Mock draft represents dream first-round scenario for Commanders in 2024

The Commanders have an embarrassment of riches to utilize...
Tyler Guyton

A dream scenario was presented for the Washington Commanders during The Athletic's mock draft. One that could speed up their rebuild considerably.

With free agency - or at least the best part - firmly in the rearview mirror, attention has officially returned to the 2024 NFL Draft. This is a monumental one for the Washington Commanders, who boast a wealth of assets in the first three rounds and can help their current rebuild endlessly by putting them to good use.

Adam Peters, Dan Quinn, and other influential figures are currently running the rule over prospects across the country. This will be followed by top 30 visits and heated discussions about the best route forward. All the talk centers on the quarterback position, but those in power have other significant needs to address in pursuit of making this once-proud franchise more competitive.

Commanders draft Jayden Daniels in The Athletic's mock

The options are endless and everyone has an opinion. During a recent mock draft from The Athletic, the choice was quarterback sensation Jayden Daniels at No. 2 overall, who demonstrated the biggest growth of any young signal-caller in recent memory according to an unnamed high-ranking NFC scout.

"The new regime, with general manager Adam Peters and head coach Dan Quinn, has remained tight-lipped about its intentions. Is there a preference among the remaining quarterbacks? Would they love a trade-down knowing the sheer volume of needs for, as one active assistant coach said, the “hands-down worst roster in the league” before Peters and Quinn arrived? Trading Sam Howell and not taking a quarterback prospect would be curious, even with Marcus Mariota around. If scouting sources mention a tier peer with Williams, it’s the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. Daniels’ pressure-to-sack ratio is jarring, as are the hits the slender quarterback absorbs when on the move. “Jayden probably made more progress (year over year) than any QB coming out in the last five or six years,” said one high-ranking NFC scout. “He can anticipate, make all the throws and is a great athlete.”"

Ben Standig, The Athletic

There seems to be growing momentum building around Daniels. He is the clear favorite among sportsbooks and looks tailor-made for Kliff Kingsbury's offensive scheme. He's also got the game-changing traits normally associated with modern-day players at the position.

Drake Maye hasn't been ruled out and the Commanders also got a good look at J.J. McCarthy during Michigan's pro day. That said, the traction where Daniels is concerned can't be overlooked.

The Commanders weren't done there in The Athletic's mock draft. Their team of writers also had Washington trading back into the first round after striking a deal with the Baltimore Ravens for No. 30 overall.

This gave the Commanders a chance to find a potential franchise left tackle in the form of Tyler Guyton. It cost them picks No. 40 and No. 78, but this is their biggest need after finding a quarterback. Striking with conviction to land their preferred target is an option well worth considering.

"The Commanders were the most active team in free agency, but they didn’t significantly fill their left tackle vacancy. Given how quickly teams snatch tackles, waiting to pounce in the early second round might be risky. Another danger would be not stabilizing the blindside spot with a rookie quarterback. Baltimore could use more picks after seeing numerous free agents leave, though standing pat and taking the 6-foot-8, 322-pound Guyton also works."

Ben Standig, The Athletic

If the Commanders end up with a starting quarterback and left tackle from the first round, fans should be doing cartwheels. Expecting miracles overnight is unrealistic, but it would solidify the foundations being laid by Peters as part of his ambitious plans to get Washington back into the playoff picture.

Nobody truly knows which way the Commanders are leaning. Peters has worked hard to implement a close-knit operation on the football side with no serious leaks emanating from within the organization. The speculation is fierce as a result, but fans can feel a sense of calm about having such a shrewd front-office mind leading the charge.

It won't be much longer before we find out for sure. Until then, the rumors and fierce debate will continue right up until the big night.

Buckle up, it's about to get interesting.