Why one analyst has Commanders passing on QB for ‘best interior lineman’ in 2022 Draft

Why Jeremiah has Commanders passing on QB in 2022 first-round originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington


As the 2022 NFL Draft continues to creep closer, many experts around the league have projected the Washington Commanders to use its first-round pick on a quarterback.

However, NFL Network draft analyst and former pro scout Daniel Jeremiah is not among the majority. Why? He believes Washington will have solved its quarterback dilemma well before the Commanders get on the clock on April 28.

“I think about Ron Rivera and where he’s at in his career and some of the pieces on this roster, I’m just wondering if they try to go the veteran route [at quarterback],” Jeremiah said on a Zoom call on Friday.

So, who will Washington select at No. 11 overall? In his latest mock draft that was released on Feb. 22, Jeremiah pegged Texas A&M guard Kenyon Green to Washington, citing a need at interior offensive lineman should Brandon Scherff walk in free agency.

“When you do these mock drafts, you play with different scenarios,” Jeremiah said. “When you look at some other options that could be out there from the veteran [quarterback] market, you say ‘OK, if they were to go with a veteran quarterback, what’s the play here?’ If Scherff’s leaving in free agency, which I think a lot of people expect to happen, you’re going to have a hole there.”

For the past sevens seasons, Washington has received stellar play at right guard from Scherff. The 30-year-old has made five Pro Bowls during that span and was named first-team All-Pro in 2020. He’s arguably as good as they come at the position.

Money talks, though, and Scherff has played the past two seasons in Washington under the franchise tag. In 2021, he earned the highest salary of any guard in the NFL. Washington general manager Martin Mayhew said in January that Scherff turned down a long-term deal that would have made him the highest-paid guard in NFL history.

So, while Scherff has remained adamant that he wants to remain with the Commanders for the remainder of his career, it’s more likely that Washington’s 2015 first-rounder is playing football elsewhere next fall.

If Washington were to select Green eleventh overall, Jeremiah believes Washington would be in good hands.

“I think he’s the best interior lineman in the draft,” Jeremiah said on Green. “He’s got some real power, some real strength. He can anchor down in pass [protection].”

Using a first-round pick on a guard, obviously, isn’t a flashy pick. Former Washington coach Jay Gruden was quite honest about the subject a few years ago. Even though the Scherff selection worked out well for Washington seven years ago, the value of picking an offensive lineman that early in the draft simply isn’t there.

Of course, if Washington doesn’t ultimately go the veteran route at quarterback — whether that’s in free agency or through a trade — the Burgundy and Gold will certainly be in the mix for a signal-caller come April 28.

Although the 2022 quarterback class is considered to be weaker than most, Jeremiah is curious as to which QB-needy team will be the one to take the first passer off the board.

“It’s going to be fascinating to see who kind of blinks when it comes to these quarterbacks,” he said. “I don’t have one with a top-10 grade. I’m curious to see who the first team is that says ‘OK, we’re all in’ on one of these guys.”

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, NBC Sports Washington. Sign up for NBC Sports Washington’s free email subscription today.

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