The opinions expressed in the article do not reflect those of the team unless specified in a direct quote.
It's time to start preparing for next season! Click HERE to place your deposits for the 2023 campaign.
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, five of which come on Day 3. They have one pick in the fourth round (No. 118 overall) but they have a history of finding players who can bring serious value in the later rounds of the draft.
So, here are 10 players who could be available when the Commanders are on the clock at the start of Day 3.
Tyler Steen, OT, Alabama
Steen started his college career playing defensive line at Vanderbilt before transferring to Alabama as a graduate student. He became the Crimson Tide's starting left tackle and earned Second Team All-SEC honors, partially for his 25 knockdowns and paving the way for an offense that was fourth in scoring and 11th in total yards.
Colby Wooden, DL, Auburn
Wooden found a way to be disruptive by racking up 15 sacks in three seasons. His athleticism showed up often during the combine in Indianapolis with a 4.79 40-yard dash with a 9-foot-7 broad jump and a 4.52 20-yard shuttle. If a team needs someone who can disrupt the pocket, Wooden could bring plenty of value at the start of Day 3.
Nick Hampton, EDGE, Appalachian State
Hampton specialized as a pass-rusher at Appalachian State with 18 sacks in his last two seasons with the program. His quickness and athleticism led to him recording 40 tackles for loss in five seasons, although defending the run is not his strength. He will likely be a situational pass-rusher as a rookie while he develops into a more complete player.
McClendon Curtis, G, Chattanooga
Like most prospects from smaller schools, Curtis is going to start his NFL career as a project. He has some strong traits, particularly in pass protection, but he needs time to develop the rest of his game before he can have a more meaningful role. With that said, his 6-foot-6, 324-pound frame and latent potential should be enough to convince a team that he is worth a flyer.
Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse
Bergeron was one of the best high school football players in Canada before committing to Syracuse. He was a four-year contributor for the Orange and was voted a team captain in 2022. Pro Football Focus ranked him as the third best offensive tackle in the ACC for allowing just five sacks in 686 snaps. Bergeron also has position flexibility with experience at both tackle spots.
Jay Ward, CB, LSU
Ward did a little of everything for the Tigers in his college career, playing cornerback, safety and nickel in four seasons. The stat sheet shows how valuable his versatility can be, as he had 14 pass breakups, six interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery with 148 tackles. For teams like the Commanders, who like to move their defensive backs around the secondary, that kind of versatility would be an asset.
Jaquelin Roy, DT, LSU
Roy is not much of a pass-rusher, but he does do a good job of plugging up running lanes. He also held up blockers who were trying to work their way up to LSU's linebackers, which allowed them to play more freely and make tackles. The Commanders already have two players like that, but perhaps they could benefit from one more.
Eric Gray, RB, Oklahoma
After taking a slight step back in 2021, Gray exploded with 1,366 yards and 11 touchdowns while averaging 6.4 yards per carry. Gray earned First Team All-Big 12 honors from PFF for his acceleration, quickness and burst. His ability as a pass-catcher could also make him an interesting third running back on a depth chart.
Nick Herbig, LB, Wisconsin
A three-year starter for the Badgers, more than one-fourth of his tackles resulted in a loss for opponents. Herbig is an impressive pass-rusher with 20 sacks in the last two seasons. He has a quick twitch that allows him to blow by linemen, and if he can develop into a rotational player at the next level, he could be an exciting piece for a defense.
Dorian Williams, LB, Tulane
Williams was one of Tulane's most impactful players with 73 tackles in 131 tackles in 2022, which nearly doubled his 73 stops from 2021. Williams is a three-year starter who brings impressive traits with a 4.49 40-yard dash and a 33.5-inch vertical. At 6-foot-1 and 228 pounds, Williams is a little undersized but could be just as productive as he was with Tulane with some proper development.