Sunday, February 5, 2023
HomeSportsCommanders’ NFL draft guide: Six picks and plenty of needs

Commanders’ NFL draft guide: Six picks and plenty of needs

Washington secured its starting quarterback in March by trading for Wentz, a player Rivera has said could be a long-term solution at the position. The deal took a bite out of the Commanders’ salary cap space and took them out of the running for a rookie QB — at least at No. 11 this year. Rivera likes to retain three quarterbacks, and in recent seasons he has needed all of them at some point. Although this year’s quarterback class is thin on talent, there are potential developmental players who could serve as the team’s third-string option, behind Wentz and Taylor Heinicke. The key for Rivera is finding a prospect who can learn quickly and retain information.

“At some point, if he has to assume that backup role, he is not going to get a lot of reps,” Rivera said. “He’s going to have to be able to understand, learn and grow quickly, and so that’s part of what you’re looking for. I mean, most of these guys will come in with skill sets that obviously need to be honed and worked on, but the biggest thing is the mental aspect — how much do they know, how quickly will they learn and how much are they going to retain.”

Some Day 2 or 3 quarterback prospects who might fit the bill: Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati), Carson Strong (Nevada), Bailey Zappe (Western Kentucky) and E.J. Perry (Brown).

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