What does Scot McCloughan think of the Commanders 2023 draft class?
Former Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan provided his opinion Monday regarding the Commanders’ 2023 draft.
McCloughan runs a scouting service and is a resource for NFL teams. He still, to some degree, follows Washington, saying he pulls for them and still sees the NFC East as a fun, competitive division.
A guest on the “Al Galdi Podcast” Monday, McCloughan expressed he really liked Sam Howell in last year’s draft, though Howell lasted until the 5th round. He “proved he would compete and would not back down (in his last year at North Carolina), and I think that shows what you want in a franchise quarterback,” declared McCloughan.
Galdi then inquired of McCloughan’s analysis of each of the Commanders’ draft picks in April’s draft.
Round 1 Pick 16, Emmanuel Forbes CB Mississippi State
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE – DECEMBER 28: J.J. Sparkman #84 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Emmanuel Forbes #13 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
McCloughan said he liked Emmanuel Forbes over Christian Gonzalez, who was taken the very next selection by the Patriots.
“Ball skills change a game.”
“But you do have to worry about his durability; you have to. It’s not that he backs down from contact or doesn’t want to. It’s just physically can he hold up?”
“He has excellent coverage skills, is an excellent athlete, has excellent ball skills, is a game changer. I think it is a really good pick, but he has to stay healthy.”
Round 2 Pick 47, Jartavius "Quan" Martin DB Illinois
Purdue Boilermakers wide receiver TJ Sheffield (8) can’t make this catch after Illinois Fighting Illini defensive back Jartavius Martin (21). Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
“I like him a lot. They took a football player.”
“I think he will be a good safety. Special? Who knows. But he can line up every day and play, and you will know what you got, and that is really cool.”
“His mindset and the way he plays football, understands the game, from what I see on watching the tape, he sees it, understands it and I’m telling you, he will be a good player.”
Round 3 Pick 97, Ricky Stromberg C Arkansas
PROVO UT- OCTOBER 15: Ricky Stromberg #51 of the Arkansas Razorbacks. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
“I like him a lot, I have him a third-round grade.”
“I think he has a chance, depending upon your depth, to come in and be a Day 1 starter.”
“He’s played a lot of football, good football in the SEC. Being at Arkansas, he played against a lot of good players. He had success and failures but fought his way through it and played a lot of snaps.”
Round 4 Pick 118, Braeden Daniels T/G Utah
Braeden Daniels of Utah participates in a drill during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 05, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
“As an athlete, he definitely could be a left tackle. He has movement skills, and he played for a very good coach that teaches toughness, competitiveness, how to be successful in life.”
“He needs more substance, more strength, which he will get. But he is never going to be a real big guy. He will be more of a zone-type guy than a mauler-type guy.”
“A lot of talent there, and for the price you paid there to get it, I think it is a heck of a pick.”
Round 5 Pick 137, K.J. Henry DE Clemson
Oct 1, 2022; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Clemson defensive end K.J. Henry (5) pressures NC State quarterback Devin Leary (13) during the first quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports
“He has not been special, but still, he is a pass rusher. He has some strength, some length, just gets after it.”
“You would like to see more production, but where they took him, I think the bang for the buck, it’s a great pick.”
Round 6 Pick 193, Chris Rodriguez Jr. RB Kentucky
Nov 19, 2022; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Kentucky Wildcats running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. (24) runs the ball during the fourth quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs at Kroger Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports
“This is the one guy I really, really liked going into the season. Between the tackles, downhill, no bull s _ _ _ running style. Love it, love it.”
“I don’t know it for a fact, but there may be some issues. I gave him a second-round grade, I think he is an every-down running back starter. He brings the toughness, the no-nonsense.”
“But the one thing that really bothered me was the fact that he backed out of the bowl game. I don’t think that is his character. Now, if it is, then he is not the guy I thought he was. But if not, then I think (the pick) is a steal. He is made for the NFL.”
Round 7 Pick 233, Andre Jones Jr. Edge Louisiana
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – MARCH 02: Linebacker Andre Jones, Jr. of Louisiana‐Lafayette participates in the 40-yard dash during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 02, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Perhaps it was an oversight, or perhaps it was planned, but Galdi did not ask for McCloughan’s analysis of this last of the Commanders’ draft selections.