5 dream 2024 NFL Draft prospects the Commanders should trade up for

Could Adam Peters go bold to boost the team's rebuild?
Taliese Fuaga
Taliese Fuaga / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders could draft Troy Fautanu

  • Offensive Tackle
  • Washington Huskies

Questions centered on whether Troy Fautanu was better suited to offensive tackle or interior protection entering the pre-draft assessment process. While his production on the blindside played a significant role in the Washington Huskies reaching the college football national championship game in 2023, those around the league were reportedly concerned about lack of size and how it might cope on the edge.

These fears were alleviated in no uncertain terms throughout an exceptional assessment period. Fautanu measured bigger than expected at the NFL Scouting Combine, which was matched by outstanding on-field testing that showcased his elite athleticism and explosiveness to full effect.

This all but confirmed that Fautanu would be a first-round selection. If the Washington Commanders are planning on a daring trade-up for an offensive tackle to put with their new rookie quarterback, there are far worse avenues general manager Adam Peters could go down.

Fautanu's athleticism in pass protection is absolutely off the charts. He's a fluid mover with enough quick-twitch agility to change course in the blink of an eye. Although his arm length is only in the 60th percentile, there is enough leverage to keep pass-rushers in front of him and give his signal-caller consistent time to go through his progressions.

The prospect is also highly intelligent. Fautanu has strong instincts for what's unfolding pre-snap, which gives him a head start into his sets with a rapid backpedal and superb footwork. He's got heavy hands and enough core functional strength to become an asset in the run game with additional coaching.

There is some work needed on Fautanu's initial positioning and technique. If he improves these two potential complications, someone is going to have a prolific player on their hands.

Fautanu is projected to go somewhere in the 15-25 range based on projections. If he drops out of the top 20, this is the sort of region where Peters might identify as attainable without jeopardizing any future draft assets.