Washington Commanders taking unique approach to top 30 visits

The Washington Commanders are using their top 30 visits in a different way. Is that a smart approach and what does it offer them?
Feb 27, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Washington Commanders general manager Adam Peters talks to the
Feb 27, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Washington Commanders general manager Adam Peters talks to the / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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Each year, teams are afforded 30 in house visits ahead of the NFL Draft. These are often referred to top 30 visits. That itself is a misnomer because teams don't bring in the top 30 players on their board, but rather the top 30 players that they want to get information on or from.

The approach to these visits will vary by team and each player that gets an invite to the facility. Teams will sometimes draft heavily from the pool of players they bring in while others end up taking numerous teammates of the players that they have in for a visit.

The Washington Commanders have both a new front office and coaching staff, which means new practices and philosophies in the NFL Draft. They showed their cards somewhat by hosting more than 20 of their top 30 visits at the same time starting on Tuesday night with a group outing to Top Golf. It's worth noting that Top Golf has a deal for half off on Tuesdays. Does that mean anything? Probably not, but there is some humor to it.

This in itself is an interesting philosophy. Teams aren't able to put the players through a workout, but they can interview them and give them a physical among ohter things. By having a mass visit like this, it gives the team an opportunity to see the prospects in a different light than you would get with a solo visit. This is especially important for the Commanders since they have four of the top five quarterbacks in for a visit.

How does this benefit you? It's all about getting a player in a more relaxed state to get more of a sense on who they really are. How do they treat the janitorial and kitchen staff? What do the interactions with the other players look like? When chaos surrounds them, how do they react? Do they stay organized or go into a shell? You aren't going to get these types of answers by having them on a one-on-one visit where you are following them around the entire time. The answers you get are more organic and can help you make more sound decisions.

The question here is this: does that information supercede what you would get in a one on one setting? Considering how many times you could have already met with that player during the all-star circuit, NFL Scouting Combine and pro days, this gives another way to learn about each player.

Tyler Forness