Round 4, Pick 102: Bucky Irving, Running Back, Oregon
Brian Robinson returns as the Commanders' primary running back, but they lose Antonio Gibson, who was their secondary back and primary receiving back. 2024 is not a top-heavy draft for running backs, but Washington gets a versatile pass catcher in Oregon running back Bucky Irving. He is 5-10 and 195 pounds. He will run a 4.45 forty at the combine, or his pro day.
In 2023, Irving had almost 1,200 yards rushing and caught 55 passes for 395 yards. He had 11 total touchdowns. His 91.6 rushing grade on Pro Football Focus was 13th best in the nation. When he has the ball in his hands, he can turn any play into a touchdown. He accelerates quickly, and he maintains his top speed, making it difficult to take him down. He shows great hands and has a decent route tree.
Irving can catch passes out of the backfield, or he can line up in the slot as a receiver. He does have a smaller frame, which leads to concerns about injury. As a receiving back, he should take less punishment than Robinson as the primary back. He is not a great pass blocker, which could make him a liability in the part of the game that he's the best at.
Round 5, Pick 141: JD Bertrand, Linebacker, Notre Dame
Washington could potentially lose Cody Barton to free agency, and he was their starting middle linebacker in 2023. Replacing 121 total tackles is no easy task. In the fifth round of the draft, the Commanders select Notre Dame linebacker JD Bertrand. He is 6-1 and 233 pounds. His forty time will be around 4.60 seconds.
Bertrand had 76 total tackles in 2023, 7.5 of those for a loss. He is equally proficient versus the pass-rush as he is in the run-stopping game. He played 647 snaps, and only 104 of those were pass-rushing snaps. He does have the length and ability to get around the edge, and the football IQ to recognize, run blocking, and get to the ball carrier.
Bertrand's violent hands allow him to break away from would-be blockers, and he does a great job of wrapping up the ball carrier and taking him to the ground. He tends to overshoot plays at times, playing over-aggressive. The biggest knock on his game is he has an inconsistent motor.
Round 6, Pick 181: Moose Mohammad III, Wide Receiver, Texas A&M
Terry McLaurin will return as the team's primary receiver. With Curtis Samuel prepared to leave in free agency, the team does need to get somebody for the other side of the field. While they could target players in free agency, and they probably will, I have them using their sixth-round pick on Texas A&M receiver Moose Mohammad. He is 6-1, 205 pounds, and runs a 4.45 second forty.
Mohammad was only targeted 37 times in 2023, making 27 catches for 345 yards and two touchdowns. He has great body control and shows an ability to jiggle his way out of tackles to pick up extra yardage. He's better at catching the ball short and creating yardage than he is gaining yardage on deep balls. He needs to do a better job of using his hands to catch the ball, and not catching it with his body.