Commanders tipped for last-minute curveball as NFL Draft pendulum shifts

Could there be another twist in the tale?
Adam Peters
Adam Peters / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Things are heating up in more ways than one for the Washington Commanders. Adam Peters revealed that the team is close to making their confirmed choice at No. 2 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft. This concludes an exhausting and eventful assessment process with speculation almost everywhere you look.

Much was made about the Commanders bringing in all four quarterback candidates at once. It's not typically commonplace, but it does happen. The reason why it was blown out of proportion was cryptic social media posts from Jayden Daniels' representation.

The matter seems to have been resolved after his agents spoke to the Commanders in pursuit of clearing the air. That might be the end of it. There's also a chance Peters and his staff don't even want Daniels despite ongoing hype linking the Heisman Trophy winner with the franchise.

Commanders draft Drake Maye in analyst's final mock

This was a sentiment echoed by Ian Cummings from Pro Football Network. Instead of going with the consensus belief that Daniels would be the No. 2 pick, the draft analyst mocked Drake Maye to the Commanders. Someone he believes will become the best quarterback prospect in this entire class when it's all said and done.

"Once you get past the first overall pick, the 2024 NFL Draft becomes a more difficult guessing game. The Washington Commanders tipped their cap to their intentions on April 25 when they traded Sam Howell to the Seattle Seahawks, so we know that they’ll strive to secure a new signal-caller. The most significant question now is which one they’ll strike for.

"Drake Maye is the top-rated quarterback on the PFN 2024 NFL Draft Big Board. His arm talent and underrated physical attributes make him an alluring prospect with untold NFL potential, regardless of what some high-profile media voices believe. Yet, 44.4% of PFN analysts involved in this 2024 NFL Mock Draft leaned toward a different quarterback pick here."

Maye's always been strongly linked, although the North Carolina prospect has taken a back seat to Daniels until recently. The noises coming from the LSU standout's camp have seen the pendulum shift slightly. This is reflected in the pair being almost neck-and-neck among sportsbooks with just a few short days remaining until the big night.

While expecting Maye to hit the ground running would be foolish, he's got the scope to become a franchise-altering player with a little extra refinement. His arm strength is elite, it's just a case of brushing up his footwork and the timing of his throws that represents the biggest stumbling block.

From an athletic standpoint, Maye has everything. He's also just 21 years old, so the signal-caller is merely scratching the surface regarding what he's truly capable of.

This is a monumental decision awaiting Peters. He won't get a better chance to solve Washington's biggest problem above all else since Kirk Cousins left town. With no more visits permitted, it'll come down to discussions en route to what will hopefully be a consensus agreement about which direction to take.

Whether it's Maye, Daniels, J.J. McCarthy, or Michael Penix Jr., the Commanders better be right. Otherwise, it's going to set their ambitious plans back considerably.