The Washington Commanders 2021 season was quickly derailed when starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick injured his hip in the first half of Week 1 and we didn’t see him the remainder of the season. Taylor Heinicke took over the starting job and played okay, but his limitations as a starter were on full display.
Heinicke had too many turnover-worthy plays, as he is better suited as a high-end backup. Washington seemed to have thought the same, as they acquired Carson Wentz from the Indianapolis Colts to be their starting quarterback.
Wentz came up short when the Colts needed him most, but he is certainly an upgrade on Heinicke. The team has a solid offensive line, a good running game and some weapons in the passing game.
Heading into the 2022 NFL Draft, Washington should continue upgrading the weapons around Wentz to help him succeed as much as possible. There are a lot of mock drafts that have the Commanders selecting a wide receiver in the first round with the 11th overall pick.
They shouldn’t stop there when it comes to upgrading the offense. In the second round, a sleeper that they should have their eyes on is Colorado State tight end, Trey McBride. The Rams didn’t have a prolific passing offense, but McBride had a record-setting 2021 season.
His 90 receptions and 1,121 yards were both program records, as McBride took home the John Mackey Award in 2020 and 2021. There is a lot to like about his game, as McBride has the skill and size to succeed as an in-line tight end or lined up in space.
Cleaning up his technique and gaining experience as a blocker in some schemes will make for some tough sledding in the early going, but eventually, the talent will show through. He puts the effort in, which is all a team could ask for.
Pairing him with Logan Thomas early in his career makes Washington a great landing spot. Ricky Seals-Jones also departed in free agency, creating a void behind Thomas. The Commanders can put him in positions to take advantage of his strengths in the early going, eventually taking over as the TE1 in the offense down the line.
Wentz has shown a propensity to develop chemistry with his tight ends, peppering them early and often with targets. He did it with Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert with the Philadelphia Eagles and would be in a position to do the same here with the Commanders, targeting Thomas and McBride.