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Mock Draft Monday | Here's who ESPN's Jordan Reid thinks Washington should take in his 2-round mock draft

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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, or players, would fit with Washington. This week, we're looking at a mock draft from ESPN’s Jordan Reid, who had the Commanders addressing multiple needs with their first- and second-round picks.

No. 2: QB Drake Maye, North Carolina

North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye did not throw at the combine last month, but that hasn't done anything to negatively affect his draft stock. Actually, after he wrapped up his interviews with teams, he seems even more cemented as one of the top players in the draft.

The debate on whether Washington should take Maye or LSU's Jayden Daniels is going to rage from now until the team is on the clock, but for now, Reid believes the Commanders will stick with the Tar Heel.

"I elected to go with Maye, as his prior experience in an Air Raid-style offense, his size (6-foot-4, 223 pounds) and ability to drive the ball downfield gives him the edge over LSU's Jayden Daniels," Reid wrote. "The learning curve might not be as steep for him in Kliff Kingsbury's offense, and there is a lot of upside here with him throwing to receivers Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson."

For more information on Maye, **check out our first Mock Draft Monday,** which looks at why's Daniel Jeremiah thinks Washington should take the UNC quarterback.

No. 36: C/G Graham Barton, Duke

Most people know all the top options at offensive line, but several analysts, general managers and coaches have spoken highly of how deep the class is at the position this year. Seeing as the Commanders are picking next at No. 36, where several first-round prospects are projected to slip, there are bound to be plenty of players for Washington to bolster their front, which has allowed some of the most sacks in the NFL over the last three seasons.

Enter Duke offensive lineman Graham Barton, who most recently started at left tackle for the Blue Devils but has experience playing at every position on the offensive line.

"The Commanders -- who allowed 65 sacks in 2023, tied for the second-most in the NFL -- could need as many as three new starters along the offensive line," Reid wrote. "Barton is a plug-and-play option along the interior and even has experience at tackle."

A First Team All-ACC selection and Honorable Mention All-American, Barton is an experienced player with 30 starts over the course of three seasons. He's a tenacious athlete who knows how to finish blocks in the run game and plow through defenders to create lanes for his running backs. His punch in pass protection could be more sudden, but he's patient against rushers. When he locks his hands on his target, he does a good job of mirroring their movements and keeps himself between them and the quarterback.

Barton might need to move to guard, at least for his rookie season, rather than stay at tackle. His arms are just shy of 33 inches long, and he's undersized compared to other prospects. He's consistent and nasty, though, and those are two of the most important traits for an offensive lineman.

No. 40: EDGE Adisa Isaac, Penn State

Chop Robinson is getting most of the love when it comes to Nittany Lions pass-rushers because of his athletic traits and stellar combine numbers, but if there's one knock against him, it's that his stats don't show the full extent of his impact. His counterpart, Adisa Isaac, might not get all the hype, but he was certainly more productive.

"Losing both Montez Sweat and Chase Young at the trade deadline last October left the Commanders with mostly rotational and depth players off the edge," Reid wrote. "Isaac has the potential to be a dependable starter. He is explosive and has good bend around the corner."

After recording just three sacks for the Nittany Lions in 2019 and 2020 combined, Isaac returned from his redshirt season and blossomed into a dependable player, corralling quarterbacks for 11.5 combined sacks over the last two seasons to go with 65 tackles. During his final two seasons, he led the Big Ten with six games where he recorded tackles for loss.

Isaac is quick, disruptive and gives his full effort on every play. Those are the qualities that Washington needs on the edge, where as Reid suggested, it looks to be thin at the moment.

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