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NFL Draft: Commanders Land WR Following Trade with Steelers

A predictive mock draft has Washington trading back to take advantage of talent-rich middle rounds

The Washington Commanders traded their third-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft in the deal that brought quarterback Carson Wentz to the squad. 

Speculation has steadily grown that the team may be looking to trade out of their first-round pick in order to help recoup some of the midround capital lost. The exact scenario that unfolded in the most recent predictive mock draft from Pro Football Focus' Austin Gayle. 

Carson Wentz, Colts
Kyle Hamilton 2
Garrett Wilson

Trading back with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington drops to the 20th pick while adding the 52nd overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, and a third-rounder in 2023. 

At No. 11, the Steelers selected quarterback Malik Willis out of Liberty, and nine pics later the Commanders took Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks. 

"Burks is built like a taller running back at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds," wrote Gayle. "He dominates after the catch and will surprise defensive backs with his speed, regardless of whether the ball is in his hands. He’ll likely assume a slot role at the next level, but he’ll still command a lot of attention from the inside."

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Gayle further projects Burks to provide the kind of burst and elevation for the offense that former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel was expected to bring when he signed as a free agent in 2021. 

Gaining an additional second-round pick is even more valuable in a year where the middle part of the year's draft class is stocked with talent that can reasonably be expected to contribute. 

Lewis Cine
Jalen Pitre

With picks 47 and 52 in hand, the Commanders could opt to try and orchestrate a second trade to move up for players like Georgia safety Lewis Cine, or could wait to see the draft develop with options like Baylor safety Jalen Pitre also potentially available. 

Wyoming linebacker Chad Muma, Colorado State tight end Trey McBride, and Memphis guard Dylan Parham are among the other prospects Washington may also consider in the second round. 

Or things could get even more fun, and the Washington Commanders could flip one of those two picks for even more mid-round capital.