DC region well represented at NFL Draft. Here’s what you need to know about each local selected

This weekend, 257 athletes lived out the dream of hearing their name called at the NFL Draft, and the D.C. area was well represented.

Three local players were selected in the first round alone, including Caleb Williams, the No. 1 overall pick and prize of the draft.

First round

NFL Draft Football

Caleb Williams — Round 1, pick 1 (Chicago Bears)

  • Position: Quarterback
  • High school: Gonzaga College High School — Washington, D.C.
  • College: Oklahoma, University of Southern California
  • Profile: Williams earned D.C. Gatorade Player of the Year honors during his sophomore year at Gonzaga, a campaign that included one of the greatest comebacks in D.C. high school sports memory in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship game. Williams’ performance in that game, which was capped off with a 53-yard game-winning Hail Mary, earned him WTOP Player of the Week. In 2022, during his sophomore season in college, Williams hoisted the Heisman Trophy as the best player in college football.
  • Analysis from NFL.com: “Williams’ play is highlighted by rare escapability paired with the talent to exploit defenses once the play breaks down. He’s not tall, but he is well-built, with an arm to challenge defenses across the field. He can be a high-impact playmaker on the go or an effective pocket passer when he allows himself to trust his eyes on second and third reads … “

Preseason All-America Football

Olumuyiwa “Olu” Fashanu — Round 1, pick 11 (New York Jets)

  • Position: Offensive tackle
  • High School: Gonzaga College High School — Washington, D.C.
  • College: Penn State
  • Profile: Fashanu was high school teammates with star quarterback Caleb Williams, and protected him as a starting offensive lineman for Gonzaga during the school’s WCAC championship run in 2018. At Penn State, Fashanu capped off his college career by earning consensus first-team All-American honors.
  • Analysis from NFL.com: “A toolsy two-year starter with loads of potential, Fashanu is still learning to be less mechanical and more instinctive with his play. At this point, he could impose his traits upon most collegiate opponents and stack the deck in his favor. As a pro, he will need to play with better control and more consistent technique to prevent being countered and beaten by NFL talent. There is still room to get bigger and stronger, but he’s already playing with good focus and drive as a run blocker … “
Penn State defensive end Chop Robinson (44) celebrates a win against Rutgers during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

Demeioun “Chop” Robinson — Round 1, pick 21 (Miami Dolphins)

  • Position: Edge
  • High School: Quince Orchard High School — Gaithersburg, Maryland
  • College: Maryland, Penn State
  • Profile: Robinson made history Thursday night, becoming this first Quince Orchard player ever drafted into the NFL, the school said on social media. He earned Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year honors during his senior season at Quince Orchard and started his college career at Maryland before transferring to Penn State.
  • Analysis from NFL.com: “Edge defender who offers the type of elite athleticism we’ve seen from players like Micah Parsons and Myles Garrett. Robinson might not be as fast as Parsons, but he’s close. He’s ultra-twitchy with the explosiveness to get on top of blockers and overwhelm them in an instant. However, he will need to level up his hand skills and attack angles to reach his potential against NFL tackles. Robinson’s electric athletic traits alone should give him a floor as a good NFL starter. If he crafts a rush approach and learns to string moves/counters together, he could reach his ceiling as a destructive force capable of forcing teams to game plan around him.”

Second round

Michigan defensive lineman Kris Jenkins stretches during NCAA college football practice Saturday, Dec. 30, 2023, in Inglewood, Calif. Michigan is scheduled to play against Alabama on New Year’s Day in the Rose Bowl, a semifinal in the College Football Playoff. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

Kris Jenkins — Round 2, pick 17 (Cincinnati Bengals)

  • Position: Defensive tackle
  • High School: Our Lady of Good Counsel High School — Olney, Maryland
  • College: Michigan
  • Profile: Jenkins is the son of former four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kris Jenkins and nephew of Super Bowl champion Cullen Jenkins. He attended Our Lady of Good Counsel High School where he was first-team All-Met, first-team All-Conference WCAC and the WCAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Jenkins went to Michigan where, in 2023, he became second-team All-American, second-team All-Big Ten and a national champion.
  • Analysis from NFL.com: “Possesses rare pedigree with a college football national title under his belt and a father who was a four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle. Jenkins has a smaller frame for his position, but he plays with good strength in one-on-one power swaps. He can neutralize single blocks but has trouble fighting back to muddy his gap against double-teams. His motor stays engaged. He’s frequently running down ball-carriers and chasing quarterbacks by the end of the play. Jenkins flashes more rush talent than his sack production would indicate, but he still needs to work on developing more go-to moves to pair with his spin counter. Jenkins isn’t a natural two-gapper, but he can play upfield or read-and-react football on the next level as an eventual starter capable of creating disruptions.”
Alabama Kentucky Football
Alabama defensive back Caleb Downs (2) and linebacker Chris Braswell (41) celebrate a fumble recovery during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023. (AP Photo/Michelle Haas Hutchins)

