The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the team.
It's the start of the third season in the Ron Rivera era, and the Washington Commanders have a pristine opportunity to strengthen their roster.
In his first season as Washington's head coach, Rivera took Chase Young, who became the 2020 Defensive Rookie of the Year, with the No. 2 overall pick. The next season, he drafted Jamin Davis with the No. 19 overall pick, and the former Kentucky Wildcat showed promise in his first season.
Now, the Commanders have the No. 11 overall pick, and analysts are predicting them to go with a plethora of positions, from linebacker to safety and quarterback, at that spot.
In anticipation for that selection, Commanders.com will highlight one mock draft from a draft expert each week and delve into how that player would fit with Washington with the next being Ohio State receiver Garrett Wilson.
Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
While the Commanders don't have a shortage of young talent at wide receiver, there's nothing wrong with adding more firepower to that group. That's what Edwards suggested in an earlier mock draft for the Commanders by pinning them to Ohio State's Garrett Wilson, who is one of the top wideout in CBS Sports position rankings.
"We'll see if Washington makes any moves in free agency to address the QB position because, ultimately, that will inform who they'll target in the draft. For now, we have them beefing up the wide receiver corps," wrote CBS Sports' Ryan Wilson.
Wilson, a Texas prospect who broke multiple receiving records at Lake Travis High School, has made strides since his true freshman season in 2019. He racked up 1,058 yards in 2021 on 70 receptions with an average of 15.1 yards per catch.
Wilson is viewed more as an athlete than a receiver by some, but there's no denying he's got some traits that make him shine at the position. He has a wide catch range, good hands and an ability to create yards after the catch.
That's why Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner has him ranked at the top prospect in the position.
"Wilson simply moves differently from every other receiver in this class," Renner said. "He's got such easy separation and YAC ability that his modest 6-foot, 192-pound frame is no worry. Wilson has hauled in 12 scores this year and has generated a 141.7 passer rating when targeted."
Wilson's production was limited in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but he made the most of the six games the Buckeyes played that season. He became the second Ohio State player in program history to record four straight 100-yard games, the highlight being his 169-yard, two touchdown performance in a victory over Indiana.
In 2021, he was even better with five 100-yard games, three of which came in the final stretch of the season, when he had 27 receptions for 371 yards and six touchdowns. He also added a 51-yard touchdown run against Purdue, which helped the Buckeye put together a 59-31 victory.
His performance at the NFL Scouting Combine should help his draft stock as well. In addition to a 36-inch vertical and a 123-inch broad jump, he recorded an impressive 4.38 40-yard dash as one of eight wideouts to record a sub-4.4 time.
Wilson does have some areas to smooth out before putting his stamp on the NFL, like improving his consistency in route-running. However, if he were to be drafted by the Commanders, he would have plenty of help in that area. Aside from playing under receivers coach Drew Terrell, McLaurin is viewed as an exceptional route-runner, so he would be able to offer some pointers.
And with Washington's offense always looking to be more explosive, why not grab as many weapons as possible?
"Wilson, meanwhile, is one of the the most dynamic players in college football and his game in many ways reminds us of Odell Beckham Jr."