2023 commanders splash 3

Washington Commanders 53-Man Roster, And Individual Unit Grades

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The Commanders cut their final roster down to 53 men yesterday, and the team is now “set” for the 2023 season. Obviously there will be many changes before the end of the season, but this is what Washington are going with to begin the campaign.

So how do they look?



Sam Howell
Jacoby Brissett

Grade: C

Can Howell be “the man”? He shows a lot of signs of being so, but let’s be honest, it still remains to be seen. Brissett didn’t have a great preseason but has shown that he can start in this league and should be a solid backup. This can easily increase to a B or more if Howell continues to look like he has in his limited action.

Offensive Line:

Charles Leno
Saahdiq Charles
Nick Gates
Sam Cosmi
Andrew Wylie

Cornelius Lucas
Trent Scott
Chris Paul
Ricky Stromberg
Tyler Larsen

Grade: D

It was a problem last year, and unless something crazy shakes out, it will be again this year as well. There is some quality with the addition of Ricky Stromberg but he isn’t quite ready yet. That leaves an interior that sees Cosmi at guard – a position he is still learning – and Charles, who is oft injured. Lucas and Paul are solid backups, but not much more. Larsen has starting ability but can’t seem to stay healthy. This unit is arguably the weakest on the team.

Running Backs

Antonio Gibson
Brian Robinson Jr.
Chris Rodriguez

Grade: B

A competent group. Gibson can backup Robinson if needed and provides a different type of back than the other two. They won’t scare many teams, but the opposition can’t sleep on them either.

Wide Receivers

Terry McLaurin
Jahan Dotson
Curtis Samuel
Dyami Brown
Byron Pringle
Dax Milne
Mitchell Tinsley

Grade: A

McLaurin and Dotson are top drawer. Samuel flashed brilliance last year and managed to stay healthy. Rookie Tinsley looked impressive in the preseason and both Brown and Pringle round out a relatively deep unit. Milne is the return guy again. Unfortunately.

Tight Ends

Logan Thomas
Cole Turner
John Bates
Curtis Hodges

Grade: C

Can Logan Thomas stay healthy? Not likely. Turner looked good in the preseason but can he do it against the better competition in the regular season? Unfortunately for the Commanders, they will likely have to hope that is the case. The quality of the unit is okay but that’s banking on Thomas, which probably isn’t a wise idea.


Defensive Line

Jonathan Allen
Daron Payne
Montez Sweat
Chase Young

James Smith-Williams
Efe Obada
John Ridgeway
Casey Toohill
Andre Jones
K.J. Henry

Grade: A+

Stacked on the EDGE, this unit is the team’s strongest. They have the potential to be exceptional if Chase Young can return to past form. Losing Mathis in the preseason hurts but that looks like it might be a constant in the young man’s NFL hopes. Good thing they found a way to re-sign Daron Payne. Four first round picks SHOULD yield a unit of great talent… which this unit is.


Jamin Davis
Cody Barton
Khaleke Hudson
David Mayo

Grade: D

Just because the Commanders often employ a defense that only uses two linebackers, doesn’t excuse having such an anaemic linebacker group. Barton and Davis may be okay but an injury to either of them and this unit can quickly become even more of an achilles heel.

Defensive Backs

Emmanuel Forbes
Kendall Fuller
Benjamin St-Juste
Kam Curl
Percy Butler
Darrick Forrest
Danny Johnson
Christian Holmes
Quan Martin
Jeremy Reaves

Grade: B

First round pick Emmanuel Forbes definitely makes this unit a lot stronger, but are they strong enough? His draft selection pushes Benjamin St. Juste to the bench, which gives the unit good depth. Second round pick Quan Martin was inconsistent in the preseason but has time to develop thanks to the existing depth. Percy Butler has looked solid at safety in his second training camp, and will do fine with Kam Curl. Darrick Forrest, Danny Johnson, Christian Holmes and Jeremy Reaves round out the unit for depth. This unit is improved from last year, but still seems a little “light”.

Special Teams

Tress Way
Joey Slye
Camaron Cheeseman

Grade: B-

Tress Way is one of the best punters in the NFL, and a constant bright spot for this team. Slye is not consistent enough yet, and is therefore currently average at best. Cheeseman is adequate but was subpar in preseason appearances.

What do you think?

What positions thrill you the most?

Which ones scare you the most?

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