Commanders Mock Draft: New regime embarks on rebuild by selecting QB Drake Maye

The Washington Commanders are undoing a facelift organizationally. From the ownership group to the front office to the roster, today’s mock draft attempts to kick off a rebuild in D.C.

Nov 25, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10)
Nov 25, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10) / Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Drake Maye is in tow; now, the front office must build a wall around him

Round 2, No. 36: Patrick Paul, OL, Houston

There’s a chance Patrick Paul plays his way into first-round status with a strong showing at the Senior Bowl. However, as of this mock draft, the veteran blocker from Houston is still available at No. 36 overall. And the Commanders cannot turn the card in fast enough.

Paul is a lengthy, athletic offensive lineman who wins with teach tape footwork and hand usage. The former Cougar star flexes elite traits as a pass protector, including top-tier mirroring ability, using it to shut down opposing pass rushers off the edge.

Equally as impressive is his athleticism in the run game. While maintaining proper balance can be an issue on tape, Paul frequently wins his run-blocking reps with deceptive power and grip strength. When the crafty blocker leaks out to the second level, he catches defenses by surprise.

Whether Paul lines up on the blindside in Year 1 or not, the Commanders would be wise to bring in the five best linemen possible to protect Drake Maye. At No. 36, Washington gets an instant starter up front with untapped potential going forward.

A potential Montez Sweat replacement heads to D.C. in latest mock draft

Round 2, No. 40 (via CHI): Chris Braswell, EDGE, Alabama

The “other” Alabama pass rusher, Dallas Turner, garners rave reviews as a Day 1 prospect. However, don’t forget about his partner in crime on the other side. Chris Braswell was once a five-star recruit who arrived to the Crimson Tide with thoughts of being a premier player in the SEC.

Braswell dealt with injuries his first few seasons, along with a log jam at the position behind Will Anderson Jr. and the aforementioned Turner. But make no mistake, his 2023 campaign was nothing short of special. He racked up 56 total pressures, including a career-high 13 sacks.

At 6-foot-3 and weighing 255 pounds, Braswell looks the part of an elite edge defender. He has some work to do as a run defender, but all the pieces are there to be an every-down threat. And it wouldn’t be shocking to see him lead this rookie group in sacks in Year 1. A necessary replacement for Montez Sweat.