Commanders 7-round 2024 NFL mock draft: Pre-free agency edition

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Kamren Kinchens
Kamren Kinchens / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders draft Payton Wilson

  • Linebacker | NC State Wolfpack
  • No. 67 overall

As it stands right now, the Washington Commanders are in desperate need of help at the linebacker position. There should be a healthy amount of prominent veterans set to hit free agency, but going down the college route for a longer-term solution is also something for Adam Peters to consider.

Payton Wilson ticks the boxes. He's a little on the older side and does have some injury red flags, but the production as a genuine sideline-to-sideline threat would be a tremendous asset to call upon. There is also a lot to like about his on-field intelligence, which identifies offensive packages pre-snap extremely well.

Even if the Commanders go down the free-agent avenue for immediate help at the defensive second level, picking up Wilson at this stage of the draft wouldn't be the worst idea in the world.

Commanders draft D.J. James

  • Cornerback | Auburn Tigers
  • No. 99 overall

Kendall Fuller's future is also under a cloud until further notice. The veteran cornerback looks set to get offers from elsewhere when the free-agent frenzy commences. The Commanders should make an effort to keep him around, but the new regime won't overpay as part of their ambitious plans to take the franchise forward.

Even if Fuller stays, the Commanders need another dynamic cornerback capable of assisting from a coverage capacity. D.J. James looks like an intriguing prospect boasting a nice blend of quick-twitch changes in motion and instincts to track receivers downfield.

At 5-foot-11, he could have trouble going up against more physically imposing wideouts at the next level. But his skills are in keeping with the sort of cornerbacks Dan Quinn had so much success with on the Dallas Cowboys.