Commanders 7-round 2024 NFL mock draft: Decision time edition

The time for talk is almost over...
Xavier Thomas
Xavier Thomas / Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Commanders draft Olu Fashanu

  • Offensive Tackle | Penn State Nittany Lions
  • Round No. 1 | No. 18 overall

If the Washington Commanders decide to sacrifice additional assets to trade back into the first round, it must be for an immediate contributor in a position of need. Looking at the depth chart as it stands, finding a franchise left tackle is No. 2 on their list of priorities.

The Commanders released Charles Leno Jr. and did very little to replace him in free agency. Cornelius Lucas re-signed on a one-year deal, but he's nothing more than a swing tackle option rather than someone who could fill a starting void at this stage of his career. Adam Peters has already commented about how strong this class is across the offensive line - expect Washington to take full advantage of this fact.

If Olu Fashanu makes it this far down the pecking order, the Commanders could do everything in their power to go up and land the prospect. Projections surrounding the Penn State standout are sketchy right now. Some have him going in the 5-10 range. Others have him going anywhere from No. 10 to No. 20 depending on which mock draft you read.

This is something the Commanders should be watching intently. Fashanu is arguably the best pure pass protector in this year's class, boasting exceptional athleticism and length to become a Day 1 starter with decade-long upside. There is some work needed to become more forceful against the run, but he's got the size and strength to make strides in this area once NFL-caliber coaches get to work on him.

Fashanu's footwork and technique in passing situations are exemplary. Once the Commanders take their future signal-caller at No. 2, they must firmly set their sights on an edge presence capable of keeping their blindside free of complications consistently.

There is plenty to like about Fashanu's ability to solve this riddle. He might be long gone even by the teens, but the Commanders need to shoot their shot if he falls to an acceptable area of the first round.