Grading every Commanders pick from the 2024 NFL Draft

To say it was an eventful draft for the Commanders would be an understatement.
Jayden Daniels
Jayden Daniels / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages
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Commanders drafted Mike Sainristil

  • Cornerback | Michigan Wolverines
  • No. 50 overall

One of the biggest needs for the Washington Commanders heading into the 2024 NFL Draft centered on the cornerback position. Kendal Fuller's departure in free agency was a blow, but Adam Peters didn't make much of an effort to keep the veteran around as part of his ambitious plans to revamp the roster.

Michael Davis should help as a situational coverage presence, but the free-agent signings aside from that were underwhelming. Considering how indifferent the consistency became from Benjamin St-Juste and Emmanuel Forbes, fans were clamoring for the Commanders to rectify this complication relatively early in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Thankfully, this potential problem didn't go unnoticed by the general manager. The Commanders bided their time before deciding to acquire Mike Sainristil at No. 50 overall. This came after Peters struck a trade deal with the Philadelphia Eagles - something that enabled them to select stud defensive back Cooper DeJean after he surprisingly fell out of the first round.

Sainristil was lauded as the best pound-for-pound player in the draft by former Alabama head coach Nick Saban. That's high praise indeed. It's also not hard to see why looking at his exceptional influence during Michigan's college football national championship triumph.

Peters stated that he expects Sainristil to occupy the STAR cornerback spot, which also indicates that Quan Martin could be switched to the backend within Dan Quinn and Joe Whitt Jr.'s scheme. If anyone can help this sort of defensive back hit the ground running, it's the two aforementioned coaches.

Draft Grade: A

This could be another masterstroke from Peters when it's all said and done. Sainristil was touted as a potential first-rounder held in the highest regard around the league. He's also a winner and leads by vocal motivation and example - two things the Commanders were looking for as part of their cultural reset under Josh Harris' ownership group.