Sunday, January 15, 2023

Washington Commanders 2023 NFL Mock Draft Roundup 3.0

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 - Stackpole (1/13)

16. Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina

The Commanders have a formidable front -- especially with Chase Young being back -- and linebacker Jamin Davis made significant strides in his second season. What the stout defense doesn't have, however, is a shutdown corner. Kendall Fuller is a nice player, but he's not going to consistently contain the likes of CeeDee Lamb and A.J. Brown. Cam Smith could develop into that type of cover guy, as his length and instincts will translate well to the next level.

San Diego Union Tribune - Brown (1/12)

16. Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

Taylor Heinicke, Carson Wentz and Sam Howell (he was solid versus the Cowboys) won't prohibit the Commanders from seeking a quarterback. Especially one that might remind coach Ron Rivera of Cam Newton — not necessarily his fashion sense — his former MVP signal-caller in Carolina. Richardson is the wild-card in this QB class. His range is anywhere from first overall pick — I expect scouts and coaches/coordinators to fall in love with his traits (i.e. ceiling) — to a day two selection.

NBC Sports Chicago - Morgan (1/12)

16. Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson

Simpson moves with a video game-like suddenness, startling opponents into poor decisions and effectively causing chaos on the offensive side of the ball. The type of three-down linebacker that lines up anywhere on the field, in 2022 Simpson not only lined up on the defensive front he also played in the slot and defended within the box. Simpson's versatility is exactly what Washington could use to bolster its inconsistent second unit.

Yahoo! Sports - McDonald (1/11)

16. Bryan Bresee, IDL, Clemson

With Daron Payne set to hit free agency, here's another first-round defensive lineman to potentially replace him. Bresee would fit in well on a Commanders line that already has a lot of talent.

Walter Football (1/11)

16. Brian Branch, S, Alabama

The [Commanders] can't cover anyone, thanks to William Jackson being a complete bust as a free agent signing. They desperately need someone new to stay with A.J. Brown and CeeDee Lamb.

Brian Branch has nice size and cover ability.

CBS Sports - Trapasso (1/11)

16. Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

The Commanders could use more high-end talent at the outside cornerback position, and Porter is a long, disruptive defender.

USA Today - MMS (1/10)

16. Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

In its quest to find a quarterback, Washington's brain trust does what its passers can't: repeatedly throw darts. Richardson, however, might represent one of the wildest gambles of all. A dazzling deep thrower with a rare blend of speed and power as a runner, the 6-4, 232-pound quarterback is a singular prospect in any draft class. But that's also partly due to his maddening inconsistency as a passer, leaving him very much an unknown entity at this point in his career. Starting him anytime soon would be a massive risk for any NFL franchise, but would that really scare off the Commanders given their current outlook?

Bleacher Report (1/9)

16. Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State

A quarterback could enter the chat if he's not blocked by the Washington Commanders' moderator, i.e., Ron Rivera.

A plan could come together to replace Carson Wentz, or Washington could go into another season with Wentz behind center. But the Commanders are far from settled at signal-caller.

The best way to make a poor quarterback setup look better is by placing a strong supporting cast around the position. Thus, Washington turns to their offensive line.

"Washington is in desperate need of help along the interior but could use an upgrade at tackle if a prospect of Paris Johnson's caliber fell to them at 14," Thorn reasoned. "Charles Leno Jr. still has two years on his contract, and the team drafted Sam Cosmi in the second round just a couple of years ago.

"But Johnson's movement skills trump both and offer legitimate Pro Bowl upside. The 21-year-old consensus All-American has only played left tackle for one year at the collegiate level. Despite his inexperience, Johnson is a refined, potent run-blocker with the athletic ability and range to play on an island in the NFL.

"The early entrant does must get stronger in his lower half and refine his use of hands to transition into his anchor more efficiently. Both issues are workable, while he offers clear strengths to make an impact right away in the run game."

A ripple effect should occur. Johnson can start his career guard, as he did at Ohio State, or move to right tackle while Cosmi can bump inside to improve the interior.

The 33rd Team (1/9)

16. Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

Richardson might need time to develop, but he is a high-upside prospect at 6-foot-4, 236 pounds. Washington needs to add a spark to their offense.

PFF - Renner (1/9)

16. Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

Gonzalez is one of the most scheme-versatile cornerbacks in the class with a level of fluidity and explosiveness you rarely see in a 6-foot-2 player at the position. He picked off four passes and broke up six more in his first season with Oregon in 2022.

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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