3 Best Rookie Artists at Commanders Boot Camp
The Washington commanders entered the heatwave of boot camp. The days follow each other as the pre-season program begins. As games approach, I’ll give you a rundown of some rookies to watch throughout the preseason and regular season.
The Commanders Draft philosophy changed dramatically in the 2022 NFL Draft. A year after taking high-ceiling and low-floor players in 2021, they were aiming for more pro-ready players this year. Each draft pick was a senior and many. were team captains.
To use a baseball analogy, COs went from swinging for the fences to trying to hit doubles against the wall. Therefore, commanders may not have obtained the best “value” in some cases. However, they have plenty of players who can be consistent contributors right away.
The front office philosophy this offseason has made it pretty difficult to narrow it down to just three. The entire draft class, in some ways, has an instant impact. Even undrafted tight ends Armani Rodgers and Curtis Hodges seem like players who can make an impact on the road.
So if your favorite player is left out, it doesn’t mean he was poor in any way. It was just harder to narrow it down this year more than the others. Here are the three rookies who stood out the most.
3 recruits who stand out in the camp of the commanders
3. S Percy Butler
Drafted in the fourth round from Louisiana, Percy Butler was hailed early on by Ron Rivera as a potential “Day 1” contributor. He was a special team ace in college, which Rivera loves about Butler, but the Washington head coach seems to want even more safety in his freshman year.
Butler will make his way early on as a special team, but early on he would also be looking to be capable on defense. Running mostly with the second team, Butler showed his ability to be a physical presence in the defensive field.
At Commanders physical training on August 9, Percy Butler screamed like a blitzer, rushing Taylor Heinicke in a pitch that went straight to Jeremy Reaves for the interception. The game interrupted a series of no-interception drives for the defense.
Butler was physical against the run, in a practice he filled his void and stopped running back JD McKissic with no gain. Butler would have flown like a missile towards football. As preseason games begin, it will be interesting to see if Butler’s physical mentality can make him a more consistent tackler than he was in Louisiana.
Butler offers an advantage as a cover safety, with a 4.36 dash from 40 yards, and has shown some zone coverage instincts as a Rajin’ Cajun. The rookie made his share of plays in pass coverage, including netting an interception on a pass from Heinicke.
The freshman safety will make an immediate impact as a special team, however, his fearless nature combined with his athletic profile could make him more than that. Early on, he’ll be the best as the team’s big nickel in three safeties, allowing him to play closer to the line.
As he becomes more comfortable diagnosing passing concepts at NFL speed, he can even turn around to play in two-tiered looks. The deployment of Butler’s Jack Del Rio and second-year safety Darrick Forrest will be interesting to watch unfold.