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Commanders select Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels with 2nd pick of NFL Draft

Shortly after the Washington Commanders officially had hold of the No. 2 selection, there were lots of names floating around as to who they’d take.

But recently, one started to separate himself from the pack – and after the Commanders recently said they had no desire to trade down, it’s easy to see why.

The Commanders selected LSU quarterback and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels on Thursday night with the second pick – it’s their first time taking a quarterback in the first round since they took the late Dwayne Haskins at 15 in 2019.

Daniels joins Haskins, Robert Griffin III (also No. 2), Jason Campbell, Patrick Ramsey, and Heath Shuler as the franchise’s first-round quarterback draft picks in the Super Bowl era.

Daniels threw for 3,812 yards, 40 touchdowns and four interceptions this past season, and on the ground, he rushed for 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns. In his final three games, he threw for 1,020 yards and 13 touchdowns to clinch the Heisman.

Jayden Daniels poses with the Heisman

He led the Tigers to a 9-3 record despite a defense that allowed the second-most yards and third-most points per game in the SEC. 

The Commanders went with Sam Howell, their 2022 fifth-round pick, last season, and he started all 17 games. But he led the NFL with 21 interceptions and threw for 3,946 yards in a 4-13 season.

Sure, it wasn’t a pretty record, but assuming Daniels starts Week 1, he is surrounded by plenty talent on the offensive side of the ball – he’ll be throwing to receivers Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson, while the team also signed running back Austin Ekeler and tight end Zach Ertz in new owner Josh Harris’ first offseason. Washington also fired Ron Rivera and replaced him with Dan Quinn, which figures to improve the defense.

Jayden Daniels after defeating Florida

The Commanders also have the 36th and 40th selections, which won’t be made until Friday night in round two – however, that’s some nice capital to move up to make another selection before the first round ends on Thursday.

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