7 intriguing prospects who could follow Kliff Kingsbury to the Commanders

Could Kliff Kingsbury bang the table for some familiar faces?
Kliff Kingsbury
Kliff Kingsbury / Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY
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Commanders could draft Calen Bullock (S)

It's not just on the offensive side of things when it comes to USC prospects Kliff Kingsbury knows about. The Washington Commanders could also put his insider knowledge to good use when examining the Trojans' defensive talent emerging from the 2024 NFL Draft.

After deciding not to offer Kamren Curl an extension, the Commanders could be looking for another safety option to bolster their ranks. Those in power signed Jeremy Chinn in free agency, but he's seen more as an athletic hybrid who does his best work closer to the line of scrimmage.

Calen Bullock has more going for him than most safeties in this class. His ball skills are nothing short of elite, reacting well to what's transpiring in front of him and displaying exceptional closing speed to turn opportunities into turnovers. He's also a willing tackler and supreme communicator on the backend, which is a trait highly valued around the league.

Some technical improvements are needed for Bullock to immediately shine, but these can be worked out given his athletic intangibles. That said, he projects to be a key rotational piece right out of the gate with the scope to make an instant impact on special teams.

Commanders could draft Solomon Byrd (DE)

Edge rusher isn't the high-priority need it once was after the Commanders signed several veterans in free agency. But much like the situation at running back, general manager Adam Peters won't hesitate to acquire additional reinforcements if he feels like it could help the franchise.

If the Commanders opt to wait a little later in the process, Solomon Byrd could be someone to consider in the later rounds. His final season at USC was the best of his college career, notching six sacks and 11 tackles for loss with plenty of memorable highlights thrown in for good measure.

Byrd has a nice blend of size and short-area explosiveness. He displays maximum effort on almost every snap with a high-end motor that stands out considerably when watching the player on film. This is matched by a strong core base that enables the prospect to set the edge with efficiency against the run.

While Byrd does lack the typical length normally associated with NFL-caliber edge rushers, he looks like a good scheme fit for Dan Quinn's creative system based on his physical gifts. If the player learns how to enhance lateral movement and running angles in pursuit, he could find a role for himself at the next level.