Breaking: Commanders Closing In On Deal To Sign $49 Million Next T.J. Watt In Stunning Trade Proposal

Breaking: Commanders Closing In On Deal To Sign $49 Million Next T.J. Watt In Stunning Trade Proposal

The Washington Commanders may consider a big trade in the 2024 NFL draft to acquire a diverse roster.

According to Trevor Sikkema’s latest mock draft, the Commanders might trade four draft picks to the Denver Broncos for the No. 12 pick in 2024 to choose UCLA defensive end Laiatu Latu.

The Broncos would get a 2024 second-round pick (No. 36), a 2024 third-round pick (No. 67), and a second- and fifth-round pick in 2025.

“I wanted to explore a world where Washington used some of its additional Day 2 capital to move up for a trench player,” Sikkema wrote. “The Commanders signed Dorance Armstrong and Clelin Ferrell in free agency, but that doesn’t make up for their need for a top edge rusher. Latu had the highest pass-rush grade and highest pass-rush win percentage of any pass rusher in college football over the last two years.”

Latu’s draft status has soared since the end of the 2023 season, when he led the nation in tackles for loss per game (1.8), led the Pac-12 with 13.0 sacks, and was voted Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.

Laiatu Latu Compared to 2021 NFL Defensive POY

NFL analyst Lance Zierlein compared Latu to Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end T.J. Watt, the 2021 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, a five-time NFL All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowler.

“Latu possesses the kind of rare maturity to his game that you usually see from NFL veterans,” Zierlein wrote in his article. “As a run defender, he rarely gets blocked by tackles and dominates blocking tight ends at the college level. His pass-rush strategy is both well-conceived and instinctual, and he excels at seizing possession of the rep by using deft hands and fluid angles to create openings. As a run defender and pass rusher, he excels at seeing beyond blocks and has a strong drive to succeed. Everything about Latu’s skill set and output translates to the NFL, and he has the potential to be a Pro Bowler as a 3-4 outside linebacker with a significant impact on the game.

The Commanders have not chosen a defensive end in the first round since choosing Ohio State’s Chase Young with the second overall pick in 2020. Young was awarded NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2020, but injuries limited him to only 12 games over the next two seasons. He was then moved to the San Francisco 49ers in 2023.

Commanders Among NFL’s Worst in Pressuring QBs

The Commanders finished bottom in the NFL in overall defense in 2023, ranking 25th with 39 sacks. Washington did not have a player finish in the Top 75 in the NFL in terms of sacks, with defensive tackle Jonathan Allen leading the way at No. 78 with 5.5.

Latu is one of two edge rushers Sikkema expects the Commanders will draft in 2024, alongside Clemson’s Xavier Thomas in the third round at No. 100 overall.

“(Thomas) is an explosive edge rusher with a relentless style that is tough to block,” Sikkema stated in an email. “He may not be a great run defender based on his stats, but Washington can set him up in passing situations to simply pin his ears back and go. If the Commanders achieve that, I believe he will be an important player for them.”

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