3 Commanders who must hit the ground running at rookie minicamp

These Commanders must make a strong first impresson at rookie minicamp.
Javontae Jean-Baptiste
Javontae Jean-Baptiste / Greg Swiercz / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Jayden Daniels - Commanders QB

Jayden Daniels has a significant amount of pressure on his shoulders heading into his first preparation period as an NFL quarterback. The Washington Commanders selected him at No. 2 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft to be their franchise player - someone to lift this storied franchise back to their rightful place among the contenders after decades of mismanagement under previous ownership.

That's a lot to ask of someone so young. Expectations couldn't be much higher for Daniels after he took the college football world by storm in 2023. But asking him to immediately turn around the Commanders' fortunes single-handed is unfair and unrealistic in equal measure.

While it's called football's most pivotal position for a reason, no signal-caller can do it alone. Daniels needs the right development, a scheme to fit his strengths, an offensive line capable of keeping his pocket clean consistently, and weapons in the passing game who can make plays in key moments.

The Commanders have ticked most of those boxes, although some serious questions remain about the protection in front of Daniels. His exceptional pocket awareness and ability to create yards on the ground will help, but imposing himself right away at Washington's upcoming rookie minicamp is the perfect chance to set the tone for what's to come.

Adam Peters went through months of strenuous assessments before honing in on Daniels. The Commanders are completely confident in his on-field ability. More importantly, those in power were highly impressed by the Heisman Trophy winner out of LSU's work ethic, leadership skills, and unflustered demeanor through good times and bad.

Those traits represent a solid foundation from which to build. Daniels has the aura and talent typically associated with productive modern-day quarterbacks. How he copes with his important transition in the weeks and months ahead will go a long way to determining how successful the Commanders could be in 2024.