Commanders take DB Martin, C Stromberg on day 2 of NFL draft

Posted at 9:13 PM, Apr 28, 2023

ASHBURN, Va. — The Washington Commanders filled two areas of need on the second day of the NFL draft, adding another potential playmaker in the secondary and help on the offensive line.

They took Illinois defensive back Quan Martin in the second round and Arkansas center Ricky Stromberg in the third on Friday night. Martin at No. 47 followed the selection of Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes with the 16th pick in the first round.

"I’m excited to be able to play with him," Martin said of Forbes. “He’s a great ball hawk, takes the balls away and gets the defense in the end zone.”

Martin, whose given name is Jartavius but prefers to go by Quan, was a five-year starter with the Illini and could split his time between safety and nickel back early on in the NFL. He made 64 tackles, forced two fumbles and had three interceptions during his final college season.

His versatility was one of the reasons the Commanders had interest in Martin.

"Football just always came natural to me,” Martin said from a draft party gathering at a house in central Florida. “Being able to play any position on the back end at any given moment in the game just shows my understanding of the game and my football IQ.”

Like Martin, Stromberg visited Washington's practice facility this spring and was targeted by the front office. The 6-foot-3, 306-pounder taken 97th gives the Commanders young depth as part of their offensive line overhaul in the name of protecting quarterbacks Sam Howell and Jacoby Brissett.

The Commanders did not have their own third-round pick as a result of the trade 13 months ago with Indianapolis for Carson Wentz, who went 2-5 as the starting quarterback and was released after one season.

They have five more picks in rounds 4-7 Saturday and could still look to add an offensive tackle, edge rusher and linebacker and may also be in the market for another running back.