Why did the Commanders draft quarterback Jayden Daniels?

Adam Peters laid out the reasoning.
Jayden Daniels
Jayden Daniels / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Commanders - and general manager Adam Peters, in particular - came out of the 2024 NFL Draft with an enormous sense of credit. But unless their big investment in the quarterback position reaps significant rewards, there will be far more questions than answers.

After months of assessments and deliberation, the Commanders took Jayden Daniels at No. 2 overall. The signal-caller was beyond thrilled to join this exciting project, which is a far cry from how some in the national media looked to cause controversy surrounding the player's intentions after Washington took an unusual route with their final quarterback assessments.

Daniels brings a level of excitement that hasn't been seen in Washington since Robert Griffin III. Much has been made about his ability to gain yards on the ground, but that's always a last resort. He's a pocket passer first and foremost, boasting the arm strength and progression efficiency needed to potentially hit the ground running.

Commanders had complete faith in Jayden Daniels' abilities

Perhaps what tipped the scales in Daniels' favor was his high character. This was almost a prerequisite for Peters before making such a franchise-altering choice. Having the talent is one thing, but do they have the scope to lead from the front and hold themselves to the best standards possible at all times?

There's no doubt Daniels ticked these boxes. Peters, who acknowledged that the Heisman Trophy winner out of LSU was their guy from some way out, highlighted why the Commanders went down this direction when push came to shove. And the front office leader is extremely excited about how things worked out.

"I honestly couldn't believe how good he was and saw him on TV, saw him on highlights and everything. But when you really study him as a quarterback, just as a quarterback, he's really, really good. We felt so good about how awesome of a person that he was on top of watching all that tape. It made us feel really, really good about making this pick. And if we could've run it up, we would've run that pick up.

"Does he know where to go with the ball? Does he see the blitz? Does he know where his hots are? I keep talking about being able to play the position first, and he can do it, and he does it well. And that's a big part of it. The way he runs, we talk about it kind of takes your soul as a defense."

"There's defenders that think they have a great angle on him, and then next thing you know, he is gone because he is never slowing down and he is attacking edges So, I think you can teach that, but a lot of it is instinct and also, he is really fast. To us, he was special in every way."

Daniels is eager to focus on football again and play his part in getting the Commanders back among the contenders. He'll have a couple more weapons at his disposal after Washington drafted Ben Sinnott and Luke McCaffrey. Couple this with the presence of Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Brian Robinson Jr., and Austin Ekeler, there are far worse situations around the league providing the offensive line holds up.

The Commanders couldn't have been more comprehensive with their pre-draft evaluations if they'd tried. There was genuine conviction in Daniels' capabilities to become a franchise quarterback. He'll have to prove it at the next level where the margins are much finer, but the signal-caller has all the tools needed to become a legitimate superstar.

There's a level of inner confidence and fierce determination with Daniels that's hard not to love. Now that the debates are over, everyone associated with the Commanders must give him their full support. This could be the quarterback that takes Washington back to the promised land, but there also needs to be a level of patience attached during the expected growing pains almost every rookie signal-caller experiences.

Peters has 100 percent faith that this was the correct call to make. You should too.