The Washington Commanders are about two months removed from wrapping up the 2022 season with a win over the Dallas Cowboys, and now it is time to start looking at 2023 and how the team can build off its 8-8-1 finish.
Over the next few weeks, Commanders.com will break down every position group and lay out how the Commanders could improve the group in the coming months. Here are the positions we have covered so far:
Next up are the wide receivers.
On the roster
- Terry McLaurin: 77 receptions, 120 targets, 1,191 yards, 5 TDs
- Curtis Samuel: 64 receptions, 92 targets, 656 yards, 4 TDs
- Jahan Dotson: 35 receptions, 61 targets, 523 yards, 7 TDs
- Dyami Brown: 5 receptions, 14 targets, 143 yards, 2 TDs
- Cam Sims: 8 receptions, 18 targets, 89 yards
- Dax Milne: 6 receptions, 7 targets, 23 yards, TD
-- Terry McLaurin continues to be Washington's most consistent weapon: Ron Rivera called McLaurin an "organizational signing" when the receiver agreed to a long-term extension. It did not come as a surprise that McLaurin lived up to that moniker with a banner year.
Not only did McLaurin put up a career-high 1,191 yards in Year 4 -- which, by the way, made him the first Washington receiver since Henry Ellard to record three straight 1,000-yard seasons -- but he also did so with 10 fewer targets compared to 2021. Between his consistent route running and knack for coming down with contested grabs, he had the fifth highest DVOA among all receivers, per Football Outsiders.
And to back that up even further, McLaurin wrapped up the season 10th in receiving yards and eighth in yards per reception despite being 23rd in targets.
-- Jahan Dotson emerged as a top red zone target: It did not take long for Dotson to justify the Commanders taking him with the 16th overall pick in 2022.
It is a fact that Dotson started his rookie season among the NFL's top wideouts when it came to scoring touchdowns. Through the first four games, Dotson was tied with Stefon Diggs for the most receiving touchdowns in the league (4).
Dotson's season got slightly derailed because of a hamstring injury, but he still ended up leading the Commanders in receiving touchdowns. He also showed that he can be a deep threat with plays like his 50-yard receptions against the New York Giants.
It is just one season, but Dotson had an exceptional start to what could be a bright future in Washington.
-- A strong trio set to improve in 2023: It was not long ago that finding reliable receivers to complement was a need for the Commanders. Now, the position is arguably one of the strongest on the roster.
In their first season together, the trio of McLaurin, Samuel and Dotson combined for 2,370 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. The position was benefitted by the return of Samuel, who made a healthy return from his injury-filled first season with Washington and had the second-best year of his career in terms of scrimmage yards (843).
McLaurin is signed on for the next three seasons; Dotson is on a rookie deal; and Samuel is set to be a free agent in 2024. So, the group has at least one more year together, and with Eric Bieniemy now the offensive coordinator, there is potential for all three to put up strong numbers once again.
It would be unlikely for the Commanders to make any drastic moves at receiver on the open market, but with players like Sims set to be free agents, it could be useful to provide some depth at the position. Check out who is set to be available, HERE.
Receiver is low on the list of positions the Commanders could address with the 16th overall pick. In fact, many analysts believe this year's group of receiver prospects is not as strong as years past. However, it could still make sense to draft someone on Day 3 to keep churning the talent at the bottom of the roster. Check out CBS Sports' rankings of this year's receivers, HERE.