We're heading into the fourth season of 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. And last year, the Commanders took Jahan Dotson, who wasted no time in becoming a valuable member of the Commanders' receiving corps.
Now, the Commanders have the No. 16 overall pick, and analysts are predicting them to go with a plethora of positions, from offensive line to cornerback and linebacker, 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. After focusing on Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez, we're moving on to Florida offensive guard O'Cyrus Torrence.
O'Cyrus Torrence, G, Florida
Florida's O'Cyrus Torrence is a physically dominating figure. He stands at 6-foot-5 and weighs 337 pounds, according to his draft profile on NFL.com, and with his broad chest and waist, his wide build is exactly what people expect an NFL guard to look like.
But for now, we're going to start with Torrence's feet.
Pass protection is like a dance, and just like on the dance floor, if an offensive lineman stops moving his feet, it is going to lead to some bad results. Torrence would never be confused with a ballet dancer, but his footwork is just as impeccable. It allows him to stay in front of defensive tackle, and it was one of the reasons why he stole the show at the Senior Bowl.
"Washington needs help at guard, and Torrence is coming off of a strong week at the Reese's Senior Bowl," Zierlein wrote. "He's big and powerful, and has the ability to start early in his pro career."
Torrence has been a force for most of his college career, although not all of that was with Florida. He originally played for the University of Louisiana, where he started in 35 games and earned All-Sun Belt selection as a sophomore and junior.
Torrence transferred to Florida in 2022, and if anything, his performance improved once he moved to the SEC. He earned a slew of All-American honors from outlets like The Associated Press and the American Football Coaches Association. He was also the first offensive guard in program history to be named a consensus All-American and the 34th Gator in program history.
And as Pro Football Focus pointed out in December, his 88.0 grade was first among all Power 5 guards.
PFF’s Michael Renner called Torrence a "jumbo guard" and noted that typically guards of similar size tend to be top-heavy. That is not the case with Torrence, who Renner praised for his balance.
"That's a necessary trait for an interior lineman. While I project him to be a late first- to early second-round draft pick, Torrence may very well go higher than that for the simple fact that there are so few quality guards in this class."
Zierlein wrote in his evaluation of Torrence that the Florida guard is not a natural bender, but that did not prevent him from stopping defenders in their tracks. He allowed just eight pressures all season on 355 pass plays, and his run blocking grade of 89.9 was tied for the best in college football.
"He is forced to engulf and push rather than leverage and drive as a run blocker, but he's solid at neutralizing the man across from him," Zierlein wrote.
And while guards are not typically drafted high, Zierlein has Torrence as the third offensive lineman taken in the first round, and ESPN's Mel Kiper believes Torrence is the best guard in the draft.
With some of the Commanders' offensive linemen set to hit free agency in March, the Commanders are in need of another starting guard. Based on the glowing reviews from analysts, Torrence could fit right and help to shore up Washington's interior.