With Chase Young and Montez Sweat both out of contract next spring, the Washington Commanders select a replacement in Pro Football Network's latest 2024 mock draft.
While the attention is focused on the football side of things right now, the Washington Commanders have some off-the-field matters that require action somewhere down the line. The biggest storyline of all is the futures of Montez Sweat and Chase Young.
Both defensive ends are out of contract after the Commanders didn't pick up Young's fifth-year option. This was the right call in the circumstances, but it doesn't detract from what a financial conundrum Washington could face next spring if their strong start to the campaign continues throughout 2023.
Sweat looks like a man possessed so far this season. Young's also shown signs of life, so keeping both around could be complicated despite the expected salary cap rises around the league.
Commanders select Dallas Turner in 2024 mock draft
This played a significant role in Ian Valentino from Pro Football Network's choice for the Commanders in his latest 2024 mock draft. Instead of selecting a new quarterback from No. 8 overall, the writer opted to pick edge rusher Dallas Turner, the latest in a long line of Alabama defensive ends set to thrive at the next level.
"The Commanders have sunk a ton of resources into their defensive line over the years and have built an impressive unit. With Chase Young and Montez Sweat needing a new contract soon, Washington will likely only keep one. Replacing the other with the second-best edge rusher in the class is a cheaper way to do business. Dallas Turner is a fantastic athlete who doesn’t know how to maximize his gifts in the passing game. He’s a plus-run defender with excellent awareness, but landing with Washington might be the key to becoming a dominant force on passing downs."- Ian Valentino, Pro Football Network
This would be a big call to make considering how stacked the 2024 NFL Draft class is expected to be at the quarterback spot. And if the Commanders are picking in the top 10, chances are Sam Howell hasn't continued his decent start to the 2023 season.
Turner has next-level explosiveness and his build already looks NFL-ready. His thick frame also allows him to set the edge against the run with relative comfort, which makes him a complete prospect with Day 1 starting potential if additional development occurs throughout the current college season.
Of course, this is primarily dependent on whether the Commanders can work something out with Young and Sweat. Retaining both isn't impossible - especially if the contracts are worked to benefit the team - but there's just no telling what those in power will be thinking on this topic months from now.
The Commanders will be working on contingency plans in the event one leaves. But allocating another first-round selection on the defensive front when other areas are crying out for reinforcements wouldn't be the most ideal scenario all things considered.
There is a lot of football to play and pre-draft assessments to get through first. Depending on how things fare throughout Washington's remaining fixtures, there could also be a change in prominent coaching and front-office positions under Josh Harris' ownership group to factor into the equation.
Turner has all the makings of a star. But in an ideal world, the Commanders find a way to keep their current pass-rushers on the books.