The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those of the team.
The Washington Commanders got some positive reactions when they drafted Emmanuel Forbes with the No. 16 overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, and they continued to receive praise for the moved they made during Night 2.
The Commanders addressed two areas of need with the No. 47 and 97 overall picks by taking Illinois defensive back Jartavius Martin and Arkansas center Ricky Stromberg. Both were experienced starters during their college careers, and both are expected to compete during their rookie seasons.
Here's how the draft pundits graded the moves:
Analysis: The Commanders added another member to its secondary in Round 2, selecting a nickel defender in Martin to pair with first-round pick Emmanuel Forbes. Martin excelled against the run and pass last season in an Illini secondary loaded with seniors. Washington used its third-round compensatory selection on Stromberg, who has the anchor and upper-body flexibility to be a solid starter in the league.
Analysis: Illinois' Jartavius Martin didn't receive as much recognition as his teammate, Sydney Brown, but his game should translate well to the NFL.
The second-team All-Big Ten defensive back finished first among safeties in hand-on-ball percentage (2.2 percent) and second in percentage of snaps in the slot (64 percent), according to Sports Info Solutions (h/t the Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala).
Analysis: Arkansas' Ricky Stromberg is in the thick of things, as he quietly climbed Bleacher Report's rankings throughout the predraft process. He's an experienced, gritty pivot who could enter a lineup soon.
Analysis: Nickel corner who is athletic and fits the need on the inside in Washington. Very solid pick.
Analysis: Stromberg is an experienced player who can play in multiple schemes.
Analysis: One of three elite defenders in the Illinois secondary, Martin has the most positional flexibility of the trio. Last season Martin had 14 pass breakups, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and three tackles for loss to go along with 64 overall tackles.
Analysis: Last year, Stromberg (6-3 ¼, 306) didn't allow a sack, and he posted solid measurements at the combine (79 5/8 wingspan). He's a quality swing interior lineman on day one and could become a starter at some point this year.
Analysis: Long, explosive, agile safety with a complete game. Finds the ball well in the air. Strong, assertive tackler. Can play multiple roles. Body control is awesome too.
Analysis: Masher who's athletic and can grow roots in pass pro.
Analysis: He'll likely settle in as a nickel back.
Analysis: Stromberg is high energy, but doesn't try to do more than he's capable of. He has a good feel for leverage and angles, giving more athletic defenders trouble they don't expect.
Analysis: Martin was considered a third-round talent and, in my books, was the third-best player in his own secondary. But it turns out Illinois was stacked, and Martin's athletic profile gives him the potential to be a day-ruiner for the Commanders. Whether that's at cornerback or safety will depend on how Ron Rivera thinks he can best be deployed.
Analysis: Stromberg was the best available interior lineman, and he'll have the chance to supplant Chase Roullier and his 56.3 PFF rating as the Commanders' starting center.