Commanders Expected To Draft QB Jayden Daniels?

The Commanders are set to host all three of the top quarterback prospects expected to be on the board when they are on the clock at No. 2 overall. While the team still has plenty to do in the ongoing evaluation process, a favorite may have emerged.

Opinions are split on which passer out of Jayden DanielsDrake Maye or J.J. McCarthy will come off the board after Caleb Williams (who is widely expected to hear his name called first overall). Over the course of the pre-draft process, though, Daniels has seen his stock experience a boost in the wake of his Heisman-winning season from 2023. As such, he remains firmly in contention to head to the nation’s capital.

ESPN’s Matt Miller writes NFL executives and scouts consider Daniels the likeliest pick for the Commanders. None of the evaluators polled for that assessment are within the Commanders’ organization, however, so the team’s ultimate decision will likely not become clear until the night of Round 1. Still, it comes as little surprise that signs point toward a Daniels selection on Washington’s part.

The Arizona State transfer spent the past two years at LSU. He posted by far his most productive campaign in 2023, scoring 50 total touchdowns (40 passing, 10 rushing) while completing 72.% of his passes and throwing just four interceptions. Daniels has drawn praise for his processing ability in addition to his notable rushing totals.

However, he will be 24 by the end of his rookie campaign in the NFL, leading to concerns Maye and/or McCarthy could have more upside. Both members of the latter pair also have a much larger frame than Daniels, and questions have been raised regarding his ability to withstand the physicality of the pro game especially considering his dual-threat skillset. Still, Daniels should provide his next team with a relatively high floor, and the interest shown from other QB-needy teams suggests he should not need to wait long to hear his name called.

Washington has a ‘top 30’ visit lined up with each of Daniels, Maye and McCarthy next week. It is after that point that first-year general manager Adam Peters, new head coach Dan Quinn and Co. will arrive at a final commitment with respect to a new franchise signal-caller. As John Keim notes in the aforementioned ESPN piece, Quinn has stated post-snap processing is a trait being targeted in the Commanders’ ongoing search. That factor – along with the expectations of personnel around the league – could point in Daniels’ direction for the second overall pick.

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