"There was a lot of talk in the draft that" the Washington Commanders had "made some calls about moving up" to the 7th overall pick, The Athletic columnist Mike Jones told Kevin Sheehan.
The Oakland Raiders had the pick and the name Jones heard as the target was Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson. But Richardson went to the Indianapolis Colts with the 4th overall pick.
Jones added that because of the uncertain situation with the Commanders' ownership situation, there were "questions about who gets to make the call on giving up so much and mortgaging the future" to trade up from No. 16, but it was a moot point as the Florida product did not slip.
"[Richardson] was basically the one guy that they would've been willing to" make the trade up for," Jones said, before adding that some in the room liked Kentucky QB Will Levis and Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker, but "not enough to go up for."
"Richardson, I was told, was probably the target," Jones said on Team 980.
Sheehan said if the Commanders had pulled off the deal, which likely would have cost them the 2024 first-round pick and more, he "would have applauded it big time because it would have been a big swing."
After the first round, head coach Ron Rivera had this to say about the temptation of, specifically, taking Levis and Hooker at pick No. 16:
"I think the big thing for us right now is what we did in free agency I think really helped us as a football team And, again, I like who Jacoby Brissett is. For the most part, I think with some of the guys we grabbed on the offensive line, adding to the depth, that really has helped us. Doing some of the things that we did on the defensive side, finding the middle linebacker, there's a lot of pluses to all the things we did. And yet the one thing that we will still have confidence in and are very comfortable with is what we have at quarterback. We think Sam [Howell] and Jacoby and Jake [Fromm] for that matter, give us a good room right now."
What does this mean for entering the 2023 NFL season? Well, because Washington has a promising defense and a talented wide receiver corps, you can't count the Commanders out for the playoffs next season, Jones said.
"I just don't know, we saw one game of Sam Howell, do you really think that he can be the guy once defensive coordinators get multiple game film to pick apart? I do like Jacoby. Brisset as a guy you can turn to, but do you think they are better than, say, a Minnesota... Seattle?" he said. "But it's not impossible" for the Commanders to make it.
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