5 critical Commanders observations from the 2024 NFL Draft

A good few days' work.
Adam Peters
Adam Peters / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders went for tough, productive football players

The quarterback position is a different animal. It’s like the Seeker in Quidditch - a position whose importance is so oversized that it sometimes seems as if no one else matters.

You use different rules when evaluating the drafting of a quarterback. Jayden Daniels was the right pick. His ceiling is exceptionally high. He is a sensational long-ball passer and an extremely dangerous runner in space. If the Heisman Trophy winner out of LSU lives up to his talent, he will have the Washington Commanders in contention for championships.

But even in Quidditch, you need other assets.

Adam Peters made it very clear what he looks for. Mike Sainristil is not the biggest or fastest cornerback out there. At the time he was drafted, there were at least four wide receiver prospects with higher Relative Athletic Scores than Luke McCaffrey. Jordan Magee is smaller than many of the linebackers chosen in this year’s draft.  But these players have one thing in common…

They are stone-cold killers on the field. They produce.

I don’t mean to undersell their athleticism. Magee, for instance, has burst scores that elevate him above a similarly undersized linebacker prospect like Jeremiah Trotter Jr.

That’s why when you watch Magee, he is constantly shooting into opponents' backfields while Trotter is more likely to be reading and reacting closer to the line of scrimmage. But Peters never let himself be seduced by the physical tools of touted prospects like Adonai Mitchell or Austin Booker. He passed over those players for guys who maybe didn’t look quite as good in shorts but were far more productive players.

At a crucial moment, Commanders went for the best player available

There is always a debate as to whether you should draft for need or simply take the best player available. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.

Every scenario is different and needs to be evaluated as such. But, if you study successful teams over the years, they always lean more toward taking the BPA. That is how you avoid reaching for iffy prospects and build long-term success.

That is exactly what the Commanders did early in the second round when they took defensive lineman Johnny Newton from Illinois.