Commanders deep dive: Day 2 NFL Draft haul can fast-track rebuild

This team's future is bright.
Adam Peters
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Mike Sainristil and Ben Sinnott filled needs

The Washington Commanders addressed probably one of their top two needs in the draft by getting Mike Sainsristil. The cornerback started his college career as a wide receiver but then made the switch to the defensive side in 2022. He was named to Second Team All-Big 10 and First Team All-American, tying for third with six interceptions in 15 starts for the Michigan Wolverines en route to the college football national championship.

Everyone knows how big of a need for another cornerback was, especially after losing Kendall Fuller. No fan was going to be satisfied going into 2024 with Emmanuel Forbes and Benjamin St-Juste as the top options. Sainristil was probably the best nickel in the draft. He doesn’t 100 percent fix the holes, as there is still some help needed on the boundary. But he gives the position a huge boost.

Sainristil displays a high football IQ and athleticism - his smooth positional transition proves that. This leads him to be elite in zone coverage. He combines this with ball skills, as he’s able to recognize where the play is headed, put himself in a position to make a play on the ball, and then come down with the football whenever he can.

The defensive back lacks size, standing at just 5-foot-9 and 182 pounds. However, Sainristil is a physical player who shows out in run defense. His physicality also makes him a great blitzer out of the nickel.

Ben Sinnott addressed another need for the Commanders. He's another weapon to help Jayden Daniels out. Zach Ertz is past his prime, so he’s more of a No. 2 and mentor for the Kansas State product.

Watching Sinnott play, he can remind you of two guys Adam Peters has familiarity with - Kyle Juszczyk and George Kittle. He played a hybrid tight end/fullback role for the Wildcats, earning First Team All-Big 12 and Third Team All-American honors in 2023.

Sinnott is going to be a jack of all trades. He’s athletic, proficient in the receiving game, and can block at all levels. He shows versatility by lining up all over the field. He’s able to get a quick burst and get to open space quickly.

The second-round pick makes just about every tough catch, showing tremendous ability to come away with the football in traffic. With a smooth transition, Sinnott can become Daniels' best friend in no time.