Jayden Daniels makes notable stance as Commanders draft decision looms

Don't worry, it's almost over...
Jayden Daniels
Jayden Daniels / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

It wouldn't be the pre-draft process without one final piece of drama and hearsay involving Jayden Daniels. The quarterback is the odds-on favorite to be taken by the Washington Commanders at No. 2 overall, even if rumors are swirling about the Heisman Trophy winner wanting to ply his trade elsewhere.

Reports of Daniels being unhappy with the way Washington handled his 30-visit were seemingly blown out of proportion. It did warrant a clear-the-air phone call between his representatives and someone within the organization. On the eve of one of the most important drafts in franchise history, Dianna Russini from The Athletic threw another spanner in the works.

Commanders would get Jayden Daniels' full commitment

The senior insider claimed that Daniels had two preferred destinations in mind that didn't include the Commanders. However, Russini added that any remaining tension is expected to be resolved if Washington ends up picking the dual-threat weapon once Caleb Williams goes to the Chicago Bears.

"Many league executives were shocked and confused by the move [30 visits]. So was [Jayden] Daniels’ agent. He wasn’t too happy about it on social media because most top QB prospects are getting a significant amount of one-on-one time with the important people in the organizations that are scouting them. While Daniels did in fact have a chance to do that, it wasn’t the same as other traditional visits.

"Since the visit, league sources have said Daniels has told people in his “dream world” he could reunite with Las Vegas Raiders coach Antonio Pierce, who was an assistant coach at Arizona State during Daniels’ time with the Sun Devils, or play under Kevin O’Connell in Minnesota. The belief around the league is the Commanders and Daniels will get past this bogey, and he’s expected to be the team’s QB of the future."

This is tiresome, both for the player and the franchise. People seem to be desperately clinging onto any piece of controversial tidbit they can to cause a stir where the Commanders are concerned. Adam Peters has turned the football operation into a professional, cohesive unit, which is hard to take for some who were used to leaks and headlines aplenty under Dan Snyder's ownership.

Fortunately, Daniels had the chance to clear this topic up once and for all when speaking after holding a special coaching session with Special Olympics children. The LSU prospect stated emphatically that wherever he ends up, they'll get 100 percent commitment. Funnily enough, that also included the Commanders.

"I'm blessed to go wherever I'm called. Whoever calls my phone, (when the) commissioner gets up and says my name, I'll be blessed, and they're going to get my all. Yeah, 100 percent [on if he wants to play for the Commanders]."

Mercifully, it's almost over.

Whether it's Daniels, Drake Maye, or J.J. McCarthy, focus can immediately turn to supporting the signal-caller and hope he's the answer to football prayers in D.C. Personal agendas and pot stirring will be nothing but a memory, replaced by expectations of a brighter future with Peters and head coach Dan Quinn leading the charge.

This saga won't deter Peters from taking Daniels if he's got a genuine conviction in his ability and ceiling. The signal-caller might want to reunite with Antonio Pierce in Las Vegas or have weapons such as T.J. Hockenson, Justin Jefferson, and Jordan Addison in Minnesota. Unfortunately, the NFL doesn't work like that and this isn't free agency.

If the Commanders take Daniels, it'll be the chance to help wake a sleeping giant. To get one of the league's most storied franchises back to the NFL's top table. That should be all the motivation he needs.

Something that would make him a legitimate superstar in a huge sports market along the way.