Saturday, September 10, 2022

Washington Commanders 2023 NFL Mock Draft Roundup 2.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft, we will update our Washington Commanders Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Washington Commanders from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Commanders:

CBS Sports - Wilson (9/7)

11. Arik Gilbert, TE, Georgia

Sure, this might be a tad high for Gilbert, but he has the chance to be special. And if Carson Wentz does indeed prove to be the guy in Washington, he'll need as many weapons as possible.

The Draft Network - Crabbs (9/5)

10. Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

Logan Thomas has been a productive player when he's been on the field and Washington is carrying three other tight ends: John Bates and rookies Cole Turner, and Armani Rodgers. But hear me out: Washington could transition away from Thomas for just $3.5M in dead cap this offseason and get an upgrade at the position.

Michael Mayer is a proven volume target—Thomas has caught more than 18 passes just once in his career. If Carson Wentz is going to stick, he'll need a player at tight end to lean on. Mayer can be it.

Sporting News - Iyer (9/3)

8. Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama

The Commanders have gotten good return from their defensive front seven when healthy but have failed to address the secondary well by going the free-agent route. Ricks is the necessary alpha cover corner to support Chase Young from the back end.

SI - Hanson (8/31)

10. Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia

Neither Kendall Fuller nor William Jackson III are under contract past 2023, and Jackson turns 30 in October. Ringo is a former five-star recruit with an elite combination of size (6'2", 205 pounds) and speed (4.35 40-yard dash). In addition to his elite speed and closing burst, he plays physically at the line of scrimmage and in run support.

The Athletic - Baumgardner/Tice (8/31)

11. Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

Washington needs an anchor outside defensively and Gonzalez — all 6-2, 200 of him — could be just that. A member of Bruce Feldman's Freaks List, Gonzalez is all gas and explosion around the ball and in coverage. Offensive line could also be in the cards for Washington here, but this felt like too promising a fit to pass up.

The Draft Network - Weissman (8/29)

10. Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina

The Commanders' cornerback depth chart is just above average and can certainly use some added reinforcements. Cam Smith is my favorite corner at this stage of the process and would be a home run pick for Washington. He is a big, long, and physical corner who also has the instincts and ball skills that teams covet.

Pro Football Network - Fragozza (8/27)

11. Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M

Don't call Antonio Johnson a safety or a cornerback. Simply call him a "defensive back" because pigeonholing him into one role is irresponsible. Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said it best:

"There's not much [Johnson] can't do. He'll play nickel, safety, dime. We can move him around and match him up because he's such a tremendous football player."

6'3" and 200 pounds should not move the way Johnson does. His rapid downhill trigger eliminates big plays before they can happen, and he has the speed to click and close and recover downfield.

ESPN - Reid (8/25)

11. Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia

Cornerback sits atop the Commanders' positional needs, and Ringo is big, physical and speedy. As a 19-year-old redshirt freshman in 2021, his ability to make splash plays stood out, including a game-sealing pick-six in the national title game against Alabama. He is still developing and has to play faster this season, but Ringo has a chance to be the first cornerback off the board. Washington allowed 7.6 yards per pass attempt last season, sixth worst in the NFL.

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