Commanders 7-round 2024 NFL mock draft: Defining moment edition

The defining moment is almost upon us.
Jalen McMillan
Jalen McMillan / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders draft Matt Goncalves

  • Offensive Tackle | Pittsburgh Panthers
  • Round No. 5 | No. 152 overall

I'll start this by saying there is almost no chance of Matt Goncalves being around at this stage of the 2024 NFL Draft. The offensive tackle looks to have successfully alleviated injury concerns during medical testing. A few notable insiders are also projecting him to be taken sooner than most projections - perhaps as soon as the third round when push comes to shove.

That said, if Goncalves is available here, it's a no-brainer. He's an accomplished edge protector with potential starting credentials attached over time. Considering the inconsistent performances Andrew Wylie put together during his first season with the Washington Commanders, picking up someone like this could raise urgency and provide more encouraging signs long-term along the way.

Goncalves is a strong pass protector despite needing some improvement technically. He's got a thick base that allows him to be impactful on running plays and against power rushes. The Pittsburgh prospect's hand placement plays a significant role in his success, which often compensates for his lack of agility.

Whether that'll continue in the pros is highly debatable. But the Commanders have enough veteran pieces on their offensive tackle depth chart to provide Goncalves extra freedom to develop at his own pace.

Commanders draft George Holani

  • Running Back | Boise State Broncos
  • Round No. 7 | No. 222 overall

The Commanders appear to be set at the running back spot heading into the new campaign after signing Austin Ekeler in free agency. But this stage of the draft is all about taking fliers on rough diamonds and hoping they evolve into something more. This means acquiring another backfield threat cannot be completely dismissed further down the pecking order.

George Holani's draft stock will probably drop due to his injury history. However, there's some intrigue thanks to the prospect's ability to make people miss in open space and as a receiver out of the backfield.

Holani isn't the most physically imposing running back, but he's got adequate speed to exploit gaps. His on-field vision is impressive and contact balance is another big positive working in the player's favor.

If the Boise State prospect checks out medically, the Commanders could stash him on the roster as competition for the third or fourth running back spot. Holani might also excel as a kick returner thanks to the new NFL rules being implemented in 2024.