Chris Braswell — Round 2, pick 25 (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

  • Position: Linebacker
  • High School: Saint Frances Academy — Baltimore, Maryland
  • College: Alabama
  • Profile: Braswell was a five-star recruit coming out of Saint Frances Academy as a linebacker. He went to Alabama where he started off playing on special teams before working his way to the Crimson Tide’s pass rush rotation. In 2023, Braswell was named second-team All-SEC.
  • Analysis from NFL.com: “Edge defender with good size and length but limited playing time over his four years at Alabama. Braswell chose to stick it out at Alabama rather than transferring and was rewarded with a productive final campaign. He doesn’t play with great technique or anchor as an edge-setter and is average in taking on in-line tight ends at the point of attack. As a pass rusher, he gets off the ball with good burst and uses a variety of moves, speeds and angles to create opportunities but needs to add counters to his approach. Braswell might have a ceiling as a good 3-4 backup or average designated pass rusher with core special teams value.”

Third round

NC State UConn Football
UConn offensive lineman Christian Haynes (64) celebrates after a play during the first half of an NCAA college football game against North Carolina State in East Hartford, Conn., Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

Christian Haynes — Round 3, pick 17 (Seattle Seahawks)

  • Position: Offensive guard
  • High School: Bowie High School — Baltimore, Maryland
  • College: UConn
  • Profile: Haynes is the younger brother of Houston Texans defensive end Marcus Haynes. He attended Bowie High School where he was second-team Washington Post All-Met and was team’s MVP in his senior season, according to his UConn personal profile. Haynes was an All-American guard during his last two seasons with the Huskies.
  • Analysis from NFL.com: “Four-year starter and team captain who is sturdy at the point of attack. Haynes plays with football intelligence and sees every snap as a mandate to move opponents and finish blocks. His draft slotting could be affected by a lack of length and being limited to one position, but his determined playing style counters those factors. He’s not overly rangy but wipes out targets on pulling blocks and is capable in space, and in pass protection. The hand usage can get sloppy, allowing opponents to slip away from him, and he has a tendency to do too much grabbing. All things considered, he might outplay his draft slotting and become a solid NFL starter.”
CFP Washington Michigan Football
Michigan running back Blake Corum celebrates after their win in the national championship NCAA College Football Playoff game Monday, Jan. 8, 2024, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Blake Corum — Round 3, pick 19 (Los Angeles Rams)

  • Position: Running back
  • High School: Saint Frances Academy — Baltimore, Maryland
  • College: Michigan
  • Profile: Corum, a Fauquier County, Virginia, native, was the Gatorade Player of the Year in Maryland at Saint Frances Academy in 2019. In his senior year at Michigan in 2023, he led the Wolverines in rushing with 1,245 yards and a school-record 27 touchdowns as they won the national championship where he was the game’s offensive MVP. Corum was an All-American and a two-time first-team All-Big Ten.
  • Analysis from NFL.com: “Compact runner with average size, outstanding contact balance and a rare talent for finding and fitting into small crevices for short-yardage conversions and touchdowns. Corum is a bit of a one-speed runner lacking sizzle and wiggle but gets it downhill with timing and finishes runs with good forward lean. He has the hard-hat mentality to handle heavy workloads and can exploit defenses that fatigue or miss their run fits. The talent doesn’t stand out on its own, but he’s strong, competitive and team-oriented with exceptional football character. He can catch it when needed and is above average in picking up the blitz, which could earn him status as a three-down backup with a chance to find early carries as an RB2/3.”

