After the Washington Commanders opened preseason Saturday, it’s now time to see which player’s value has risen and which has taken a tumble.
With preseason game one out of the way for the Commanders, it’s now clear to see some players were able to raise their stock value, while others saw their value fall. For many of these players, their performance in the preseason will determine if they make the 53-man roster or not.
Saturday afternoon’s game against the Carolina Panthers was just the first peek into what Washington’s roster has to bring to the table this season.
Sam Howell, QB, Washington Commanders
Entering the game Sam Howell was the player that most fans were excited to see. Howell, once thought to be the top quarterback of the 2022 class fell all the way to the fifth round to the Commanders. Fans were extremely excited after Washington drafted him because of his arm strength and running ability and both of those things were on display on Saturday.
Against the Panthers, He went 9-16 passing for 143 passing yards, and also had 19 rushing yards with two rushing touchdowns. Howell displayed some of his arm talent completing a few intermediate passes to receivers for good gains, and also had a great deep ball that was dropped by Kelvin Harmon. Howell also showed off his rushing ability scoring two rushing touchdowns for the Commanders and also extending multiple plays with his legs.
Brian Robinson, RB, Washington Commanders
Brian Robinson entered the game as the team’s second running back option, and now might be pushing to be the starter. From the moment Antonio Gibson fumbled, Robinson took the remainder of the first-team reps.
With those reps, he had six carries for 26 yards and a rushing touchdown. He also showed that he can be a capable pass catcher, catching two passes for 15 yards. Robinson’s stock probably increased the most out of anyone.
Steven Parker, DB Washington Commanders
Recently signed defensive back Steven Parker was the highest graded player on the Commanders roster during their first preseason game with a 90.8 rating via PFF. He made a great open-field tackle against PJ Walker and also had two great pass breakups. Overall, Parker had great coverage throughout the entire game and had a couple of key tackles.
If Parker continues to play as he did on Saturday, he will have a good shot at making the final 53-man roster.
Daniel Wise, DE, Washington Commanders
Going into the game, many fans wondered who would be the defensive lineman that would step up to fill Chase Young’s role while he is gone. That defensive lineman was Daniel Wise Saturday afternoon. Wise was getting some of the first team reps with James Smith Williams and recorded one sack and two quarterback hits during the game.
If Wise keeps this up he will surely make the 53-man roster.
Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Commanders
Last season Antonio Gibson rushed for over 1,000 yards, but many were concerned about his injury history and fumbling problems. On the second drive of the game, Gibson fumbled the ball inside the Commanders 20-yard line. The Panthers proceeded to score a touchdown shortly after.
Brian Robinson took all the first-team reps after that and excelled, which lowered Gibson’s stock even more. If Gibson doesn’t fix his fumbling issue soon, Brian Robinson will likely be the starting running back entering the season
Taylor Heinicke, QB, Washington Commanders
Against the Panthers, Taylor Heinicke went 4-9 for 21 yards and an interception. Heinicke looked inaccurate and sailed multiple passes. Combine Taylor’s poor performance with Howell’s good performance, and that lowers Heinicke’s stock.
Heinicke will almost certainly be the backup for the 2022 season, but if Howell continues to impress, he could possibly become the backup.
Danny Johnson, CB, Washington Commanders
With Benjamin St-Juste out with hamstring tightness, Danny Johnson got the start as the slot cornerback. He did not take advantage of his opportunity, getting beat for long gains multiple times. Johnson became a target for the opposing quarterbacks to pick on while he was in.
Johnson is battling for a roster spot, and performances like this one will not help him out.