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Commanders 2024 training camp preview | Cornerbacks

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We're now in July, which means that training camp is coming soon.

It's going to be an interesting period for the Washington Commanders, who are entering the next stage of a new regime. It will be general manager Adam Peters and head coach Dan Quinn's first season leading the Burgundy & Gold, and all eyes will be on Jayden Daniels as he begins to earn his spot as Washington's starting quarterback.

This year's training camp will also feature an overturned roster, half of which is made up of new players and draft picks.

For the next few weeks, will be looking at each position and highlighting some of the challenges they will face until the season begins. Next up are the cornerbacks.

On the roster

  • Chigozie Anusiem
  • Tariq Castro-Fields
  • Michael Davis
  • Emmanuel Forbes Jr.
  • Christian Holmes
  • Noah Igbinoghene
  • Kyu Blu Kelly
  • James Pierre
  • Mike Sainristil
  • Benjamin St-Juste
  • Nick Whiteside II
  • A.J. Woods

What to watch

  • What will Emmanuel Forbes Jr. do in Year 2? There was plenty of hope surrounding Forbes when he first came to Washington with the previous staff hoping that he would help fix the defense's issues with creating turnovers. The results, however, were mixed, and while he did improve by the end of his rookie season, there was still much to be desired from the FBS record-holder for most career pick-sixes. It's not a "make or break" season for Forbes, but it will be important for him to show that he can continue to build on what he learned as a rookie. Dan Quinn and defensive coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. were fans of his during the draft process, so perhaps a new vision and new coaches will help steer him on the right path towards becoming the playmaker he was in college.
  • How will Mike Sainristil fit in the secondary? Sainristil was considered by some to be the best pure slot corner in this year's draft class. The numbers show how accurate that is, as he had a career-high six interceptions at Michigan in 2023. There's little doubt about where Sainristil is going to play, but where he fits on the depth chart is going to be an interesting talking point in camp. The coaching staff and front office seem to believe that he could be an instant contributor. If that ends up being true, it will help answer a few questions about the Commanders' secondary. Sainristil looked impressive during OTAs, even getting some reps with the starters. Assuming that trend continues, it might be difficult to avoid putting him in the starting lineup.
  • What's the rotation going to look like? Washington invested in overhauling the cornerback position this offseason, bringing veteran starters (Davis) former first-round picks (Igbinoghene) and talented draft picks (Sainristil). There certainly are a lot of pieces that could be an improvement of the 2023 iteration, but we have no idea who the starters could be or how the rotation will look one the season starts in September. It seems like Davis is about as close to a lock at one spot on the outside, but the other corner opposite him is a mystery. St-Juste could emerge as a player to watch, but others like Forbes are expected to compete as well. Cornerbacks are some of the most interchangeable players on the roster, so everyone who makes the cut should get some playing time. However, the position right now is a bit of a puzzle. We'll have to wait a few weeks to see how the pieces fit together.

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