Fourth round

North Carolina NC State Football
North Carolina linebacker Cedric Gray (33) quarterbacks the defense against North Carolina State during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

Cedric Gray — Round 4, pick 6 (Tennessee Titans) 

  • Position: Linebacker
  • High School: Ardrey Kell High School — Charlotte, North Carolina
  • College: North Carolina
  • Profile: Gray was born in Fort Washington, Maryland, before moving to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he attended Ardrey Kell High School. He went to the University of North Carolina, where he was a second-team All-American and two-time first-team All-ACC linebacker. Gray had 145 tackles in 2022 and 121 in 2023 for the Tar Heels, according to sports-reference.com.
  • Analysis from NFL.com: “Gray’s production, length and play speed will work in his favor, but he is better suited playing as a weak-side ‘backer where he can run and chase the action. Finding and securing his run fits can be an issue due to a lack of play strength and technique near the line of scrimmage. His instincts are just average, but Gray can be a disruptive defender when playing proactively and taking aggressive, downhill shots rather than waiting on the action. His playing style won’t be for everyone, but he does have backup potential if he’s allowed to cut it loose and play fast rather than with force.”
Khyree Jackson
Oregon defensive back Khyree Jackson (5) reacts during an NCAA football game against Colorado, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, in Eugene, Ore. Oregon won 42-6. (AP Photo/Amanda Loman)

Khyree Jackson — Round 4, pick 8 (Minnesota Vikings) 

  • Position: Cornerback
  • High School: Wise High School — Upper Marlboro, Maryland
  • College: Fort Scott Community College, Alabama, Oregon
  • Profile: Jackson attended Wise High School before going on his college transfer journey. He went to Fort Scott Community College before transferring to Alabama and then to Oregon. As the Ducks’ starting cornerback in 2023, he was named first-team All-Pac-12 because of his performance. He came a long way from working at a deli counter inside a Harris Teeter supermarket to being a fourth-round NFL draft pick.
  • Analysis from NFL.com: “Extremely imposing outside cornerback with rare size and strength. Jackson’s measurables are a big plus, but he started just 14 games during his college career, so the technique is inconsistent. He can be hit-or-miss from press, but when he catches the receiver with his punch, it’s trouble. A lack of anticipation and sticky hips cause him to get lost at transition points at times. Contested catches tilt heavily in his favor and will continue to do so as he improves with more coaching and experience. Jackson’s size and physicality combined with his NFL-caliber run support should make him an early backup with a chance to climb the ladder into a starting role if he proves he has the necessary speed.”

Fifth round

Temple Navy Football
Navy quarterback Xavier Arline, center left, is tackled by Temple linebacker Jordan Magee (6) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Annapolis, Md. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)

Jordan Magee — Round 5, pick 4 (Washington Commanders)

  • Position: Linebacker
  • High School: Dover High School — Dover, Delaware
  • College: Temple
  • Profile: Magee was born in Towson, Maryland, but went to Dover High School in Dover, Delaware, where he developed into a two-star prospect. He went to Temple as a linebacker, where he was second-team All-AAC. In his collegiate career, Magee had 235 tackles and eight sacks, according to sports-reference.com.
  • Analysis from NFL.com: “There are occasions when it can be tough to discern between Magee’s instincts and his willingness to take aggressive tracks downhill at the first sight of an opening. He will void run-fit responsibilities at times but will also make more plays near the line of scrimmage. Magee lacks ideal size but plays with good strength and aggression and is able to bounce off bigger bodies to find his way to tackle tries from challenging angles. He has a good early trigger, but his sideline-to-sideline range is average. Magee needs to prove he can make plays with better discipline in order to become more than a solid backup with special teams value.”
USC Notre Dame Football
Notre Dame cornerback Cam Hart (5) celebrates during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Southern California, Oct. 14, 2023, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Michael Caterina)

Cam Hart — Round 5, pick 5 (Los Angeles Chargers)

