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Mock Draft Monday | Commanders find help at quarterback, tackle, cornerback

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It's a new year in a new era for the Washington Commanders, and they have a chance to start the Dan Quinn-Adam Peters regime off by taking one of the best players in college football.

The Commanders hold the No. 2 overall pick following a 4-13 finish to the 2023 season. After jumping out to a 2-0 start, the Commanders won only two games for the rest of the year and wrapped the season up with an eight-game losing streak, the longest in the league and the longest for the franchise since the 2013 season. But with them picking so high, the team will have their choice of whoever they want to name as the first player of Quinn and Peters' efforts to recalibrate the roster through the draft.

Most analysts anticipate that the Commanders will take a quarterback with the pick, and there are a variety of players to choose from if that is the path the team takes. However, they are still a ways away from making that decision, and there are several factors to consider. They could stay at No. 2, or they could trade the pick to move up or down, depending on whether the deal makes sense for them. They could also address other needs on the roster, whether it's offensive line, receiver or pass-rusher. 

In anticipation for that selection, will highlight one mock draft from a draft expert each week to delve into how that player would fit with Washington. Next up, we're looking at The Draft Network's Jaime Eisner, where he has Washington taking a quarterback as well as one of the most experienced offensive tackles and a physical cornerback to add to its secondary.

No. 2: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

The mystery as to what the Commanders will do at No. 2 continues to confound and befuddle the rest of the league. Some believe that the team is in love with Michigan's JJ McCarthy; others are convinced that LSU's Jayden Daniels or UNC's Drake Make will be the pick.

That outside speculation doesn't seem to bother Quinn or Peters, because they've said multiple times that they haven't come to a final decision.

We only have a few more weeks until we finally know the answer. Until then, analysts are going to continue to speculate on who it will be. Eisner believes the Commanders are looking for a playmaker, which is why he mocked them to take Daniels.

"The Commanders have been pretty tight-lipped about which passer they prefer at the top of the draft, so I'm going to go with a fit I love," Eisner wrote. "Jayden Daniels' glow-up has been enjoyable to watch. Daniels dazzles with his feet, but his arm is nothing to sneeze at. Daniels' downfield ability is a perfect fit for this offense."

Daniels used plenty of his arm during his Pro Day last week. Most of the day was spent providing examples of what he could do from the pocket. One pass saw Daniels launch the ball about 60 yards to his receiver, who made the grab with ease.

And for what it's worth, Daniels dapped up Peters before getting to work.

No. 36: Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona

Considering the depth of the offensive tackle class this year, it's inevitable that one of the top prospects will fall into the second round. This is where Washington can swipe a fringe first-round caliber player at No. 36 overall, and Eisner has the Commanders taking veteran Jordan Morgan at the top of the second round.

Morgan, a three-year starter, does look the part with a 6-foot-5 and 311-pound frame to go with nearly 33-inch arms. He performed like one of the top tackles in college football in 2023, finishing with the 11th best grade from PFF, allowing just two sacks and one quarterback hit.

Morgan has the athleticism to keep up with today's defensive ends in the NFL, but his technique could use some fine-tuning before he becomes a full-time starter. There are moments when his punch isn't consistently intense, and his footwork can be a little sloppy. It's also possible that he could move over to guard in the NFL. If he intends to stay at left tackle, he'll need to fix the smaller issues with his skill set. The good defensive ends will attack those weaknesses, and the great ones will consistently exploit them.

Although it'll take some work, there is a path for Morgan to develop into a reliable starter early in his career.

No. 40: T.J. Tampa, CB, Iowa State

The Commanders are still quite young at cornerback despite replacing Kendall Fuller with Michael Davis, but it could be worth the time to find a young player to develop at the position behind the likes of Benjamin St-Juste and Emmanuel Forbes Jr. T.J. Tampa from Iowa State, while probably not a starting-caliber player yet, is an intriguing prospect who could turn into something more with enough time.

A four-year contributor with two seasons as a full-time starter, Tampa was a First Team All-Big-12 selection for finishing eighth on the team in tackles, third in pass breakups and tied for third in interceptions. Although his strength lies in zone coverage, he does have some skills in man coverage with 19 career pass breakups.

Tampa did not participate in the combine but did so during Iowa State's Pro Day, recording a 4.52 40-yard dash. His physicality, rather than his speed, is what will entice teams to draft him. Defensive coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. wants a run-and-hit defense, so perhaps Tampa would be a perfect fit for Washington's new scheme.

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