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10 first-round prospects who could be available for the Commanders on Night 1

Oregon defensive back Christian Gonzalez (0) checks on defensive calls against Eastern Washington during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Andy Nelson)
Oregon defensive back Christian Gonzalez (0) checks on defensive calls against Eastern Washington during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Andy Nelson)

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The Washington Commanders are getting closer to being on the clock with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, but the three-day event is full of other opportunities for them to improve their roster.

The Commanders have eight picks in this year's draft, starting with the No. 16 overall selection on Thursday. So, here are 10 players who could be available when the Commanders are on the clock.

Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon 

Gonzalez, who received First Team Pac-12 All-Conference honors from coaches in 2022, checks off a lot of boxes in terms of being a first-round prospect. The analytics also point to Gonzalez being an excellent man corner. Pro Football Focus gave him an 81.4 coverage grade because of his four interceptions and six pass breakups. 

O'Cyrus Torrence, G, Florida 

There is little doubt that Torrence is the best guard prospect in this year's draft. He had the best grade from Pro Football Focus among guards, and he has quick feet that allow him to shut down pass-rushers. Torrence transferred to Florida and earned a slew of All-American honors from outlets like The Associated Press and the American Football Coaches Association. He was also the first offensive guard in program history to be named a consensus All-American and the 34th Gator in program history. 

Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State 

Standing at 6-foot-2 and weighing 200 pounds, Porter used his size to set a career high in pass breakups (8). Most of that came against Purdue, when he set a school record for pass breakups with six in a single game. Porter wrapped up his college career with First Team All-Big Ten and Second Team All-American honors from multiple national outlets.

Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

Witherspoon set a new career high with 14 pass breakups (10th among all defensive players in 2022) and three interceptions (tied for eighth). He also allowed receptions on just 35.5% of targets, but any player lucky enough to get a catch found little success. He gave up just 71 yards after the catch, and according to ESPN, he gave up just 3.3 yards per attempt.

Paris Johnson Jr., T, Ohio State

Pass protection is where Johnson stands out the most. He is coming off his best PFF pass blocking grade (77.8), and that includes three straight games where he had a grade of at least 86.3. He excels at lateral mobility, which allows him to mirror defensive ends and counter their quickness.

Anton Harrison, T, Oklahoma

When it comes to experience, there are few offensive linemen who are as ready for the NFL as Harrison. He allowed only nine pressures and just one sack on 447 pass block snaps during the 2022 season with an efficiency rating of 98.8. It has become routine for Harrison to put up similar numbers, as he had just 10 combines pressures in his previous two seasons for the Sooners.

Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State

At 166 pounds, Forbes was the smallest defensive back at the combine, but he makes up for his lack of size with plenty of talent. He had six interceptions returned for a touchdown, which is an FBS record. He was the highest graded cornerback in the conference during the 2022 season (87.8) and allowed career lows in receptions (26), completion percentage (51%), yards per reception (9.3) and yards after the catch (95).

Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah

The Commanders do not need a tight end, but Kincaid might be a special circumstance. He had the highest receiving grade among all college tight ends last season (92.3). Utah also made good use of his talents; he was on the field for 366 pass plays in 2022, and he ran a route on 91% of those snaps.

Broderick Jones, T, Georgia

Jones ran a 4.97 at the combine and made a lot of things look easy during his week in Indianapolis. His athleticism, production and total score all ranked in the top three for the tackle position. Add all that to some solid size metrics (he was measured at 6-foot-5 and weighed at 311 pounds), and it's no wonder he is considered a first-round pick.

Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland

A fixture of the Terps' secondary for the majority of his college career, Banks has been a starter since his freshman year. He can function in either man or zone schemes and knows how to use the fluidity in his lower body to put himself in position to make plays. He can be sticky in coverage without being overly handsy, and that led to him allow a completion rate of just 43.3% when targeted last season.

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