2024 NFL Draft grades: Washington Commanders did pretty well, but everything hinges on Jayden Daniels

It’s a new day for the Commanders. They have a new franchise quarterback, a couple impact defenders and even a freak athlete on the offensive line to develop. The Jayden Daniels pick is risky based on his prospect profile, but he still should be a drastic upgrade over what they had in Sam Howell last season. This class hinges on Daniels being a top-tier starter, but they did grab some solid players in the draft. This draft class should make fans feel more hopeful after a shaky free agency period.

This is risky because of the foot injury Newton has been fighting through. If he’s healthy, he’s going to be a force for the Commanders. Newton was the most polished interior pass rusher in this year’s class and now gets to play for head coach Dan Quinn and next to Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne. If he can stay on the field, Newton is in a spot to have an impactful rookie year. This is a fun pick for the Commanders.

Daniels is not a bad quarterback prospect, but taking him over Drake Maye feels risky. Daniels, like Michael Penix Jr. and Bo Nix, is leading a new wave of highly drafted first-round quarterbacks who played a ton in college before they were finally deemed elite NFL prospects. This could work as Daniels’ rushing ability and deep ball accuracy give him a high floor. However his frame and lack of elite traits as a passer gives some pause for concern. There’s a path for success for Daniels, but his upside might not be as high as Maye’s.

Round 1, Pick 2: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU
Round 2, Pick 36: Jer’Zhan Newton, DL, Illinois
Round 2, Pick 50: Mike Sainristil, CB, Michigan
Round 2, Pick 53: Ben Sinnott, TE, Kansas State
Round 3, Pick 67: Brandon Coleman, OL, TCU
Round 3, Pick 100: Luke McCaffrey, WR, Rice
Round 5, Pick 139: Jordan Magee, LB, Temple
Round 5, Pick 161: Dominique Hampton, S, Washington
Round 7, Pick 222: Javontae Jean-Baptiste, DL, Notre Dame