Raiders Contact Commanders About No. 2 Pick; No Trade Expected

After new Commanders GM Adam Peters said he did not envision many scenarios in which his team would move off the No. 2 overall pick, the other team that has been regularly connected to Jayden Daniels opted to test the NFC East team’s commitment.

The Raiders indeed contacted the Commanders about a trade-down from No. 2,’s Mike Garafolo reports. Other teams have inquired about Washington’s selection, but Garafolo and colleague Ian Rapoport note the team has not shown an indication it is interested in moving down.

[RELATED: How Will Raiders Address QB Need In Draft?]

Indeed, the draft is expected to start with Caleb Williams and Daniels. While the 2023 Heisman winner is not considered a full-on lock to head to Washington in the way the 2022 Heisman recipient is tied to Chicago at No. 1,’s Albert Breer offers that most around the NFL expect Daniels to be a Commander by Thursday night.

Not ruling out Drake Maye or J.J. McCarthy to Washington, Breer notes Daniels remains a clear favorite here. It has been trending this way for a bit now. Still,’s Charles Robinson adds Maye and McCarthy fans still exist within the Washington building. These two joined Daniels on that much-discussed mass Commanders visit last week.

It is certainly unsurprising to see the Raiders mentioned as an 11th-hour suitor. Due to Antonio Pierce‘s past with Daniels at Arizona State, they have been connected to the dual-threat talent longer than any NFL team. But Washington lost its final eight games last season, outflanking New England for the right to pick second. The Raiders holding No. 13 overall has long made it unlikely they could put together a package appealing enough to convince a QB-needy Commanders operation to slide down that far.

A report earlier this month offered intrigue about the Raiders’ desire to move up, putting Pierce and new GM Tom Telesco on opposing sides of that debate. Telesco, who has been tied to either Justin Herbert or Philip Rivers throughout his GM career, was said to not be overly enthusiastic about the prospect of sacrificing major draft capital to acquire a quarterback in this draft. Pierce was pegged as being readier to do what it takes to land a long-term passer. The now-full-time HC has not been shy about expressing his interest in such an addition, but the Raiders’ draft slot will bring complications in a year that could feature an NFL-first QB-QB-QB-QB start to a draft.

As it stands now, Gardner Minshew is on track to be Las Vegas’ Week 1 starter. But Daniels is not the only passer the Raiders have been paired with during the draft run-up. Raiders interest in Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. has escalated, at least per multiple reports; the recent national championship game starter could profile as a Daniels consolation prize for Pierce’s team. Then again, a Monday rumor suggested the Patriots could be open to trading back — perhaps with the Vikings (No. 11) or Broncos (No. 12) — and acquiring Penix. Thus far, however, New England is also expected to stay at No. 3 and choose a passer.

Perhaps a final round of Raiders-Daniels buzz circulated last week, when reports pointed to the ex-Arizona State recruit wanting to play for the AFC West team. Barring historically unusual efforts, players do not exactly have a say in who drafts them. Daniels, who attended Las Vegas’ Week 18 game and visited Pierce’s team in the locker room, did not deny interest in being a Raider. But he acknowledged he will be eager to play for whichever team drafts him. It still looks like that will be the Commanders.

The Raiders showed interest in trading up — likely with Daniels in mind — at multiple points this offseason, even to the point they were interested in obtaining the No. 1 pick. The Bears showed next to no interest in making a move, having traded Justin Fields to clear the decks for Williams. The Commanders made a similar move, dealing Sam Howell to the Seahawks and installing Marcus Mariota as a backup/bridge option.

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