One bold prediction for every Commanders draft pick in 2024

Luke McCaffrey
Luke McCaffrey / Kara Durrette/GettyImages
5 of 5

Johnny Newton - Commanders DL

  • 70 percent of snaps, 6.5 sacks.

Johnny Newton was seen as a first-round lock by most analysts. The defensive lineman was a one-man wrecking crew at Illinois, but a Jones fracture suffered shortly before the pre-draft process raised enough of a red flag for him to fall out of the top 32 selections entirely.

Adam Peters wasn't going to waste an opportunity like this to assist his vast roster revamp. The Washington Commanders didn't have the biggest need at defensive tackle thanks to the presence of Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne, so how the incoming rookie is deployed will be a fascinating aspect to watch during the 2024 campaign.

Newton has the physical tools and proven credentials to hit the ground running. If the Commanders can find a way to get him involved and maximize his outstanding athletic gifts - especially when it comes to rushing the passer - they should have a defensive line to be feared once again.

Playing 70 percent of defensive snaps and achieving 6.5 sacks are lofty goals to aim for. At the same time, it wouldn't be a shock when one considers how special Newton could become with a seamless transition.

Jayden Daniels - Commanders QB

  • Wins OROY, gains 4,500 all-purpose yards.

The success of this draft class will be predicated on Jayden Daniels. Those in power are supremely confident they've found the quarterback capable of spearheading their exciting new era. He's got a lot to prove, but the talent and character attached to the Heisman Trophy winner out of LSU could be the catalyst to brighter days ahead.

Daniels knows he's under pressure. He's aware of the franchise's deep history and how long it's been waiting for a franchise-caliber signal-caller to come along. This is a challenge he's sure to relish, but establishing chemistry and evolving into a lead-by-example type in the locker room throughout the summer is essential.

There is no better place for Daniels, in all honesty. His gifts look well-suited to the schematic concepts offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury plans to run. There are enough playmakers to become an instant hit, although the offensive line does have concerns - especially on the edge.

That said, Daniels' pocket passing, escapability, and ability to carve up significant yards on the ground have the scope to electrify fans from the moment he steps onto the field. If he can gain 4,500 combined yards and win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, all signs are pointing up in the nation's capital.