The opinions expressed in the article do not reflect those of the team unless specified in a direct quote.
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 two picks in the sixth round (No. 193 and No. 215), so here are 10 players with Day 3 grades who could be available in the seventh round.
Anthony Johnson Jr., S, Iowa State
Johnson transitioned over to safety from cornerback and did not skip a beat with 60 tackles, two interceptions and four pass breakups. He's one of the most experienced players in Iowa State's history, as he broke a program record with 54 career starts. He's a downhill player who can add some position flexibility to a team's secondary.
Owen Pappoe, LB, Auburn
Pappoe was a Butkus Award semifinalist in 2022 and voted as a team captain for the second consecutive season. He's undersized at 6-foot and 225 pounds, but he managed to record 256 career tackles with seven pass breakups and 8.5 sacks. He also ran a 4.39 at the combine, so his speed could lead to a special teams role as a rookie.
Jahleel Billingsley, TE, Texas
Billingsley weighs just 213 pounds, so unless he puts on more mass in the NFL, he will not succeed as an in-line blocker. Where he does succeed, though, is at the slot position, although he did not play much in 2022. At Alabama, his previous stop before transferring to Texas, he grabbed 37 receptions for 559 yards and six touchdowns. Washington already has a few pass-catchers at tight end, but he could be a project player if he can get back to his production of previous years.
Jakorian Bennett, CB, Maryland
Bennett has made a career out of shutting down wide receivers; he led all FBS players in passes defensed since the 2021 season (29) and has four interceptions in that span. He uses his 5-foot-11, 188-pound frame to challenge wideouts, and he can be spotty in coverage at times, his traits could entice a team to give him a chance in camp.
Jalen Redmond, DL, Oklahoma
Redmond is an athletic defensive tackle who put up strong numbers at the combine, including a 4.81 40-yard dash and a 9-foot-8 broad jump, after racking up 14 sacks and 71 tackles at Oklahoma. He likely will not be a starter in his first few seasons, but he could be a valuable rotational player because of his toughness.
Juice Scruggs, OL, Penn State
Scruggs was a starter on Penn State's offensive line for two seasons and tested well at the combine with 29 reps on bench press. He could improve his footwork, but he was a strong presence for the Nittany Lions who has power and excels as a drive blocker.
Mohamoud Diabate, LB, Utah
Diabate joined Utah in 2022 after three seasons of playing for Florida and immediately inserted himself into the start MIKE linebacker spot. One of his biggest strengths is that he can hold his own man coverage and keep up with running backs and tight ends. He also has some experience as a blitzer and defensive end from his days at Florida, so he can be moved around the defense if needed.
Ronnie Hickman, S, Ohio State
Hickman's tackle numbers took a dip in 2022, but he did manage to record seven pass breakups with an interception on a forced fumble. At 6-foot and 203 pounds, he has the size to function closer to the line of scrimmage, where he can defend the run and lock down tight ends and slot receivers.
Arquon Bush, CB, Cincinnati
A five-year contributor for the Bearcats, Bush managed to grab nine interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown back in 2018. He is one of the slower cornerbacks in the class but has solid fundamentals and instincts that led to him getting 32 pass breakups. If he can learn to play faster, he has tools to be successful.
Evan Hull, RB, Northwestern
Hull saw a massive jump in production from 2020 to 2021 with 1,009 yards and backed that up with 913 yards as a senior. Based on his 10-foot-3 broad jump, Hull has some explosion to match with his downhill style. Hull also has some talent as a pass-catcher with 546 yards last season. If a team needs a physical, change-of-pace back, Hull could be a perfect fit.
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