5 starters Commanders GM Adam Peters must find in the 2024 NFL Draft

The pressure is on...
Adam Peters
Adam Peters / G Fiume/GettyImages
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When an NFL team goes 4-13, it’s safe to say that few roster spots are secure. When there is new ownership, new management, and a new coaching regime, the situation is even more tenuous. As the Washington Commanders entered the 2024 off-season, it seemed likely that Terry McLaurin and Sam Cosmi were the only two players guaranteed to be on the roster when the new campaign began.

General manager Adam Peters has already jettisoned about half of last year’s starters. They include some of 2023's best players - Kendall Fuller and Kamren Curl - and some who struggled, such as Saahdiq Charles and Cody Barton.

Some were cut outright - Logan Thomas and Charles Leno Jr. - while others were free agents who never entered into serious negotiations to remain - Antonio Gibson and Curtis Samuel. Regardless of how or why they departed, Peters was left with a lot of holes to fill.

He began that process during free agency and will continue it in the upcoming draft. Some positions - namely, linebacker - got major overhauls. Others, defensive end and tight end, saw veteran replacements signed to make up for the departures.

Even so, the Commanders still have several major holes. They may have players penciled in as starters right now, but Peters will be looking to upgrade those positions with the substantial draft capital he has to work with.

Though most general managers tilt toward selecting the best player available when their pick comes, the team's needs must figure in on some level. Therefore, though Peters probably won't pass on a high-value prospect simply because he may have more immediate needs elsewhere, the following five positions will be high on his to-do list.

Here are five positions the Commanders must find starting-caliber prospects during the 2024 NFL Draft.

Commanders must find a quarterback

This is a no-brainer.

Adam Peters chose to trade away Sam Howell, making the selection of a quarterback in this year’s draft a virtual lock. Most analysts assume that will arrive with the No. 2 overall pick and will be Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, or perhaps J.J. McCarthy. That’s certainly what the consensus seems to suggest.

Regardless of who is eventually chosen, everyone will expect him to be the starter sooner rather than later. But there is a level of caution attached.

Whichever quarterback Washington chooses, he does not necessarily have to start Week 1. Marcus Mariota is a competent professional. He isn’t an especially good one, but his career record as a starter is about 47 percent, which is slightly better than Taylor Heinicke's.

The point is, if Dan Quinn, Kliff Kingsbury, and Tavita Pritchard decide that the new quarterback - let’s say Maye for variety’s sake - would benefit from sitting on the bench for half a season or more, so be it. Fans will need to trust in their wisdom and root for Mariota.

The Commanders need to find a starting quarterback in this draft, but he doesn’t need to be their starter right out of the gate.