NFL Draft primer: Commanders' QB need is clear, but which one will they choose?

2023 record: 4-13, missed playoffs

Draft picks per round

1st round: No. 2
2nd round: No. 36
2nd round: No. 40 (from Bears)
3rd round: No. 67
3rd round: No. 78 (from Seahawks)
3rd round: No. 100 (compensatory pick from 49ers)
5th round: No. 139
5th round: No. 152 (from Seahawks)
7th round: No. 222

(Taylar Sievert/Yahoo Sports)
(Taylar Sievert/Yahoo Sports)

Top needs

Tight end
Edge rusher
Offensive line

Quarterback is the most glaring need and the source of the draft's most compelling intrigue. Assuming the Chicago Bears select Caleb Williams with the first pick, which quarterback will Washington draft second overall? Whether it's Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels, quarterback is the only choice here.

Football's most important position is far from the only position of need for a team that won four games last season. The Commanders waved the white flag at the trade deadline and dismantled their pass rush, sending off Montez Sweat and Chase Young for draft capital that produced second- and third-round picks this year. They can and likely will use some of that capital to rebuild their pass rush after selecting a quarterback in the first round.

The Commanders allowed 65 sacks last season, tied for second-most in the NFL. While the now-departed Sam Howell shoulders plenty of blame for that tally, so does Washington's offensive line.

Best first-round fits

Caleb Williams, QB, USC
Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina
Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Best Day 2 fits

Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State
Adisa Isaac, EDGE, Penn State
Jonah Elliss, EDGE, Utah
Bralen Trice, EDGE, Washington
Tyler Guyton, T, Oklahoma
Kingsley Suamataia, T, BYU
Blake Fisher, T, Notre Dame
Ja'Tavion Sanders, TE, Texas
Ben Sinnott, TE, Kansas State

How they did last draft

Washington received a D-plus. Second-round defensive back Quan Martin earned a starting role by the end of the season and projects as the nickel back in 2024. The Commanders will look for first-round cornerback Emmanuel Forbes to take a step forward next season after playing as a part-time starter as a rookie.

Fourth-round offensive lineman Braeden Daniels landed on injured reserve with a torn rotator cuff. He'll have a chance to compete for a starting position in the fall if healthy. Third-round center Ricky Stromberg could also compete for more playing time.

Sixth-round pick Chris Rodriguez earned snaps as a backup and saw his role increase as the season progressed before landing on injured reserve in December.

Dream fantasy draft pick

Drake Maye. The Commanders have the makings of a good receivers room with Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson at the top but neither has been maximized by quality, in-structure quarterback play in their careers. Maye isn’t a perfect prospect but he reacts well to pressure and has shown he can play in chaos. That will be important to his Year 1 outlook in Washington as the Commanders are sure to have offensive line issues. Maye’s aggressive nature will unlock a new ceiling for McLaurin and Dotson, who have shown on film that they can get open downfield and win contested catches. — Matt Harmon