Best available players for Commanders in NFL Draft: Austin Booker, Dadrion Taylor-Demerson


Six picks down, six needs addressed for the Washington Commanders with three selections remaining. Considering their best player available approach on Day 2, Saturday’s Day 3 could go in any direction. Edge rusher might be the most obvious spot, but linebacker, safety and interior offensive line also warrant a depth chart boost.

If they want to double up at offensive tackle, wide receiver and cornerback, rock on. Even another quarterback — think primary backup in 2025 — shouldn’t be dismissed.

Here are some names to consider for the third and final day of the draft. Prospect rankings from The Athletic’s Dane Brugler are included in parenthesis if the player is slotted in the top 100. (An asterisk indicates those with a confirmed or reported “30” visit.)

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Day 3

Austin Booker, DE, Kansas (78)*

Look beyond next season. Washington’s 2025 pre-draft rotation is Dorance Armstrong, and …? That uncertainty is why taking a defensive end/edge rusher makes sense for a defensive-oriented head coach.

Booker, a 267-pound transfer from Minnesota, had eight sacks, 12 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles last season in the most extensive usage of his burgeoning career.

T.J. Tampa, CB, Iowa State (55)
Dadrion Taylor-Demerson, S, Texas Tech (96)

Part of any cornerback consideration is that Benjamin St-Juste and Michael Davis are 2025 free agents. Michigan’s Mike Sainristil was selected in the second round by the Commanders. Quan Martin shined late in his rookie season, and Washington signed free agent Jeremy Chinn. But taking another safety can’t be ignored, based on how coach Dan Quinn used numerous players simultaneously as the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive coordinator.

The 6-foot-1 Tampa offers good size and “doesn’t lose much separation and plays with the size, range and ball skills to be disruptive.”

Though undersized at 5-foot-10, 197 pounds, Taylor-Demerson ran a 4.41 at the combine, isn’t afraid to provide run support and accumulated 10 interceptions with 33 pass deflections the past three seasons. “Rabbit” has free safety and nickel corner potential.

Ja’Tavion Sanders, TE, Texas (57)*
Jared Wiley, TE, TCU (89)*

There’s no denying Washington’s lackluster tight end room. The Commanders helped address it by drafting Kansas State’s Ben Sinnott with the No. 53 pick in the second round.

Sanders, one of eight FBS players with at least 45 catches in 2023 who didn’t drop a pass, is a significant receiving threat. The 6-foot-6 Wiley can post up defenders, as evidenced by his FBS-leading five red zone touchdown receptions last season.

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

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Other Day 3 options:

Jaden Hicks, S, Washington State (39)
Theo Johnson, TE, Penn State (80)
Jaylen Wright, RB, Tennessee (83)
Michael Pratt, QB, Tulane
Kedon Slovis, QB, BYU
Bucky Irving, RB, Oregon
Will Shipley, RB, Clemson
Brenden Rice, WR, USC
Erick All, TE, Iowa*
Christian Jones, OT, Texas
Dylan McMahon, C, NC State
Javion Cohen, G, Miami
Gabriel Murphy, DE, UCLA
Mohamed Kamara, DE, Colorado State
Leonard Taylor, DT, Miami
Javontae Jean-Baptiste, DE, Notre Dame*
Tyrice Knight, LB, UTEP*
Darius Muasau, LB, UCLA
Cam Hart, CB, Notre Dame*
Beanie Bishop, CB, West Virginia*
Beau Brade, S, Maryland

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(Photo of Austin Booker: Evert Nelson / The Capital-Journal / USA Today)





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