plenty of rumors and plenty of phone calls.

Peters got offers from multiple teams desperate to move up and get a quarterback. Since the Washington Commanders were also desperate to get a new man under center, any trade needed to leave enough capital to be in a position to get someone they liked later in the draft. That may have meant not moving down more than a handful of picks, or perhaps using the acquired assets to move back up.

As it turns out, it could have been a disastrous gamble.

All six premium quarterbacks went in the first 12 picks. Had Washington assumed that a player like Michael Penix Jr. would have been available late in the first round - or even early in the second - as many mock drafts predicted, they would have missed the boat.

Hopefully, Jayden Daniels proves to be everything Peters hopes. Independent of that, the general manager passed his very first test, which was gathering proper intelligence on how the draft was likely to proceed.

General managers have to understand where players will be available. They cannot be fooled. Peters was not.