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Commanders 2023 season review | Linebackers


The Washington Commanders are just a few weeks removed from the 2023 season, which resulted in a disappointing 4-13 record. The franchise is headed in a new direction this offseason with the No. 2 overall pick and plenty of available cap space for new general manager Adam Peters to work with.

Over the next few weeks, Peters, and eventually the new head coach, will go through the roster to determine what moves, if any, should be taken to bolster each position. Though we don't have any say in how the new front office will mold the team going forward, will look back at how each group performed last season, breaking down top performers and looking ahead at where they could go next.

Next, we'll focus on the linebackers.

On the roster

  • Cody Barton*: 13 games (13 starts), 121 tackles. 1 pass breakup, 1 interception, 2 quarterback hits
  • Jabril Cox*: 10 games, 2 tackles
  • De'Jon Harris*: 8 games, 1 tackle
  • Khaleke Hudson*: 17 games (8 starts), 74 tackles, 1 sack, 2 pass breakups, 2 quarterback hits
  • David Mayo*: 17 games (5 starts), 59 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 sacks, 2 quarterback hits
  • Brandon Bouyer-Randle: Reserve/Future contract
  • Jamin Davis: 13 games (13 starts), 89 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 interception, 4 pass breakups, 2 forced fumbles, 3 quarterback hits

* entering free agency

Top peformers (per Pro Football Focus)

OVR: Jamin Davis: (67.6) 
RDEF: Jamin Davis: (76.1) 
TACK: Cody Barton (82.9) 
PRSH: David Mayo (75.3) 
COV: Cody Barton (66.2)

Stats to know

  • For the second consecutive season, Barton recorded at least 100 tackles, recording 121 stops, including 67 solo tackles. Since Barton became a full-time starter in 2022, Barton has 257 tackles, which is nearly three times as many as he had in the previous three seasons.
  • Davis' PFF score ranked 40th among all linebackers in 2023. His defensive grade of 67.6 is the best of his career, as he recorded grades of 62.9 and 46.8 in 2022 and 2021, respectively.

Questions to answer

-- A position full of uncertainty: Of the seven linebackers on the Commanders' roster, five are set to hit free agency in some fashion. What's more, three of them had at least five starts last season. While there have been some positive individual performances from players over the last four years, the position has generally struggled, particularly in pass coverage. Whoever the team hires as a head coach will likely see an opportunity to reset the position, and there are some intriguing options, both in the draft and free agency.

-- A pending decision on Jamin Davis: Clubs have until May 1 to exercise fifth-year options for players selected in the 2021 NFL Draft, and Davis presents an interesting quandary for the Commanders. Davis, who was taken 19th overall in 2021, has gradually improved since struggling as a rookie. Switching from middle to outside linebacker helped unlock some of his skill set, and he was able to use his speed to track down ball-carriers on the perimeter and add more depth to the team's pass-rush. However, the new regime will need to decide whether the recent strides are worth keeping Davis under contract for two more seasons. Either way, 2024 will be an important season for Davis as he attempts to prove that he can be one of the top starting linebackers in the league.

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