Commanders news: Jayden Daniels, Adam Peters, RFK Stadium and Johnny Newton

Delving deeper into the latest Commanders news and rumors from around the media.
Johnny Newton
Johnny Newton / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages
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Commanders DT Johnny Newton's intent

The Washington Commanders probably weren't expecting to draft Johnny Newton. He was projected to be a top-15 selection after taking college football by storm during his final season at Illinois. At worst, he was expected to be a first-round lock thanks to the immense physical attributes at his disposal.

Fortune shone on the Commanders when Newton fell into their laps at No. 36 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft. Peters revealed he tried to trade up for the defensive lineman. When he was there for the taking, the general manager didn't take long to turn in his card.

Newton will have a big part to play as a rookie despite the presence of Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne as Washington's defensive tackle tandem. The second-round selection laid down a marker upon hearing his name called, providing fans with useful insight into what to expect when he takes the field based on comments via Fan Nation.

“I feel like I'm dominant. My football IQ is really high compared to other defensive linemen. I have a great pre-snap recognition. I know which plays coming at which down and distance, which formation brings which play. So, I just feel like my knowledge on the game is very high compared to other people.”

This is another dangerous weapon for Dan Quinn and Joe Whitt Jr. to utilize. A situational 3-4 defensive front of Newton, Payne, and Allen has the scope to cause significant complications for any opposing offensive line. Losing in the trenches was a big reason why the Commanders failed to meet lofty expectations defensively last season. This addition coupled with the veteran edge pieces acquired in free agency should change that.

Newton is widely regarded by many to be the steal of the draft. He has to prove himself in a professional environment, but the lineman has an extra chip on his shoulder after being overlooked for first-round consideration when push came to shove.