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 Austin Booker

  • Edge rusher | Kansas State Wildcats
  • No. 101 overall

The edge rusher position might be a more pressing priority than this during the draft. Trading Montez Sweat and Chase Young mean replacements must be sought. But looking at the money available and the options set to hit the market, the Washington Commanders could find difference-makers via the free-agent pool.

In this scenario, the Commanders can turn their attention to a developmental project pass-rusher with a high upside. Someone like Austin Booker fits the bill despite his lack of experience. He's got plenty of intriguing athletic intangibles that can be molded into something more.

If Washington finds the right free agents, there wouldn't be a great deal of pressure on Booker to be anything more than a depth piece right out of the gate. The Commanders also have an exceptional coaching staff to help the player fulfill his undoubted promise.

Commanders draft Theo Johnson

  • Tight End | Penn State Nittany Lions
  • No. 138 overall

The Commanders acted swiftly to reunite Kliff Kingsbury with a player he knows well. Veteran tight end Zach Ertz signed a one-year deal that could be worth up to $5 million with incentives. While he's far from the force of old, knowing the system well should ensure a smooth transition providing there are no more complications on the health front.

That said, the Commanders could still use another physically gifted player in the position to develop. John Bates, Cole Turner, and Armani Rogers are still around, but nobody knows what the new regime thinks of this trio or what sort of future they'll have in Washington.

Theo Johnson has the size, catch radius, and athleticism to become a factor in the passing game over time. Expecting miracles overnight is unrealistic, but the prospect could easily become a situational pass-catcher from the tight end position within Kingsbury's expansive scheme.