7 best prospects remaining for Commanders after 2024 NFL Draft Day 1

The Commaders have a bounty of draft picks on Day 2.
Cooper DeJean
Cooper DeJean / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders could draft Johnny Newton

  • Defensive Line | Illinois Fighting Illi

The Washington Commanders don't have a huge need at the defensive tackle position thanks to the presence of Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen. However, the presence of Johnny Newton in the second round might be enough to alter their way of thinking.

How a player of Newton's caliber dropped out of the first 32 selections is anyone's guess. There were some desperate moves made and a focus on offense to the tune of 23 picks. Unfortunately for the Illinois prospect, he fell through the cracks and is there for the taking at the start of the second day.

Newton is an absolute mauler in pass-rushing situations. His quickness and heavy hands are extraordinary for a man his size. If the Commanders went down this route - albeit surprising - it would give them a 3-technique capable of terrorizing opposing quarterbacks who could eventually become Allen's long-term replacement if everything goes well.

This is a mouth-watering proposition. But the chances of Newton being available when the Commanders go on the clock at No. 36 appear slim at best.

Commanders could draft Kool-Aid McKinstry

  • Cornerback | Alabama Crimson Tide

The jury is still out on Emmanuel Forbes. He went through significant complications as a rookie and became a weak link almost from start to finish. All hope is not lost under the guidance of Dan Quinn and Joe Whitt Jr., but the Washington Commanders need to find a contingency plan via the draft if the former Mississippi State star cannot develop accordingly.

Initially tabbed as a first-round lock, an unfortunate injury identified at the NFL Scouting Combine put pay to Kool-Aid McKinstry's chances of hearing his name called in the top 32. This seems a little harsh considering how explosive he was at Alabama's pro day, but the reluctance of others could work to Washington's advantage if he's still available at No. 36 overall.

There's just no telling how much better McKinstry could become under the watchful eye of Quinn. He's renowned for turning unheralded defensive backs into legitimate superstars. If the Commanders did pull the trigger to end the prospect's slide in this scenario, he'd be in the best possible situation with a big chip on his shoulder for good measure.