Defending the Commanders 2023 draft class
As rookies drafted across all seven rounds thrive around the league, the Washington Commanders are getting almost nothing from their 2023 NFL Draft class. Emmanuel Forbes' recent struggles are well documented, with others either inactive on game day or simply not trusted enough to see the field at all when they suit up.
This is bringing into question Ron Rivera's choices with the capital at Washington's disposal. There might be a chance for second-rounder Quan Martin to get more reps with Darrick Forrest on injured/reserve, but the others look a long way from contributing meaningful snaps in a competitive setting.
When discussing the 2023 draft class, Rivera stated via Nicki Jhabvala from The Washington Post that in an ideal world, every first-year-pro would be playing. However, some take more time to develop than others.
"You’d like to think that the early-on picks … [are] going to be able to contribute one way or the other. And more so when you get into your top four — you want some sort of impact from them. Just because you draft a guy in the second or third round doesn’t necessarily mean he’s an automatic starter. When I came into the league, guys that were drafted in the second [or] third round weren’t expected to play right away. You do want to play these guys, and that’s why you took them. But when somebody’s playing, you’re not going to make changes to make changes or just say, ‘Oh, yeah, well, we drafted him, [so] we got to play him.’ They got to earn the right to get on the field, too. They got to beat out whoever’s in that position."- Ron Rivera via Washington Post
That's all well and good. But as we're about to discuss, time is a luxury Rivera doesn't have in pursuit of turning the Commanders around.