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Mock Draft Monday | Trevor Sikkema gives Washington pass-rush help in first three rounds

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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. The trade of Sam Howell gave Washington another third-round pick, so this week, we're looking at a three-round mock draft from PFF's Trevor Sikkema, who has Washington finding its quarterback of the future and addressing some critical needs.

No. 2: UNC QB Drake Maye

One could argue that the draft really starts with the Commanders now that Justin Fields has been traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The move all but ensures that the Chicago Bears will take Caleb Williams with the No. 1 overall pick, barring they receive a massive trade offer from a team looking to move up.

So, the real debates beging with Washington, particularly when it comes to them taking either LSU's Jayden Daniels or UNC's Drake Maye. On the one hand, Daniels was one of the most electrifying quarterbacks in college football last year, taking a massive step up in his footwork, decision making and ability to elevate his offense. Conversely, Maye's numbers were down from a year ago but has been more consistent throughout his career with the Tar Heels.

Daniels has gotten more supporters since the combine, and many analysts believe he'll be Washington's pick in April. Sikkema, however, has been high on Maye for a while now.

"Ultimately, Maye is the better quarterback prospect, so until I'm confidently convinced otherwise, he is the No. 2 pick," Sikkema wrote.

For more information on Maye, **check out our first Mock Draft Monday.**

No. 36: BYU T Kinglsey Suamataia

The Commanders have brought in several new players to the roster during free agency, but offensive tackle has not been one of the many holes they've filled over the last week. That could be because of how deep this year's tackle class is this year, and there's a good chance that BYU's Kinglsey Suamataia will be there when Washington picks at No. 36 overall.

Suamataia's technique could use some work, particularly when it comes to his hands in pass protection, but he's clearly one of the best athletes at the position. He put up solid numbers at the combine, running a 5.04 40-yard dash and getting 31 reps on the bench press. Plus, he's a two-year starter who didn't allow a sack in 2022.

For a team that needs help in pass protection, Suamataia could be a plug-and-play prospect and help protect Washington's young quarterback.

No. 40: Alabama EDGE Chris Braswell

Although the Commanders have added multiple pass-rushers to their roster, it couldn't hurt to add another they can develop over the next four years. Alabama's Chris Braswell is a player who should fit in nicely as a rotational player.

Dallas Turner rightfully got most of the attention at Alabama for being one of the top defensive linemen in the NCAA, but it's worth noting that Braswell was also a talented player who stepped up in 2023 with 42 tackles, eight sacks and three forced fumbles.

Although Braswell isn't the best technician, he plays with intention and has the strength to crash the pocket. His rookie snaps will likely be limited, but his motor would be a strong addition to Washington's reworked pass-rush.

No. 67: Florida State WR Johnny Wilson

Johnny Wilson is not a burner. He's not the type of receiver who can get behind a secondary for a 50-yard bomb. He's also not someone who excels at yards after the catch or breaking tackles. What he does have is rare size for his position. He's 6-foot-6 and 231 pounds, making him one of the biggest targets on the field at any point in a game. While he struggles with running routes, he does know how to get open and often made contested catches in 2023. If he can figure out how to truly use his size, he'll be a problem for defensive backs.

No. 78: Kansas EDGE Austin Booker

Austin Booker's 2023 campaign was deeply impressive, as he recorded 56 tackles with eight sacks and two forced fumbles. The biggest problem with Booker is that his sample size is extremely limited; he redshirted his freshman year and only recorded two tackles in 2022. He's also a little undersized, which means it might be difficult for him to get consistent wins against NLF-caliber offensive tackles. However, there's a lot to like from his tape. He displays the right technique against the run, showing patience and letting the ball-carrier come to him, and relentlessness as a pass-rusher. If he's given the right role, he could be a player who can develop while contributing immediately.

No. 100: USC S Calen Bullock

Defensive coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. described his scheme as one that will require his players to run, hit and create turnovers. All those qualities describe Calen Bullock, who wrapped up his college career with 148 tackles, nine interceptions and 16 pass breakups. Bullock plays 100 mph on every snap, which can help and hurt his production on the field. He uses his 4.48 speed to become a missile against the run. It led to several big hits, but he can also miss tackles and allow running backs to scamper for more yards. His speed allows him to keep up with wideouts, and he has a quick twitch that allows him to make plays on the ball.

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