Commanders player grades through Week 2: Defense and Special Teams

It's been a roaring start from the Commanders defense in 2023.

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Cody Barton - Commanders LB

  • Player Grade: D+

Cody Barton’s fumble recovery against the Denver Broncos was crucial. Hopefully, it's also a sign of things to come.

He is an active linebacker, but so far, he has been out of position quite a bit. Barton also has not shown much as either a run-stopper or as a cover presence at the defensive second level.

Jamin Davis - Commanders LB

  • Player Grade: B-

Jamin Davis made the hit that caused the abovementioned fumble in the Denver game. It was nice to see the two linebackers combine on such a good play.

Davis’ role is becoming clear. It does not look like he will develop into the every-down linebacker the Washington Commanders hoped for when they drafted him, and that's fine.

He would probably be better off playing the edge in a 3-4 front. This is because Davis is clearly best near the line of scrimmage chasing the quarterback and shooting gaps on runs.

That’s not what Davis will be asked to do on this defense and so he will remain a decent presence, but nothing more. When it's all said and done, the Commanders cannot afford to have their linebacking corps become a weak link.