Jayden Daniels, the Commanders’ No. 2 pick in 2024 NFL Draft

Commanders fans are going to love Heisman-winning QB Jayden Daniels.

Meet Jayden Daniels, the former LSU quarterback and the Washington Commanders’ No. 3 pick of the 2024 NFL Draft.Daniels is a 6-foot-4, 210-pound record-breaker at the quarterback position. He is without a shadow of a doubt the most dynamic dual-threat quarterback prospect in this draft. No star shined brighter in 2023 than Daniels outside of Washington’s All-American quarterback Michael Penix Jr.

Jayden Daniels in a Washington Commanders uniform. Commanders No. 2 pick

After enjoying a productive year in his first season in the Bayou in 2022 — following his transferring from Arizona State where Daniels played his first three seasons — a switch was flipped in 2023 and the LSU QB became a first-round prospect.

Daniels exploded for a colossal 3,812 passing yards, 40 passing touchdowns, and four interceptions on an impressive 72.2 completion percentage, which ranked seventh in the nation. Daniels, along with wide receivers Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr., formed one of the most explosive trios through the air in college football.

Daniels is an electric weapon on the ground, too, rushing for 1,134 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on 8.4 yards per carry. He became the first player in college football history to compile career totals of 12,000 passing yards and 3,000 rushing yards.

Daniels’ statistical domination in 2023 led him to practically sweep the award slate clean. He won the Walter Camp Award, Davey O’Brien Award, AP College Football Player of the Year, Manning Award, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, SN Player of the Year, SEC Offensive Player of the Year, and was selected as a consensus first-team All-American.

Most importantly, he won the 2023 Heisman Trophy over Penix, Bo Nix, and Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., becoming the third winner in school history after Billy Cannon in 1959 and Joe Burrow in 2019. Short of leading the Tigers to their fifth national championship, Daniels left no stone unturned in 2023.

There might not be a prospect in this draft with a more exciting film than Daniels. With his particular physical measurements, he can stand tall in the pocket and deliver big-time throws while simultaneously being able to make magic with his legs. He possesses day-one starting traits on the physical, mental, and football IQ levels.

As a passer, Jayden Daniels is comfortable both under center in a pro-style offense or a shotgun-based spread offense. He goes through progressions with poise, quickness, and calmness, keeping his eyes down the field. He throws a beautiful ball with great touch, footwork,  anticipation, and accuracy at all three levels of the field but especially from deep. He throws well whether it’s from the pocket, on the run, or facing pressure, and he rarely throws interceptions.

As a runner, Daniels is incredibly fast and agile, reportedly running a 4.5-yard dash 40-yard dash time while at ASU and even running for an 85-yard rushing touchdown in a blowout victory versus rival Florida. Whether it’s on designed runs like zone read/option plays or scrambling when his pocket collapses or receivers can’t get open, defenses fear the sight of Daniels on the move. He is a shifty and long gazelle-esque strider with the ball as opposed to a bruiser, but he can take a hit despite his rather slender 210-pound frame.

Jayden Daniels is far from a perfect prospect especially considering how some see him as a one-year wonder, not without critique. As a thrower, while blessed with a strong arm, it is far from a cannon, and that lack of elite velocity on some of his throws outside the numbers can impact his accuracy. He threw two of his four interceptions versus the top two defenses he faced last season (Florida State and Alabama) and they came as a result of locking on too hard to his target.

As a runner, he takes many unnecessary hits and could stand to learn to slide. At his weight, scouts are concerned about his durability and longevity given his running style. Another strong-armed dual-threat quarterback compared to Daniels is a cautionary one in former Pro Bowler and current ESPN commentator Robert Griffin III, who was on his way to superstardom in 2012 after winning the NFL Rookie of the Year in one of the most electric debut seasons in NFL history.


Similar to Daniels, Griffin III’s physique as a dual threat resembled that of a track athlete, which aided in his star shining in one of the most stacked quarterback drafts in NFL history. Unfortunately, his body was unable to hold up after suffering multiple injuries in every season he played.

The Commanders certainly needed a quarterback this offseason after their Sam Howell experiment failed last season, and it was clear after he got benched in favor of Jacoby Brissett late in the year that they would be looking for a new passer under center this offseason. Armed with the second overall pick of the draft, Washington sat out free agency in anticipation of using this pick on a quarterback, and they got their pick of Daniels and Drake Maye after Caleb Williams went first overall to the Chicago Bears.

Daniels will join a potent Commanders offense that already has several big name weapons leading the way. Terry McLaurin is a certified number one receiver, and Jahan Dotson appears poised for a breakout campaign now that Curtis Samuel is no longer in town. And beyond that, Washington went out and signed star running back Austin Ekeler in free agency to give them another source of offensive production, who also happens to be one of the top receiving running backs in the league.

It may not be smooth sailing right off the bat, but Jayden Daniels’ upside is hard to ignore, and the Commanders have to be thrilled to have landed him as their quarterback of the future. All eyes will be on Daniels to see how he performs in his rookie campaign with Washington, and with a strong supporting cast of playmakers around him already, it’s fair to wonder whether he could be a sneaky Rookie of the Year candidate in the 2024 campaign.

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