NFL Draft grades: Washington Commanders didn't move the needle on their 2023 season

The Washington Commanders selected Mississippi State's Emmanuel Forbes in the first round of the NFL Draft. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

Overall Washington Commanders grade: D+

This Commanders draft probably isn’t moving the needle on what’s going to be a mediocre team in 2023. Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes, their first-round pick, can be a starter in this league, but at 166 pounds he faces a tough transition to get going in the NFL. Outside of Forbes, this draft class doesn’t feel like it has a chance to change what the Commanders have going on this year. This feels like a draft class that a future regime is going to have to nurture and foster. A coach in Ron Rivera that’s potentially on the hot seat needs more than what the Commanders have acquired.

Favorite pick: K.J. Henry, EDGE, Clemson (137th overall)

K.J. Henry was pegged as a sleeper along the defensive line and the Commanders needed to exit this draft class with at least some quality depth in case Chase Young does end up walking in free agency at the end of his contract. Henry doesn’t have elite traits, but he was a solid playmaker for Clemson along the defensive line. Nice pickup by the Commanders at this point.

Least favorite pick: Jartavius Martin, DB, Illinois (47th overall)

Martin is a great athlete, but the Commanders could have found someone that didn’t need as much seasoning at this point in the draft. Martin did a bit of everything in Illinois’ defense, but will probably line up at cornerback to start his NFL career. He has the traits to make it out there, but he’ll need some time to marinate.

Full Commanders draft

Mississippi State CB Emmanuel Forbes (R1, 16th overall)

Illinois DB Jartavius Martin (R2, 97th)

Arkansas C Ricky Stromberg (R3, 97th)

Utah OT Braeden Daniels (R4, 118th)

Clemson edge K.J. Henry (R5, 137th)

Kentucky RB Chris Rodriguez Jr. (R6, 193rd)

Louisiana edge Andre Jones Jr. (R7, 233rd)