  • Position: Cornerback
  • High School: Our Lady of Good Counsel High School — Olney, Maryland
  • College: Notre Dame
  • Profile: Hart was born in Baltimore, but went to Our Lady of Good Counsel High School. It was there where he was a wide receiver before going to Notre Dame as a cornerback, where he started at least 10 games in his final three collegiate seasons.
  • Analysis from NFL.com: “Traits-based cornerback with an impressive blend of size and athleticism that could lead teams to project what he could be rather than what he is. Hart’s size advantage shows up when he’s getting after receivers from press, but he doesn’t always play big when it comes to run support and attacking the catch point. He has the agility to match releases and plays with pretty good route anticipation but lacks ideal make-up speed once he loses ground during the route. Hart doesn’t display much of a playmaking gene when it comes to trusting his instincts and playing the football, but he did a terrific job of helping to hold Marvin Harrison Jr. in check. There are pieces missing from the puzzle, but cornerbacks with his traits tend to improve in the league with scheme consideration.”
Wake Forest Clemson Football
Wake Forest defensive back Caelen Carson (1) plays against Clemson during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)

Caelen Carson — Round 5, pick 39 (Dallas Cowboys)

  • Position: Cornerback
  • High School: North Point High School — Waldorf, Maryland
  • College: Wake Forest
  • Profile: Carson went to North Point High School, where he was first-team All-Southern Maryland at cornerback and wide receiver. He went to Wake Forest, where he played all four years and had a total of 119 tackles and three interceptions.
  • Analysis from NFL.com: “Carson’s game is most suitable for press-man and Cover 2 looks, although he’s capable of handling most coverages. He doesn’t have as many snaps under his belt as some prospects, so his instincts and break anticipation aren’t fully focused yet. He’s much better from press than off-man coverage and does a nice job of utilizing his physicality to rough up the release and contest catches when he’s in position. He works through route combinations from zone and will come downhill and strike with good purpose most of the time. Carson’s angles to the throw and as a tackler can be spotty, leading to missed opportunities. Overall, the physical traits are ahead of the positional skills, but there is enough in place to project him as an eventual CB3.”

Sixth round

Arizona St Stanford Football
Stanford offensive tackle Walter Rouse (75) against Arizona State defensive lineman Anthonie Cooper (96) during an NCAA college football game in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Walter Rouse — Round 6, pick 1 (Minnesota Vikings)

  • Position: Offensive tackle
  • High School: Sidwell Friends School — Washington, D.C.
  • College: Stanford, Oklahoma
  • Profile: Rouse went to Sidwell Friends School, where he was a three-star recruit. In his collegiate career, he was a full-time starter at tackle for Stanford and Oklahoma — where he was a Big-12 honorable mention.
  • Analysis from NFL.com: “Rouse possesses the size and intelligence coaches like, and he might be able to continue improving if he can get stronger and prove he can play on the right side as well. He’s an average athlete with average bend, and that will show up in his lack of consistent anchor and in-line drive. However, that should not be oversold, as he tends to anchor enough and maintain a level of stickiness as a run blocker, even when it looks a little disheveled. Rouse has played almost exclusively as a left tackle but might be in consideration as a solid swing tackle prospect with some upside.”

Seventh round

Daijahn Anthony
Mississippi defensive back Daijahn Anthony (3) during the first half of an NCAA football game on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, in Oxford, Miss. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Daijahn Anthony — Round 7, pick 4 (Cincinnati Bengals)

  • Position: Safety
  • High School: Henrico High School — Henrico, Virginia
  • College: Shepherd, Liberty, Ole Miss
  • Profile: Born in Richmond, Virginia, Anthony went to Henrico High School. His collegiate career lasted five seasons in three different schools: Shepherd, Liberty and Ole Miss as he played cornerback.
  • Analysis from NFL.com: “Hard-hitting safety with man cover tools but potential limitations if asked to play on the back end. Anthony is high-cut but with good size and an aggressive field demeanor. He aligned as both a big nickel and a split safety. He’s fairly comfortable handling man coverage duties over the slot and does a nice job of staying connected with routes and disrupting catch tries with timing. He’s fast enough to play over the top from center field, but the instincts are average, and he can be clunky swiveling hips with the changing gaze of the quarterback. He needs to take more consistent angles and do a better job of wrapping up, but Anthony has the talent to become a versatile backup.”

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Tadiwos Abedje

Tadi Abedje is a freelance digital writer/editor for WTOP. He was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Northern Virginia. Journalism has been his No. 1 passion since he was a kid and he is blessed to be around people, telling their stories and sharing them with the world.

Thomas Robertson

Thomas Robertson is an Associate Producer and Web Writer/Editor at WTOP. After graduating in 2019 from James Madison University, Thomas moved away from Virginia for the first time in his life to cover the local government beat for a small daily newspaper in Zanesville, Ohio.

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