Commanders NEED to trade down in 2022 NFL draft

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The Washington Commanders really need to trade down in the upcoming 2022 NFL draft.

When Washington wanted Carson Wentz so badly, was it necessary to relinquish a 2022 third-round draft pick, a 2023 third-round pick that is conditional and is most likely to become second-round pick? Was it also necessary, that the Commanders allowed Colts GM Chris Ballard to talk them into swapping down from the No. 42 overall selection Friday to the No. 47 selection? Even more, did Ballard also get his way, when Washington agreed to take on Wentz’s entire salary for the next three seasons?

Colts owner Jim Irsay had already laid down the gavel to Ballard and head coach Frank Reich that Irsay did not want Wentz back for 2022. Thus Ballard “HAD” to trade Wentz.

This means Washington does not presently own an opportunity to select a player in either the third or fifth rounds of this year’s draft. You recall in the 2021 NFL draft Washington sent this year’s fifth-round pick to the Eagles for a sixth-round pick (225) and a seventh-round pick (240). With those two picks, Washington selected Cameron Cheeseman and William-Bradley King.

In addition, Washington’s strongest position last year was defensive tackle. The team exhibited strength and depth with Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Matt Ioannidis and Tim Settle. However, they failed to sign Tim Settle, and he signed a two-year deal for only $9 million with Buffalo. Washington then released Ioannidis “after” losing Settle.

Was Washington actually negotiating with Settle, attempting to keep him? He signed quickly for a price Washington could have easily matched or bettered, had they released Ioannidis just days earlier.

Without a third-round and fifth-round pick, Washington still has two options. They have the No. 11 and No. 47 overall selections. They desperately need to add a strong inside defensive tackle in this draft. They might also like to draft a quarterback as well to see how he develops in the next few seasons.

Consequently, Washington could trade down from No. 11 overall, still remain in the first round, and easily pick up an extra draft pick or two. They could also trade down from No. 47 adding a draft pick as well.

Yes, Washington landed an upgrade at quarterback in Wentz. And yes, they also still have the opportunity in front of them in this week’s draft to trade down and meet other roster needs that should be addressed.

Two things will need to be present: a team wanting badly enough to trade up and Washington wanting badly enough to trade down to obtain a few more draft picks.