Commanders Mock Draft: Replacing one UNC QB with a different UNC QB

Sam Howell and Drake Maye shared a locker room at North Carolina. Now, in our latest Commanders mock draft, Maye replaces Howell yet again as the QB1.
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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Two Pass Rushers And Another Offensive Lineman Cap Mock Draft

Round 3, No. 68 — Chris Braswell, EDGE, Alabama

At No. 68 overall, there’s a chance Chris Braswell is long gone by the time the real NFL Draft arrives. However, in today’s mock draft, the Alabama pass rusher was still available, making for an easy choice for the Washington front office.

Braswell looks chiseled from stone, boasting a statuesque 6-foot-3, 255-pound frame. He uses long arms and his trademark power to push linemen off their spots. The Crimson Tide standout tracked the quarterback down an astonishing 13 times in 2023, highlighting his viability as a premier player on Sundays.

Braswell is also a capable run defender — something many of his peers in the 2024 NFL Draft are unable to say. He has even grown in the coverage side of things, albeit in a limited fashion. All in all, the talented pass rusher has all the requisite skills to be a 10-sack-a-year guy early in his career.

Round 3, No. 100 (via SF) — Zach Frazier, Center, West Virginia

Full disclosure: If Zach Frazier hadn’t suffered a major knee injury late in the year, he was poised to go closer to No. 50 than No. 100 overall. Unfortunately, the injury bug took a massive bite out of the veteran lineman, painting an unclear picture of his NFL Draft placement.

As of today, Frazier made it to the end of Round 3, but even with the injury, I can’t imagine him falling much further. In a stroke of luck, the Commanders are able to add him to the roster, completing the rebuild upfront.

Frazier is a bully ball type of player, using otherworldly strength to consistently move piles. In fact, the West Virginia alum tore his knee up mid-play and continued playing through the whistle by effectively carrying his running back past the first down marker. He’d later check out of the contest, but this spotlights his toughness and relentless motor.

The Commanders will likely be betting on his upside and tape, as the injury is thought to be a serious one, potentially keeping him out of the pre-draft workouts. Still, Frazier has proven he is a legitimate NFL offensive lineman — when he regains a clean bill of health, he should start at center in Washington for years to come.

Round 4, No. 104 — Ashton Gillotte, EDGE, Louisville

Trading away Sweat and Young created a void in the pass-rushing department. Adding Chris Braswell earlier in the mock draft was huge, but snagging Ashton Gillotte at the beginning of Day 3 would present an equally big steal for the Commanders.

Gillotte has 16 sacks under his belt since the start of the 2022 campaign. He is more of a “tweener” than Braswell, standing at 6-foot-3 and weighing a stocky 270 pounds. But that makes him the perfect running partner for his fellow rookie pass rusher.

Gillotte is grading out as an elite run stuffer in his final year with Louisville, making him a true every-down prospect on Sundays. The Cardinals star isn’t the best athlete in the world, but he flexes enough in that area to dissuade many concerns. Out with Sweat and Young, in with Braswell and Gillotte.