Re-grading the Commanders 2023 NFL Draft class after one season

Ron Rivera's no longer head coach of the Washington Commanders for a variety of reasons, but the poor returns from the team's 2023 NFL Draft class are one of the biggest.

Emmanuel Forbes
Emmanuel Forbes / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Chris Rodriguez Jr. - Commanders RB

  • Running Back | Kentucky Wildcats
  • No. 193 overall

No running back on the Washington Commanders' roster got enough carries on the watch of offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. Sixth-round pick Chris Rodriguez Jr. was no different, but he did enough with what he was given to merit a bigger role in 2024.

What Rodriguez did was average 4.8 yards per carry. He also proved tough and durable between the tackles.

Those qualities helped the ex-Kentucky star enjoy a breakout game against the New York Jets in Week 16. Rodriguez gashed the Jets for 58 rushing yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries.

More than the scores, Rodriguez ran angrily and with power. He kept his pad level low and shoulders square to punish would-be tacklers and gain 124 of his 247 rushing yards after contact.

That power and anger showed up consistently against the Jets, on plays highlighted by Commanders analyst Mark Bullock.

Rodriguez gave the Commanders nice value on a late-round pick before injury struck. He deserves a longer look in an offense more geared to the ground game.

Draft Grade: B+