Commanders Urged to Trade Picks for Charles Leno Jr. Replacement

Charles Leno Jr.

Getty A trade scenario involving two draft picks can help the Washington Commanders replace LT Charles Leno Jr.

Trading back into the Round 1 of the 2024 NFL draft might cost the Washington Commanders two second-round picks, but it would be worth it to replace left tackle Charles Leno with Tyler Guyton.

The scenario is outlined by Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski. He thinks the Commanders “could package” the 36th and 40th picks “to move back up.”

Sobleski believes “Oklahoma’s Tyler Guyton might be the best possibility for them. His athleticism and footwork make him an ideal candidate to make the switch from right to left tackle.”

Putting a physical specimen like Guyton at the key spot of an overhauled offensive line would be a smart move for the Commanders. Especially since they’re likely to invest the second-overall pick in the entire draft in a potential franchise quarterback.

Tyler Guyton Trade Would Be Welcome News for Rookie QB

Whether that rookie signal-caller will be Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye or even the next Kirk Cousins, the Commanders need better protection up front. Last season’s line surrendered 65 sacks, prompting a major rebuild in free agency that saw Leno released, before guard Nick Allegretti and center Tyler Biadasz were added to the mix.

The interior is stronger after the new faces joined right guard Sam Cosmi, a rare standout last season. Yet, the edges of Washington’s front five remain a concern.

Leno’s gone after three seasons as the starter, while Andrew Wylie has failed to impress on the right. Both of those issues would make Guyton worthy of an expensive draft-day trade.

He was flawless in pass protection for the Sooners last season, according to PFF College.

At 6-foot-6 and 306 pounds, Guyton has the mass to win the physical battles on the edge, but his quick feet set him apart in this class. As Pro Football Focus noted, “Guyton’s foot speed and stride length for a player of his size are impressive, allowing him to mirror without overextending. He can fire off the ball quickly, giving him a good punch at contact.”

Guyton is also mobile enough to be a factor in space. That makes him a potential asset for the zone-based running game the Commanders are likely to feature on the watch of offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury.

There’s a lot to recommend getting Guyton, even if it’ll mean giving up precious draft capital to do it. He’s a popular late-first round pick among mock draft writers.

They include Dane Brugler of The Athletic, who has the 22-year-old going to the Dallas Cowboys 24th overall. Meanwhile, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones has Guyton coming off the board one pick later and joining the Green Bay Packers.

Giving up second-round value would sting, but the Commanders can’t risk not drafting a credible replacement for Leno.

Commanders Can’t Risk Not Replacing Charles Leno

Leaving this draft without a credible option on the blindside would be too big of a risk for the Commanders. Especially since the team owns enough draft ammunition to either put together a trade for a highly-touted prospect like Guyton or sit tight and select a less-heralded tackle with sleeper potential.

Owning two second-rounders, three third-round picks and a pair of choices in the fifth round affords the Commanders flexibility. They could package a second and a third to move back into the opening round or they could use a third and fifth to earn a late second-rounder.

There are multiple possibilities, including standing pat at 36 and taking Houston tackle Patrick Paul. It’s something Brugler endorses and would pair the rookie with his brother, Commanders’ incumbent Chris Paul.

Whatever they decide, the Commanders need a strategy for adequately replacing Leno and securing a rookie passer’s chances for success.

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