ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. liked the Commanders’ 2023 NFL draft
With the 2023 NFL draft now in the rearview mirror, it’s time for draft grades. Yes, they’re totally meaningless, but for any NFL fan, they are exciting.
One reason that post-draft grades became so popular was because ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. Kiper offered thoughts after each day of the draft but released his grades once the draft was complete.
Kiper’s grades are in, and for the Washington Commanders, it’s a positive grade.
Ahead of the draft, Kiper listed Washington’s needs as CB, G/C, OT, QB and TE. Kiper gave Washington a “B” for its efforts.
Here’s his analysis:
So the Commanders really are going to go into the season with Sam Howell and Jacoby Brissett as their quarterbacks, huh? They passed on Will Levis and Hendon Hooker. I would have done differently, but at least I liked who they added in Round 1. I’ve been calling cornerback Emmanuel Forbes (16) this draft’s “Splendid Splinter” because of his frame. He’s a very thin 6-foot-1, 166 pounds. All he does is make plays, though. He had six pick-sixes and 14 total interceptions in his college career. He should play early and often in Washington.
The Commanders went back to the secondary in Round 2, picking my fourth-ranked safety Jartavius Martin (47), who played a lot as a nickel. They ranked 26th in takeaways last season (18), so they went all-in on needs. They also added two interior linemen with their next two picks. I thought they reached a round for Ricky Stromberg (97), but the four-year starter is sound technically. Braeden Daniels (118) is light on his feet but undersized; he’s my seventh-ranked guard.
The quarterback question likely will linger into 2024, and I’m not sure Washington hit all of its needs outside of the secondary with this class.
As we know all too well, you can’t fully grade a draft until the class has completed at least two years. But for the Commanders, the early returns are positive.