NFL Draft News & Analysis

Washington Commanders 7-round mock draft: Washington opts for Drake Maye at No. 2 and trades back into Round 1 for Laiatu Latu

2T894HX Clemson, United States. 18th Nov, 2023. November 18, 2023: North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10) throws on third down against the Clemson Tigers in the ACC Football matchup at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, SC. (Scott Kinser/CSM/Sipa USA) (Credit Image: © Scott Kinser/Cal Sport Media/Sipa USA) Credit: Sipa US/Alamy Live News

• Settling the debate at No. 2 overall: I like Drake Maye’s overall arm talent (mainly natural velocity) more than Jayden Daniels. For those reasons, I have Maye as the second quarterback in the draft behind only Caleb Williams 

• Round 1 trade: Trading back into the first round enables Washington to improve the team's edge pass rush.

• Try PFF's Mock Draft Simulator: You can trade picks and players and draft for your favorite NFL team.

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Click here for more draft tools:

2024 Mock Draft Simulator | 2024 Big Board | 2024 Draft Guide
2024 Player Profiles | 2024 Mock Drafts | NCAA Premium Stats

With the 2024 NFL Draft just a few weeks away, our seven-round team mock draft series rolls on with an important team picking at No. 2 overall in the Washington Commanders 

Round 1, Pick 2: QB Drake Maye, North Carolina

Though it feels like the discussion and rumors are using Jayden Daniels as a default here at No. 2, I feel like there hasn’t been a ton of concrete reporting on the Commanders truly preferring Daniels over Maye. So with Maye as my top quarterback, I’ll make him the choice – if it really bothers you that it’s not Daniels here, just switch it in your head.

Maye has the most big-time throws in college football over the last two years. He also has a ton of experience throwing over the middle, as well as pushing it down the field outside the numbers. I like Maye’s overall arm talent (mainly natural velocity) more than Daniels. For those reasons, I have Maye as the second quarterback in the draft behind only Caleb Williams 

Round 1, Pick 12: *Trade* EDGE Laiatu Latu, UCLA

Washignton gets pick 12, Denver gets picks 36 and 67 in 2024, and second and fifth-rounders in 2025

I don’t know if Denver would do this exact trade (though their roster isn't very good, and if they’re not going to take a quarterback here they might as well look to stockpile picks), but I wanted to explore a world where Washington used some of its additional Day 2 capital to move up for a trench player. The Commanders signed Dorance Armstrong and Clelin Ferrell in free agency, but that doesn't make up for their need for a top edge rusher. Latu had the highest pass-rush grade and highest pass-rush win percentage of any pass rusher in college football over the last two years. 

I initially thought I would go offensive tackle with a trade up into the top 20, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the potential offensive tackles available at the top of the second round instead of the other way around.  

Round 2, Pick 40: OT Kingsley Suamataia, BYU

As previously stated, I figured I would like the offensive tackle prospects at the top of the second round over the edge rusher available at No. 40, and that draft strategy was correct. With Latu already hand, I turned my attention to the offensive line. Suamataia is raw in his technique, and playing him in Year 1 might yield some rollercoaster-type inconsistent play. However, his movement skills at his size are very good, and he could really hit his stride as soon as year two to be a reliable offensive tackle for the future of this team. 

Round 3, Pick 78: CB Andru Phillips, Kentucky

Emmanuel Forbes was inconsistent in his rookie season, which shouldn't have been too surprising, as he was absolutely going to have to adjust to the strength of the NFL game given his lower weight profile. He also wasn’t picked (prioritized, rather) by this current Commanders regime. I am not saying they’re going to move on from him, but the faith in Forbes isn’t as strong as if Rivera and Co. were still there. Phillips has some elite explosiveness, as evidenced by his 97th-percentile broad and vertical jumps. He is also a physical player at the line of scrimmage who could allow Dan Quinn to get more aggressive with man coverage. 

Round 3, Pick 100: EDGE Xavier Thomas, Clemson

Even with edge rusher Laiatu Latu already on the team, double dipping in the top 100 gives the Cammonders the opportunity to get two new starting edge players on their roster. Thomas was the No. 3 overall recruit in the 2018 recruiting class, but the COVID season and some poorly timed injury luck had him playing six years of college ball. He is an explosive edge rusher with a relentless style that is tough to block. He might not be much of a run defender with his measurables, but Washington can set him up in passing situations to just pin his ears back and go. If the Commanders do that, I believe he can be an impact player for them.  

Round 5, Pick 139: TE Dallin Holker, Colorado State 

The Commanders brought in Zach Ertz, which was a solid move, as he could be their top option in the passing game for that position, but the fact that 33-year-old Ertz could be that for Washington still speaks to the need to bring in some youth and a potential contributor in the draft. Holker is on the older side compared to other prospects, but he had the most productive season of his career in 2023. He is a well-rounded athlete who got plenty of experience as a wingback blocker and receiver in the Rams’ offense last year.

Round 5, Pick 152: OT Javon Foster, Missouri

The Commanders could use two throws at the offensive tackle draft dart board this April. They certainly need to take a chance on one earlier than this, but Foster would be a good depth pick. Foster is a smart, experienced offensive tackle who was rarely caught in the wrong. His lower-tier athleticism limits his ceiling, but as a depth player, his high football intelligence means he could step in in a pinch if someone goes down and likely not be too overwhelmed. 

Round 7, Pick 222: S Trey Taylor, Air Force 

Taylor, who is a cousin to Pro Football Hall of Famer Ed Reed, has been a three-year starter for Air Force, starting 36 games over the last three seasons. He was awarded the Jim Thorpe Award this past season as the nation’s top defensive back. He is a versatile, explosive safety who is best when he can work downhill and trigger to the ball. His change of direction isn’t as impressive as his first step forward, and he needs to clean up some over-aggressive tendencies. If the Commanders can get him this late, he would be an ideal depth safety. 

Safety worth way more than 2 points. Help protect your family with fast, free will.
NFL Draft Featured Tools

Unlock the 2023 Fantasy Draft Kit, with League Sync, Live Draft Assistant, PFF Grades & Data Platform that powers all 32 Pro Teams

$31 Draft Kit Fee + $8.99/mo
$89.88/yr + FREE Draft Kit