Who Will Commanders Select in NFL Draft?

Who Will Commanders Select in NFL Draft?
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

In today’s pass-oriented NFL, you never can have enough cornerbacks.

Teams looking ahead to the 2023 draft with cornerback on their wish list are in luck. The 2023 draft is semi-heavy on defensive backs. Some mock drafts have as many as six going in the first round, but very few of those CBs make the top 10 in the draft order.

That means the most appealing defensive backs are going to be bunched from about Pick 10 down through the bottom of the first round.

For their part, the Washington Commanders are currently No. 16 in the draft order, a middle-of-the-pack selection for a team that finished 8-8-1 in the NFC East. The draft is April 27-29.

As far as handicapping team needs, despite a respectable record, and wins over both Philadelphia and Dallas, Washington still has its share of needs to fill to compete in what has become a tough division.

Handicapping games in the NFC East was quite the chore in Virginia sports betting.

Just about everyone agrees the most glaring one is at quarterback, where the Commanders don’t know if rookie Sam Howell, a fifth-round pick in 2022 and author of the season-ending upset of the Cowboys, is the real-deal or a one-hit wonder. At the moment, the QB depth chart includes Taylor Heinicke and the enigmatic Carson Wentz.

However, there is going to be an early run on QBs in the coming draft, or so it would seem, so the Commanders won’t have a crack at the top candidates.

That gets us back to that bulge of cornerbacks in the first round, just about where Washington is scheduled to pick.  

Even though Washington had a solid defense in 2022 — ranking No. 3 in yards allowed overall and No. 4 in yards allowed against the pass — if a top CB is available, the constant need for pass defenders comes into play.

It is too early, of course, for odds on the Commanders on Virginia sports apps, with the NFL playoffs just getting started.

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Odds of Commanders’ 16th Overall Pick in NFL Draft

BetVirginia.com has handicapped the likely scenarios and the crystal ball suggests South Carolina CB Cam Smith and Oregon CB Christian Gonzalez as almost 1A and 1B possibilities.

PlayerPct. ChanceOdds
South Carolina CB Cam Smith20.4%+390
Oregon CB Christian Gonzalez17.4%+475
Georgia OT Broderick Jones12.5%+700
Utah CB Clark Phillips III10%+900
Oklahoma OT Anton Harrison8.2%+1120
Illinois CB Devon Witherspoon8.2%+1120
The Field23.3%+330

If one of the Commanders’ favored corners isn’t there, Georgia OT Broderick Jones could be brought on board to protect whoever does wind up playing quarterback.

The quarterback situation is one that certainly will factor into future odds at Caesars Sportsbook Virginia and other state sportsbooks. 

Smith, the Gamecocks’ corner, is 6-feet, 188 pounds and had 23 solo tackles, one interception and five passes defensed.

The Ducks’ Gonzalez is a bigger cornerback at 6-2, 201. He had 35 solo tackles, four interceptions and seven passes defensed.

The Bulldogs’ Jones, 6-4, 310, was a junior last season, playing left tackle for Georgia on its run to the National Championship. He gave up no sacks, according to one draft profile.

Look for more coverage on the NFL draft and other sports betting issues at BetVirginia.com, your home for Virginia sportsbook promo codes.

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Author

Bill Ordine was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others

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