Commanders GM Martin Mayhew foreshadows activity in 2022 NFL Draft trade market

Martin Mayhew foreshadows draft trades for Commanders originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Acquiring more picks in the NFL Draft is like acquiring more beachfront property: It’s something everyone’s interested in.

That’s why, when Commanders General Manager Martin Mayhew explained Monday that he’d like his team to land additional assets for the upcoming edition of the league’s premier offseason event, it wasn’t particularly shocking.

What was significant, however, was the specificity with which Mayhew spoke about where exactly he’d like Washington to increase its capital.

“I think there’s a really, really good middle to this draft,” Mayhew told reporters while sitting alongside Ron Rivera at the club’s main facility in Ashburn, Virginia. “We think in the middle rounds for the second, third, fourth, fifth, there’s gonna be starters.”

Unfortunately for Mayhew, Rivera and Co., the Commanders are currently without their choices in the third and fifth rounds. Based off the GM’s assessment, that means the organization could miss out on the opportunity to bring in two quality pieces to round out its roster, and following back-to-back seven-win campaigns, those are chances that can’t be taken lightly.

Mayhew, though, heavily foreshadowed being active on the trade market once the draft commences on Thursday. 

“I’ve made a lot of those calls over the last past weekend and starting today,” he said. “We have six picks now. I doubt we’ll end this draft with those same six picks. I believe there’ll be some movement.”

Rivera, on the other hand, touched on how failing to expand squad’s number of selections would impact Washington’s future depth chart assembly.

“Well, I think if you end up with just six, then obviously we’ve got to do some other things,” Rivera said.” If we’re able to get more than six, then it cuts down on what we’ve got to chase afterwards. So, you know, we’re just gonna react to what happens more so than anything else. We can try and create some things as well.”

The Commanders are presently perched at No. 11 in the first round and then will hit the board again at No. 47 in the second round. While most of the focus on trading back centers around that initial spot, doing so on Friday might be easier, especially if a couple of quarterbacks, receivers or any other talented prospects tumble to that point and entice other franchises to act aggressively.

Regardless of where Washington’s next wave of assistance comes from, it better be a useful one. Judging drafts after only a year or two is totally unfair, and yet, that’s just what fans and analysts constantly do.

For Rivera, his most recent haul collectively struggled as rookies, while his first class after coming over from Carolina has been uneven at best. There’s pressure on him and Mayhew — who joined the front office last January, meaning he’ll catch heat about the 2021 group with Rivera — to be better in this area and many others, too.

Rivera didn’t tamp that scrutiny down on Monday, either.

“I do expect us to take a step forward,” Rivera said. “I really do. I think we can be a much better football team than we were last season.”

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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