The opinions expressed in this article do not 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. Here are the players covered in previous weeks:
Next up is Texas A&M's Kenyon Green.
Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M
It's a rare thing for offensive guards to get picked in the top half of the first round; there have only been two in the last five years, the last of which was Boston College's Chris Lindstrom in 2019.
Still, Fox Sports' Rob Rang thinks Texas A&M's Kenyon Green is worth it as his first interior offensive lineman off the board, and he's pinning the Washington Commanders as the team to grab him.
"Coach Ron Rivera has shown a preference for veterans rather than rookies at the game's most important position quarterback], so instead, one of the most versatile (and effective) offensive linemen in the draft is the pick for now,” **[Rang wrote in his Feb. 16 draft.**
Green, who played high school football for Atascocita in Humble, Texas, was rated as the best offensive guard in the country by ESPN. He received nearly two dozen offers from Division I programs, and his high school recruiting page noted that he demonstrated "physical tools to be not only an excellent Power 5 lineman, but flashes signs of being a guy who can anchor a unit as well."
That statement turned out to be prophetic, because that's exactly what he was for the Aggies' offensive line. He started as a freshman and remained a mainstay of the offensive line for three seasons, which included a total of 35 regular season games.
In fact, there wasn't much Green didn't accomplish with the Aggies, especially in the last two seasons. He's a two-time All-SEC selection and All-American according to several outlets. And the way NFL.com Lance Zierlein sees it, Green plays with "an impressive level of consistency as a run blocker."
"Green moves defenders from Point A to Boint B against their will, using hand technique and road-grading leg drive," Zierlein wrote in Green’s draft profile. "While Green has some areas to improve, his run blocking can be dominant, which gives him a chance to become a good starter very quickly."
Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner agrees with Zierlein's assertion of Green. He ranked Green as the best interior offensive lineman in the SEC and third overall, saying "Green will not only be coveted for his absurd movement skills for a 325-pounder but also because he's made starts at every single offensive line position except center this season."
And the stats back up PFF and Zierlein's praise of Green. In 2020, he was part of an Aggies' offensive line that led the country in sacks allowed (0.7), tackles for a loss allowed (3.8) and yards per carry (5.45). Just to show how unique that is, it was the first offensive line in 10 years to lead in all three categories.
Green played four positions in 2021, which should catch the attention of coaches who value position flexibility in their players. That's more movement than most offensive linemen see in a season, but Green took the changes in stride, earning three SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week awards.
"He's a nasty player for a position that demands it," wrote PFF’s Seth Galina.
That might be the best compliment anyone can give to an offensive lineman looking to join the NFL ranks.