Commanders 2024 7-round mock draft: Team makes huge moves to lay groundwork

The Washington Commanders have been the most unstable franchise in the past four years. Starting with the retirement of its original name in 2020, and another rebranding as the Commanders in 2022, Washington's football team has had similar turmoil in its front office, coaching staff, and roster. The resulting on-field product has been disappointing and after a 4-13 season in 2023, Washington has reset its front office, and coaching staff, and now looks to find its franchise quarterback and other key pieces in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Drake Maye will be one of two quarterbacks likely to be picked at number 2 in the 2024 NFL Draft
Drake Maye will be one of two quarterbacks likely to be picked at number 2 in the 2024 NFL Draft / Isaiah Vazquez/GettyImages
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Late-Round Picks - Focus on finding long-term starters, not stars

The Commanders will not make all nine picks it holds coming into the 2024 draft. Assuming they move up into the first or second round, they will focus on finding long-term solutions to their areas of need. With a roster in need of players at almost every position, the Commanders will have the luxury of finding high-level talent in a draft very deep at wide receiver, and both the offensive and defensive lines.

Pick 100 - Zak Zinter - Guard - Michigan

The Commanders need help at almost every position along the offensive line. The signing of Nick Allegretti provides the Commanders with a service fill-in at guard while two-time first-0team All-Big Ten selection Zak Zinter recovers from the left leg injury that ended his 2024 campaign. Zinter was the heart and soul of the 2024 FBS National Champions; so much so that the team dedicated the remainder of its season, and its championship run, to its captain and anchor along the offensive line. Zinter is the perfect fit for the Commanders; he was a four-year start in Ann Arbor, is effective in the run-and-pass game, and is a natural leader and positive culture presence in the locker room. This type of pick, made with an injury discount, is exactly the type of player the Commanders need at the end of day 2.

Pick 109 - Brenden Rice - Wide Receiver - USC

The Commanders starting wide receivers, Terry McLaurin and Jahan Datson are speedy and productive, but lack size and do not provide a presence in short-yardage or red-zone situations. The Commanders need a "go-to" receiver for its new franchise QB; Brenden Rice, at 6'2" and with reliable hands provides them with that option at a relatively low draft price. The depth of the wide receiver group in the draft makes Rice a bargain and the son of hall-of-famer Jerry Rice has the tools to be a fixture in the Commanders pass game. Rice's size and skill set make him a low-floor, reliable player who could be a Pro Bowl player. That type of value is exactly what the Commanders need at a position of need with exceptional depth in 2024.

Pick 139 - Edefaun Ulofoshio - Linebacker - Washington

A successful NFL draft is equal parts finding stars in the early rounds and solid NFL players in the later rounds. The Commanders signed Bobby Wagner in the offseason and have other areas of need other than linebacker, but Ederaun Ulofoshio is a high-character, over-achieving player who has risen to the challenge at every level. A first-team All-Pac 12 player and team captain, Uloffoshio is a top-level tackler with good instincts in pass coverage. He has average NFL size (6', 236 pounds) and doesn't stand out athletically like the top-tier linebackers in this class. Ulofoshio has had two major injuries in his career so his medicals will have to pass muster with the Commanders' training staff, but he projects to be a starter in the NFL and could develop into a steal at this point in the draft.

The Commanders have a top-heavy collection of picks to address multiple needs, including finding a franchise quarterback at the number two position. While the Commanders will likely move up in the draft to find another star in a very deep draft in positions the team needs to fill, their draft will be ultimately judged by their pick of May or Daniels and their success at the next level. Owner Josh Harris is closely monitoring and making his feelings known to the new front office and coaching staff. Dan Quinn is a defensive-minded coach who should get a difference-maker in the draft while adding a quarterback to lead offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury's offense as the Commanders try to regain credibility in the NFC East.