Apr 26, 2024 - News

Jayden Daniels is the new face of Washington football

Jayden Daniels places a Washington Commanders black hat on his head, while wearing sunglasses and a light blue suit.

Jayden Daniels. Photo: Todd Rosenberg/Getty Images

It's a new era of Washington football, but whether it's a good era will depend on Jayden Daniels, the electric 23-year-old quarterback the Commanders drafted this week.

Why it matters: D.C. football fans have endured two-plus decades of misery with more than a dozen starting QBs who failed to lead the team to regular playoff contention.

Yes, but: That was the Dan Snyder era, defined by on-field failure and off-field scandal. Josh Harris bought the team last year for $6 billion, the highest price ever paid for a sports team.

Between the lines: Harris is currently enjoying a honeymoon period with fans, who were more than fed up with Snyder. But that could sour quickly if Daniels doesn't pan out.

Meet Jayden: A California native, Daniels started his college career at Arizona State in 2019 before transferring to Louisiana State University for his last two seasons.

  • In his final year, he won the Heisman Trophy, college football's highest honor.

Zoom in: He's an elite athlete, able to threaten defenses equally by running or passing, a nightmare for opposing coaches. And he throws a great deep ball.

  • Draft analysts compare him to Lamar Jackson, the Baltimore Ravens QB and two-time NFL MVP who has redefined the quarterback position.

Zoom out: Daniels, who the Commanders selected at the No. 2 pick, was one of a record-tying six quarterbacks taken in the draft's first round.

  • He'll likely be judged against Drake Maye, the big-armed University of North Carolina QB who was taken by the Patriots at No. 3.

What they're saying: Commanders general manager Adam Peters told reporters the team's brain trust was "unanimous" in preferring Daniels over other available options.

  • "To us, he was special in every way, on the field and off the field."
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