Commanders GM Adam Peters puts NFL on notice with draft Day 2 masterclass

The new Commanders GM is putting the league on notice...
Adam Peters
Adam Peters / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Building a sustainable winner through the NFL Draft is not something that always means taking a prospect that fits a need over the best available, all while considering the current and future needs. There are layers to it, which Washington Commanders general manager Adam Peters seems to have a great feel for.

With the quarterback situation taken care of, the rest of the draft was open to interpretation. Would the Commanders address the offensive line? Would they go safety? How about adding another wide receiver for Jayden Daniels?

Fortunately, Peters knows what he's doing. He played everything perfectly, putting on a board manipulation masterclass throughout Day 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Commanders hit the jackpot on Day 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft

With the No. 36 pick, the Commanders selected defensive tackle Johnny Newton from Illinois, the reigning Big 10 defensive player of the year. This is a selection that symbolizes the culture being built in DC. Instead of filling a need, Washington went with the projected first-round pick and took the approach of filling the locker room with high-quality football players.

After a second-round trade with the Philadelphia Eagles - which allowed their rivals to take highly touted cornerback Cooper DeJean - the Commanders drafted the player whom Nick Saban touted as the best pound-for-pound prospect in the entire draft, cornerback Mike Sainristil. It's highly possible, perhaps even probable, that Peters had the Michigan standout ranked higher than on his board and was able to move from pick No. 78 to No. 53 in the process.

Newton and Sainristil are starting-caliber players for many teams across the league and can almost be expected to become dominant ones down the line. They both possess the type of intelligence that allows defenders to become long-time stars.

Ben Sinnott, the tight end out of Kansas State was brought in at pick No. 53. His pass-catching abilities are excellent, and his blocking is nowhere near as bad as many have made it out to be. With John Bates around to block and Zach Ertz nearing the end of his career, one could imagine a scenario where the second-round pick's pass-catching abilities thrust him into the starting lineup halfway through the 2024 campaign.

The Commanders grabbed Brandon Coleman, the versatile offensive lineman, with a third-round pick. Standing at 6-foot-5 and 313 pounds, Washington likely sees him as a player who can step in and compete for the starting left tackle position immediately. Should he return to his uninjured form showcased in 2022, he is the type of player who could grow into a stalwart to protect and grow with Daniels.

To round an exceptional Day 2, Peters selected Luke McCaffrey with the No. 100 pick. Though it is highly unlikely he turns out to be of the same value as his brother Christian, the Rice prospect is a 6-foot-2 slot receiver who could come in from the outset and start alongside Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson.

Don't let his phlegmatic smile fool you. Peters is a ruthless individual when it comes to building a franchise. It's not unrealistic to say that the Commanders added four or five future starters that could be around for some time to come.

Peters' philosophy of taking the best player available rather than drafting for need is how the Commanders are going to turn their franchise around. He and the new ownership group said they had to deserve the trust of the fanbase. This is how you do it.

The rest of the NFL is on notice.