Jayden Daniels lays out bold C.J. Stroud rookie season goal

The Washington Commanders selected Jayden Daniels with the second overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Daniels will lead the Commanders into a new era under new leadership and with a heavily revamped roster. During a recent appearance on All Facts No Brakes with Keyshawn Johnson, Daniels spoke on his connection to C.J. Stroud as well as his ambitious goals for his rookie season.Washington Commanders QB Jayden Daniels next to Houston Texans QB C.J. Stroud. They are next to a logo for the Washington Commanders.


“That’s my boy,” Daniels said, “we’re competitive, I’d be lying if I say I didn’t want to do better than him his rookie year.”

Jayden Daniels and CJ Stroud both grew up in the Inland Empire in California playing youth football against each other. Last year’s first overall pick Bryce Young also grew up not too far away in Pasadena. Daniels says that he played youth football against both Young and Stroud.

“What he did, like you said, is unheard of,” Daniels said, “I’m not comparing myself to him, I mean just me being a competitor, us being from the same area, I want to outdo him. Just like he was a two-time Heisman Finalist, but he ain’t win one, so I won one. That’s my brother, that’s my dawg, what he did is unheard of but that’s just who he is, he’s a confident human being.”

For context, C.J. Stroud threw for 4,108 yards, 23 TD’s earning his Rookie of the Year honor and leading the Texans to a win in the playoffs. Jayden Daniels is clearly setting the bar high for himself.

Previewing the expectations for the 2024 Washington Commanders

LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels poses with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Washington Commanders
© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It is fair to say that Jayden Daniels has unreasonably high expectations for his rookie season. The road ahead of him will be incredibly difficult if he’s trying to win Rookie of the Year and get the Commanders to the playoffs. However, that doesn’t mean Washington’s season is over before it starts.

The Commanders are in a unique situation where simply succeeding on the field is not the only priority in 2024. Washington needs to establish a new identity under new ownership and get the organization moved in a more positive direction. Establishing a new culture is not a one-year assignment, but the Commanders can take a first step by fielding a competitive team and ensuring that the organization is run well behind the scenes. In that sense, their win-lose record becomes less important than establishing a new normal.

But this doesn’t mean there will be zero expectations for the team’s performance in 2024. Ownership will expect progress, especially coming off of a 4-13 season that left fans with little room for hope.

Commanders brass should set realistic expectations for the 2024 season. Washington has a rookie quarterback and a new offensive coaching staff, as well as a change in philosophy on defense. Not to mention that there will be several new starters on both sides of the football. There is little chance that the Commanders get off to a hot start considering the amount of turnover they’re overcoming. That said, it would be encouraging for the team to come into form later in the year.

According to multiple sportsbooks, the Washington Commanders currently have an over/under win total of 6.5 wins.

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