5 potential Commanders candidates to replace Nick Gates

The Commanders are looking for a new starting center.
Nick Gates
Nick Gates / Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders could elevate Ricky Stromberg

The Washington Commanders passed on the higher-rated John Michael Schmitz in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft, opting for Ricky Stromberg in the third round instead. I thought it was a good selection, though I would have preferred the former Minnesota college standout.

Stromberg was an outstanding college player at Arkansas, routinely doing battle with the best in the SEC. He played extensively at guard as a freshman before switching to center in his second year. He thrived in the middle, being named first-team all-SEC in 2022.

Injury derailed Stromberg’s rookie season. He made the roster out of training camp as the team’s primary interior line backup and got into a few games when guard Saahdiq Charles was hurt. But he only lasted a few games before a knee complication landed him on injured reserve.

He did not look very good in very limited action, but we didn’t see enough of Stromberg to have any firm opinion. I am a little worried about the fact that he was moved to guard, but only because that became de rigueur under the previous regime.

Stromberg’s future may be at guard, but he was drafted to play center. With the gaping hole the Commanders now have at that position, I would hope a recent third-round draft selection would get serious consideration.