Best and worst case scenarios for the Commanders 2024 draft picks

Life is all about expectations...
Dominique Hampton
Dominique Hampton / Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
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Each year, we fantasize about how dominant the Washington Commanders' new draft picks could be, and each year we fear how wrong those in power might become. The reality almost always lands somewhere in the middle.

Given what economist Richard Thaler has dubbed the 'endowment effect' - which refers to the human tendency to value your assets more highly than those of others, that realistic performance level tends toward the low middle of expectation. Unless Ron Rivera is running your draft. Then the reality settles just above rock bottom.

During his time with the Commanders, only one player performed at his absolute ceiling during his rookie season. That was 2020 seventh-round pick Kamren Curl. As you no doubt are aware, he is no longer with the club.

Brian Robinson Jr came close. So did Antonio Gibson, Chase Young, and Jahan Dotson, though each fell off in subsequent seasons. That’s it for rookie draft picks performing at or near their ceilings.

Others improved over time but didn’t contribute very much as rookies. Examining Adam Peters’ first draft class, we have to use more than a few grains of salt.

Due to massive roster turnover, this group of rookies will be counted on more heavily than any incoming group in at least a decade. But how good - or bad - can they be? What are the best-case and worst-case scenarios for each of the Commanders' nine rookie draft picks?

We’re looking at realistic projections here. Do not, regardless of what kind of odds are available, bet your kid’s college fund on Javontae Jean-Baptiste winning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. And we’re not going to consider injury, which is almost always the worst-case scenario for any player.

One other thing: Thaler won a Nobel Prize in Economics, so don’t discount that endowment effect, either.

With that out of the way, let’s begin…