National Champion QB Thinks Commanders Should Take Jayden Daniels

Jayden Daniels

Getty LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels.

The decision the Washington Commanders have to make with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft might not be as difficult as it’s being made out to be.

Former Alabama quarterback and ESPN college football analyst Greg McElroy went on the “This is Football” podcast hosted by Kevin Clark on April 8 to break down the top quarterbacks available in the 2024 NFL draft on April 8.

Daniels told Clark the Commanders should take LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels over North Carolina’s Drake Maye with the second pick.

Daniels threw for 3,812 yards, 40 touchdowns and 4 interceptions while rushing for 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2023 on the way to winning the Heisman Trophy.

McElroy helped lead the Crimson Tide to the 2010 BCS national championship.

“(Daniels) grew tremendously in 2022 and in 2023, the deep ball accuracy was just ridiculous,” McElroy said. “I think the pinpoint, NFL-level throws became more and more consistent … part of my concern is he had an elite supporting cast and I think there is a little concern there but the top-end speed and the ability to create with his legs in the event in which something’s not there and I’m not talking create like you get 6 or 7 (yards) to keep you honest. I’m talking take it 40 (yards) and score.”

Greg McElroy Had Plenty of Praise for Drake Maye

McElroy also had high praise for Maye, who could likely go to the New England Patriots with the No. 3 overall pick if the Commanders take Daniels. McElroy was a seventh-round pick by the New York Jets in 2011 and played two seasons in the NFL.

Maye’s numbers went down across the board in 2023 after he was named ACC Player of the Year in 2022 — in two less games he threw for 14 less touchdowns and 2 more interceptions.

“I do think there are a couple of questions about the inconsistencies (in his game),” McElroy said. “I think his eyes drop from time to time when he’s in the pocket … but I think the narrative surrounding him being unathletic is a a false narrative. I think he’s very athletic.”

Quarterbacks Could Go 1-2-3 in 2024 NFL Draft

With USC’s Caleb Williams pegged to go No. 1 overall to the Chicago Bears followed by Daniels and Maye (or Maye and Daniels), it would be the fourth time in NFL history that quarterbacks have gone 1-2-3 in the draft.

“(Daniels) lacks ideal size and arm talent, but he’s much more capable as a runner and passer than most of the quarterbacks who have moved on to the next level lately,” wrote NFL draft analyst Lance Zierlein. “Daniels is positioned to become a very good NFL starter in a spread-based passing attack.”

Quarterbacks went 1-2-3 in 1971, 1999 and 2021. Of the five quarterback taken in the first round in 2021, only Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 overall pick, was on track to be with the team that selected him in 2024.

Of the three previous drafts in which quarterbacks were picked 1-2-3, only one of the nine picks ever won a Super Bowl, and not with the team that drafted him. Jim Plunkett was the No. 1 overall pick by the Boston Patriots out of Stanford in 1971 and won two Super Bowls with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders in 1980 and 1983.


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