The Washington Commanders hope to be a better team in the upcoming season, as the NFC East will likely be a wide-open race once again. We’ve seen the front office make some moves to give the team a better chance next season and the rookie class will play a large role in that potential success. We take a look at the Commanders 2022 NFL Draft with our grades for each pick in mind.
Washington had eight selections in the NFL Draft and selected five offensive players. Most of the rookies will have a chance to make an immediate impact, as the Commanders could use a boost from their prospects. It’ll be interesting to see how the season plays out, but this franchise should feel comfortable about the future.
With that said, here are our Commanders 2022 NFL Draft grades for every single pick.
Washington Commanders 2022 NFL Draft Grades
Round 1 Pick 16 Overall – Jahan Dotson: A+
The Commanders walked out of the first round with a solid receiver prospect in Jahan Dotson. He’s the perfect complement to Terry McLaurin and can open up the field with his speed. Washington has struggled offensively through recent years, but the franchise has finally found a strong second option to pair up with McLaurin.
Dotson was one of the most hyped-up receiver prospects in this class. He’s a phenomenal route runner with great hands and is dangerous after the catch as well. With McLaurin and Antonio Gibson likely taking most of the attention from opposing defenses, we could see Jahan Dotson have a spectacular rookie campaign.
Round 2 Pick 47 Overall – Phidarian Mathis: B-
Phidarian Mathis is a great prospect and should have a long career in the NFL. However, it’s hard to imagine what type of role he’s going to have in Washington. The Commanders have a plethora of defensive linemen, as it is their strongest area on the roster. Mathis is a great athlete, but it didn’t make much sense for the front office to select him in the middle of round two.
Round 3 Pick 98 Overall – Brian Robinson: B-
Another head-scratching selection was Brian Robinson in the third round. Again, he’s a great athlete and could be a great running back in the NFL. However, with Antonio Gibson leading the way, the Commanders could have used this pick on a position of need instead. Regardless, the league is likely heading towards more dual-running back systems, so Washington might have put themselves ahead of the curve.
Robinson can be a strong second-option in the run game. We’ve seen teams utilize a committee in the backfield before. Additionally, the Commanders head coach Ron Rivera likes the idea of using two running backs in his offense, as we saw him run that system during his tenure with the Carolina Panthers. Keep an eye on Brian Robinson, as he is in a position to carve out a legitimate role in the first year of his career.
Round 4 Pick 113 Overall – Percy Butler: B+
Washington’s secondary struggled last season, which was shocking considering how stacked the front seven is. It would have been nice to see the Commander get a safety or cornerback within the first three rounds, however, Percy Butler is a solid prospect. He’s likely going to be in a backup role but should have a chance to earn some playing time throughout his rookie season. Keep an eye on Butler, as he has the potential to be a starter a lot sooner than people think.
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Round 5 Pick 144 Overall – Sam Howell: A
It was shocking to see Sam Howell drop so far in the 2022 NFL Draft. Many speculated Howell would be a nice Day 2 pick, but the Commanders took him in the fifth round. Howell has a ton of work to do before becoming a possible starter. With that in mind, Carson Wentz is the current starting quarterback and he hasn’t been consistent at all in recent years. Howell has a real chance to earn a starting spot in the next year or two.
Round 5 Pick 149 Overall – Cole Turner: B+
The Commanders have had a solid string of tight ends run through Washington but none of them have been able to remain healthy. This draft class was stacked with a bunch of solid tight end prospects, which worked well in this team’s favor. Cole Turner is a solid blocker who can be a legitimate backup behind Logan Thomas. He has the potential to become a starter one day, but it will take a few years of development before he gets there.
Round 7 Pick 230 Overall – Chris Paul: B
Chris Paul is a decent prospect who can earn a role as a backup guard in Washington. He needs to improve in several key areas though, so his development will be important over the next couple of years. The Commanders might consider placing him on the practice squad, as Paul needs as much time as he can get to become ready for a more prominent role in the NFL.
Round 7 Pick 240 Overall – Christian Holmes: B
Taking a cornerback this late was a good decision for the Commanders. However, Christian Holmes is likely going to be a special team expert to start his career. It’ll be a long hard journey for him to become a major contributor to the defense, but Holmes can help Washington tremendously on special teams.