As the NFL Draft approaches, the Washington Commanders find themselves at a pivotal moment for rebuilding. They have a selection of draft picks that have the potential to dramatically alter the future course of the franchise. Now is the moment to forge ahead. Through this 7-round mock draft, we will delve into the prospective players who may soon wear the Commanders' burgundy and gold to rejuvenate the spirits of their dedicated fan base.

Washington Commanders' 2023 Season Recap

Following a Week 13 defeat to the Miami Dolphins, the Commanders failed to surpass or even equal their previous season’s 8–8–1 record. This marked their seventh consecutive season without a winning record. They were also knocked out of playoff contention for the third year in a row after a Week 15 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Despite an encouraging start with a 2–0 record, the team's performance rapidly deteriorated. They conceded the most points of any team that year and recorded the league’s worst point differential at -189. Additionally, their offense was ranked ninth worst in the NFL.

The combination of these issues led the team to a dismal 2–13 finish for the remainder of the season. This included being swept in their division for the first time since 2019 and ending the year on an eight-game losing streak. Following the conclusion of the season, Commanders managing partner Josh Harris officially announced the team's separation from head coach Ron Rivera.

Commanders now former head coach Ron Rivera who was fired by Josh Harris after Week 18.

Draft Context

The Commanders have been notably active in free agency, though without making major financial commitments to any single player. The goal appears to be to assemble a competent team around their new quarterback. That's likely to be either Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye. Washington fans hope to achieve success with either QB in their careers. An integral part of this strategy includes securing a long-term solution at left tackle.

Moreover, the Commanders are tackling the overhaul of a defense that was the most scored upon in the NFL last season. After trading away premier edge rushers Chase Young and Montez Sweat, the team has added several rotational players. However, it’s unlikely any of them are expected to fill the void left by those departures.

Here we will look at the rookie prospects that the Washington Commanders might pick up in our 7-round 2024 Mock Draft.

Pick No. 2: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

Sure, much of the chatter and speculation seem to lean towards Jayden Daniels at this spot. That said, definitive reports on the Commanders' preference for Daniels over Maye are sparse. Given that Maye is also a top-tier quarterback for many pundits, he could be the selection here. Maye has notched the most significant throws in college football over the past two years. He also excels in mid-field throws and deep outside passes. His natural throwing power and overall arm talent will edge out Daniels, placing him just behind Caleb Williams as the second quarterback off the board in the draft.

Pick No. 12: Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

Attention: Trade possibility! It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Commanders orchestrate a trade in this draft, possibly with the Denver Broncos. The Commanders might leverage their additional Day 2 capital to ascend the draft for a pass-rushing juggernaut. Despite recent signings like Dorance Armstrong and Clelin Ferrell, the team still needs a premier edge rusher. Enter Laiatu Latu, who boasts the highest pass-rush grade and win percentage among college pass rushers over the last two years. He should be the ideal pick here.

National edge Laiatu Latu of Ucla (15) battles for position during practice for the National team at Hancock Whitney Stadium
Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Pick No. 40: Kingsley Suamataia, OL, BYU

The value seemed higher for offensive tackles early in the second round than for edge rushers available at No. 40. With an EDGE secured, the focus should shift to bolstering the offensive line. Kingsley Suamataia, though still refining his technique and potentially facing a bumpy first year, displays impressive mobility for his size. He promises significant development by his second year as a dependable tackle for the team’s future.

Pick No. 78: Andru Phillips, CB, Kentucky

Given Emmanuel Forbes’ rocky rookie season, trust in him might wane without the previous regime. Andru Phillips, with his elite explosiveness and physicality at the line, could enable Dan Quinn to intensify man coverage schemes.s

Pick No. 100: Xavier Thomas, EDGE, Clemson

Even with Latu already in the fold, selecting another EDGE within the top 100 picks allows the Commanders to field two potential starting pass-rushers. Xavier Thomas is a former top recruit whose college career was extended to six years due to the COVID season and injuries. He is known for his explosive, relentless style, ideally suited for pass-rush situations.

Pick No. 139: Dallin Holker, TE, Colorado State

Sure, the acquisition of Zach Ertz was a solid move. Still, relying on a 33-year-old as the top tight end underscores the need for youthful talent. Dallin Holker, older than typical prospects but coming off his most productive season, is a versatile athlete experienced in both blocking and receiving roles within the Rams’ offense last year.

Pick No. 152: Javon Foster, OL, Missouri

With a pressing need at offensive tackle, taking another shot at this position in the draft is prudent. Javon Foster, while not the most athletic, brings experience and intelligence to the position. He can provide valuable depth capable of stepping in effectively if needed.

Pick No. 222: Trey Taylor, S, Air Force

Trey Taylor has been a consistent starter at Air Force. He played 36 games over three seasons and earned the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back last season. His explosiveness and ability to move quickly toward the ball make him a potentially impactful late-round pick for depth at safety.

This mock draft strategically targets key areas to strengthen the Washington Commanders, setting a foundation for future success in the NFL's competitive environment.