We are trying something new this season at Commanders Wire. Ahead of each week’s game, we assess the roster of the upcoming opponent and pick one player the Commanders could “steal” from their opponents to help balance out their current roster.
The Cardinals are undergoing a major rebuild. Some believe they’ll be the worst team in the NFL in 2023. But this is the NFL, and everyone has good players throughout the roster. Safety Budda Baker first comes to mind for Arizona, but the Commanders have a terrific combination of youth and depth at safety, with Kamren Curl, Darrick Forrest, Percy Butler and Jeremy Reaves.
So, the one player that Washington would steal in this hypothetical exercise would be rookie left tackle Paris Johnson Jr.
Yes, we are aware that Johnson has yet to take an official NFL snap. However, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft certainly looked the part in his limited preseason action.
Paris Johnson this preseason: 18 pass blocking snaps, 0 sacks allowed, 0 QB hits allowed.
Dawand Jones this preseason: 148 pass blocking snaps (most in NFL), 0 sacks allowed.
Luke Wypler this preseaosn: 133 pass blocking snaps (2nd most in NFL), 0 sacks allowed.
The Buckeyes… pic.twitter.com/gQay7gjvy3
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) August 28, 2023
At 6-foot-6, 313 pounds, Johnson has the ideal combination of size, length, athleticism and quick feet teams desire in a left tackle. Washington’s left tackle, Charles Leno Jr., will be 32 in October, and Johnson could step in at left tackle for the Commanders immediately or wait a year.
Washington liked the former Ohio State product in the draft but knew it would have no chance to select him.
In Sunday’s game, Johnson draws Montez Sweat and Chase Young in his NFL debut. Young’s status is still up in the air, but he sure sounded like he plans on playing in Week 1.