Unheralded rookie gains rave reviews from Commanders' offseason workouts

The Commanders could have a draft gem on their hands.
Dan Quinn
Dan Quinn / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Commanders are expecting big things from their 2024 draft class. Much of the hype centers on quarterback Jayden Daniels as he looks to become the franchise presence under center capable of spearheading this team back to relevancy. But for the group to be successful, almost everyone must contribute.

Plenty of first-year pros left their mark over early offseason workouts. Some more than others, but the early signs are positive regarding Washington's first rookie contingent from Adam Peters' fledgling stint as general manager.

One unheralded draft pick is also forcing his way into the team's plans.

Jordan Magee caught the eye over Commanders offseason workouts

When asked to choose one surprising standout from the Commanders' early offseason workouts, John Keim of ESPN named linebacker Jordan Magee as a player who caught the eye. Whether it amounts to significant reps in Year 1 of his professional career remains to be seen, but his maturity and smooth integration didn't go unnoticed by coaches and teammates alike.

"It's uncertain how much playing time [Jordan] Magee will receive this season. But the fifth-round pick clearly made a strong first impression -- enough to where a position of weakness the past several years can now be considered a strength. The Commanders signed starters Bobby Wagner and Frankie Luvu in free agency. They already had Jamin Davis, but because of the newcomers they're trying him as an edge rusher. Magee is part of the reason for the optimism. They like how he played in coverage this spring; they also believe he showed he can be an effective blitzer. He's someone they're excited about for the future. "He doesn't carry himself like a rookie," defensive coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. said. "You would not know that with the way he handles himself, the way he absorbs information. He doesn't [make] a lot of mistakes.""

John Keim, ESPN

Players only get one chance to make a good first impression. Magee ticked the boxes in that sense, but what comes next for the athletic second-level presence is more important.

Magee's strong opening to his time with the Commanders gets his foot in the door. Keeping this up when the pads go on at Washington's training camp is the next challenge. How the former Temple star performs when reps come his way during the preseason will be another strong indicator of what he might be capable of during his rookie year.

Learning from the likes of Frankie Luvu and Bobby Wagner is only going to help Magee. The fact he's not making mistakes and carrying himself like a seasoned pro already is better than anyone anticipated. If the same trend continues, Dan Quinn will have a hard job keeping him off the field.

The Commanders will adopt multiple schematic alignments defensively to keep the opposition on their toes. Having another sideline-to-sideline linebacking threat like Magee ready to get involved right out of the gate increases their creativity potential. If it takes a little extra time, he can come in on specialist packages and also assist special teams while developing problem areas.

Washington didn't manage to secure many draft gems during Ron Rivera's four-year tenure. That could change if Magee builds on such a promising start.