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Commanders 2023 season review | Offensive line

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The opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those of the team unless directly referenced in a quote.

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.

First up is the position that arguably needs the most attention: the offensive line.

On the roster

T Charles Leno Jr.: 13 games (13 starts)
G Saahdiq Charles: 11 games (10 starts)
C Tyler Larsen
: 14 games (7 starts)
G Sam Cosmi: 17 games (17 starts)
T Andrew Wylie: 15 games (15 starts)
T Braeden Daniels: IR
C Nick Gates: 13 games (10 starts)
G Chris Paul: 10 games (7 starts)
G Julian Good-Jones: 1 game
T Alex Akingbulu: 2 games
T Cornelius Lucas*: 17 games (4 starts)
T Trent Scott: 10 games (2 starts)
C/G: Ricky Stromberg: 4 games (IR)
C Nolan Laufenberg: practice squad
T Jaryd Jones-Smith: practice squad
OL Mason Brooks: practice squad

*entering free agency

Best performers (per Pro Football Focus)

OVR: Sam Cosmi (80.6)
Pass blocking: Charles Leno Jr. (77.8)
Run blocking: Sam Cosmi (80.9)

Pass block win rate (per ESPN): 59% (14th)
Run block win-rate: 70% (22nd)

Stats to know

-- Cosmi was the fifth best guard in the NFL, according to PFF, allowing just one sack and four hits all season. His best stretch came in Weeks 11-17, when he earned a grade of at least 80 in five of six games.

-- Though offensive lines aren't exclusively to blame for allowing sacks, Washington's offense did face more pressure than any unit in the league.x According to PFF, 82% of that pressure was a result of the offensive line with 25.5% of that coming from the left guard position.

-- Though the Commanders were last in the league in run percentage, the offensive line produced when called upon. Their PFF grade of 65.2 in run blocking ranked ninth in the NFL.

Questions to answer

-- What to do at center: Washington's problems at center continue to be an issue that has hung over the entire group. The Commanders' initial plan of making Gates the starter fell through less than halfway into the year, as he was replaced by Larsen. That seemed to work better, but Larsen was eventually placed on Injured Reserve to end his season. Larsen is also set to hit free agency. The Commanders could re-sign him or let Gates and Stromberg compete for the spot with whoever they potentially bring in via trade or free agency.

-- What about left guard: Cosmi seems to have adjusted nicely at right guard, but left guard was one of the weak spots on the offensive line. First it was Charles, then it was Paul when the former went on IR. Both had their moments and their struggles throughout the year. Paul was physical but showed some growing pains in pass protection, while Charles had trouble staying on the field because of injuries -- a problem that has persisted throughout his career. Washington can upgrade the position if it chooses to do so. Charles will hit free agency, and Paul, as promising as he can be, is a seventh-rounder.

Free agency

Click **HERE** to see all the players the Commanders could pursue in free agency with their available cap space.


Click **HERE** to see CBS Sports' prospect rankings by position.

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