Washington Commanders Scout ‘Best Fit’ Ex-Chiefs Tackle Donovan Smith

Key Takeaways:

– Washington Commanders secure QB Jayden Daniels with No. 2 pick in the 2024 NFL draft
– The team’s high priority is protecting Daniels following last season’s rampant sack challenges
– Pro Football Network opines free-agent Donovan Smith, a former Super Bowl champion, as ‘the best fit’ for Commanders
– Donovan Smith tops the active free-agents list with a market value of $10.2 million
– Despite Smith’s above-average pass-blocking grades, penalties and a previous neck injury might deter potential deals

Commanders Review Protector Options

The Washington Commanders recently made a bold move in the 2024 NFL draft, bringing in promising talent Jayden Daniels as their quarterback. Following a shaky season marked by numerous sacks, the team’s focus for the coming games is clear – protecting their new hope Daniels.

Commanders Eye Donovan Smith as Potential Guard

The team is considering adding hiring power to bolster their offense in the form of Super Bowl winner Donovan Smith. Dallas Robinso from Pro Football Network suggests that Smith could be the “best fit” as an offensive tackle for the Commanders. In his May 3 article, Robinson underlines the need for a seasoned tackle in the lineup. He mentions that despite filling in most gaps during the draft, the Commanders could require backup when defending Daniels.

Smith’s Impressive, Yet Checkered Track Record

Over his career, Smith has made 136 starts. Although injuries hindered him in the 2023 season, he managed to participate in 12 regular-season games and four playoff games, which led him to a Super Bowl victory. His decent performance considering his conditions, along with a market value of $10.2 million, makes him a viable contender for the Commanders. The team’s cap space, according to Over the Cap, is a comfortable $43.4 million, making financials no issue for this potential acquisition.

Penalties Remain a Concern

Despite Smith’s commendable performance, his penalty record has attracted considerable attention. During his run with the Kansas City Chiefs, he ranked 11th for the most penalties at his position, drawing 11 flags in 12 games. Over the past four seasons, Smith has incurred 29 penalties, a record that ties him at third-most among all players, per ESPN’s Bill Barnwell. He points out that Smith’s penalties do not place him at a disadvantage, using the example of Jawaan Taylor, who, despite frequent penalties, won a Super Bowl.

Injury Concerns

Barnwell also raises concerns about Smith’s health following his neck injury last season, which kept him off the field for the last five games in the Chiefs’ regular season.

OT Necessity for Commanders

While Smith’s penalties and previous injury are points of concern, his pass block win rate of close to 91% reflects his value as an offensive tackle. In the 749 offensive snaps he played last season, he permitted only two sacks and consistently scored above-average pass-blocking grades. By recruiting Smith, the Commanders could also assuage fans’ concerns over protection for Daniels, which seems to have been an issue post-draft, despite the third-round selection of Brandon Coleman.



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