Commanders Mock Draft: Washington goes all in on Jayden Daniels

Hunter Haas
The Washington Commanders kick their rebuild off with a Heisman-winning quarterback out of LSU

The Commanders struggled to get into the win column consistently during the 2023 campaign. With only four wins this year, Washington holds a coveted top-two pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Commanders moved on from Ron Rivera this off-season and hired former Falcons head coach Dan Quinn as the leader in D.C. Kliff Kingsbury, the former Cardinals head coach, joined the staff as offensive coordinator.

The offense has a few weapons, with Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, and Brian Robinson Jr. showing promise during their time in the NFL. However, a few more offensive linemen are needed.

And the same is true with the quarterback position. The Commanders entrusted Sam Howell with the QB1 role last season, but the 2022 fifth-round pick couldn’t seize the opportunity.

Commanders Mock Draft: Jayden Daniels to D.C.

With a new coaching staff and an offense sorely lacking at quarterback, the Washington front office must use the second overall selection to land a franchise cornerstone.

Round 1, Pick 2 — Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Howell isn’t the answer behind center for the Commanders. Instead, with the second overall pick, the front office finds a higher-upside quarterback in Jayden Daniels.

Daniels is a dual-threat option out of the backfield, flexing the best deep ball in the 2024 NFL Draft and showing blazing speed as a runner. He will start immediately.

Round 2, Pick 36 — Graham Barton, OL, Duke

If Daniels is to succeed in Washington, the offensive line needs reinforcements. Graham Barton can play all five spots up front and would give the Commanders another instant starter.

Round 2, Pick 40 (via CHI) — Bralen Trice, EDGE, Washington

After trading away Montez Sweat and Chase Young at the NFL trade deadline, the Commanders must address the pass-rushing group at the draft.

Bralen Trice, a long-armed, bulldozing pass rusher, is the pick in this mock draft. He could challenge for Defensive Rookie of the Year with 10+ sack potential as a first-year player.

Round 3, Pick 67 — Christian Haynes, OL, UConn

Adding Barton is a solid start, but the offensive line is still shaky. Christian Haynes can change that, as the UConn alum flexes remarkable strength and a high-octane motor.

Round 3, Pick 101 (via SF) — Jaden Hicks, DB, Washington State

One of the best defensive backs in the class falls to the Commanders at the midway point of this mock draft. Jaden Hicks is rangy, instinctual, and is a proven leader on defense.

Round 4, Pick 103 — Cam Hart, CB, Notre Dame

Another member of the secondary joins the roster. Cam Hart is a tall, experienced cornerback who can challenge for a starting spot in year one alongside Emmanuel Forbes.

Round 5, Pick 138 — Theo Johnson, TE, Penn State

The offensive weaponry gets an upgrade as Theo Johnson heads to D.C. The Penn State tight end is the best route runner at the position and is still developing as a blocker.

Round 6, Pick 181 — Tyrice Knight, LB, UTEP

The middle of the defense receives a jolt with the selection of Tyrice Knight. The UTEP linebacker is undersized, but his knack for getting to the football will allow him to carve out a role.

Round 7, Pick 220 — Tahj Washington, WR, USC

The only wide receiver taken in this mock draft is the speedy slot specialist from USC. Tahj Washington had an impressive Shrine Bowl, and his game-changing ability would mesh well with McLaurin, Dotson, and Daniels.

Check back next week for our seven-round mock draft for the Los Angeles Chargers. In the meantime, you can check out our past mock drafts for the Bears, Patriots, and Falcons.