We are only days away from the beginning of the 2022 NFL season when the Buffalo Bills take on the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams on Thursday Night Football.
For fantasy football fans, you have a few more days to draft the perfect team.
Mike Clay of ESPN is one of the NFL’s best prognosticators and does an excellent job evaluating all 32 NFL teams and players. Clay ranks each team’s positional units from 1-32 and also projects stats for the upcoming season for players from quarterbacks to punters.
Clay recently ranked the offensive and defensive unit rankings by team as a part of his 2022 preview. Where does Clay rank the Washington Commanders?
In his power rankings, Clay has the Commanders ranked No. 20, offering the following analysis:
Washington is another interesting sleeper team, as there is plenty of talent here but also a lot of questions. Wentz is an upgrade at QB, but will things fall through like they did in Indianapolis? He’ll be set up well behind a good offensive line and a skill-position group led by Terry McLaurin and first-round rookie Jahan Dotson. The defensive line remains elite on paper, but Chase Young’s torn ACL will cost him at least a month. A bounce-back campaign from William Jackson III would go a long way in the secondary.
That’s a very fair and balanced take from Clay. He acknowledges Washington’s potential while reminding everyone of its question marks. So much of the Commanders’ upcoming season rely on the right arm of Wentz.
Where does Clay rank Washington’s offensive units?
He ranks Washington’s offensive units at No. 17, with the following ranking for each positional group:
Quarterback: No. 20
Running back: No. 15
Wide receiver: No. 17
Tight end: No. 23
Offensive line: No. 6
It may appear Clay is sleeping a bit on Washington’s wide receivers. But, when you consider Curtis Samuel has yet to make one impactful play as a Commander and Jahan Dotson is a rookie, the ranking makes sense. It’s all about potential right now, not production.
As for tight end, on paper, it is fair. However, Logan Thomas appears healthy and ready for a return early in the 2022 season, and young tight ends Cole Turner and Armani Rogers could be breakout candidates.
Clay remains high on Washington’s offensive line despite losing guard Brandon Scherff. Over the past two seasons, there were questions about the offensive line ahead of the season, but offensive line coach John Matsko had the group among the best in the league by the end of the season. There are no reasons to think that changes in 2022.
Where did Clay rank Washington’s defensive units? Overall, Clay has the Commanders ranked at No. 13. Here’s how the positional units shake out:
Defensive interior: No. 2
Edge: No. 11
Linebacker: No. 20
Cornerback: No. 17
Safety: No. 21
Again, Clay’s rankings here are fair. You could make an argument that he ranked the linebackers too high. The safeties are about right, but young players such as Kam Curl, Darrick Forrest and Percy Butler offer hope.
What did you think about Clay’s projections and rankings for Washington?