The Washington Commanders have received praise for their overall approach to the 2022 NFL Draft, but to Chad Reuter, there are a few who stand out.
In a recent article posted on NFL.com, Reuter discussed three of his favorite picks from each round. The Commanders had three players make the list: Louisiana safety Percy Butler, North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell and Tulsa guard Chris Paul.
The reason for Reuter singling out those players centers around value, experience and positional versatility.
Butler, who the Commanders took in the fourth round with the No. 113 overall pick, is one of the four players Ron Rivera believes will be able to contribute immediately. The position versatility that he brings to the defense make him an ideal candidate for the Buffalo Nickel, an integral piece of the unit, and Rivera told Julie Donaldson that Butler will compete for that role among others.
Butler only allowed one touchdown in his career with the Ragin' Cajuns, so he has the skillset to perform in Buffalo Nickel position. Reuter called the last player Washington selected to fill that role -- Kamren Curl -- a steal in the seventh round, but the Commanders couldn't wait that long to find someone with similar value.
"Butler's speed and hard-hitting attitude allow him to cover a lot of ground and lay the wood when he arrives," Reuter wrote. "This guy will be making plays as a rookie."
Howell was the next pick the Commanders made, and Reuter ranked that decision as his favorite of the round. It's a take that many analysts share because of the traits -- Reuter highlighted his "delivery, strong arm, willingness to run if needed and on-field leadership" -- that Howell showed during a record-breaking career at North Carolina.
Those same traits are why Rivera views the pick as a "home-run" for the Commanders, adding that there's "no pressure" for him to have an immediate impact.
Paul, the Commanders' first pick of the seventh round, is also Reuter's favorite selection to wrap up the draft. Paul was a four-year starter for Tulsa, and he has experience playing at guard and tackle while collecting all-conference honors.
Reuter pointed out that Paul's mentality makes him an ideal fit for the Commanders' offensive line.
"Paul started at RT the past two seasons at Tulsa because he was their best option, but he served as the team's right guard in 2018 and left guard in 2019, using his lower-body power, length and aggressive nature to move people," Reuter wrote. "I loved this pick for Washington immediately; the Commanders will appreciate his lunch-pail effort and pass protection skills inside."