The Washington Commanders will go into the 2024 offseason with a new head coach and a lot of questions about the roster. They have roughly $74 million in cap space, so some of those answers will come via free agency. They could make a trade, but for the sake of a mock draft, the team will try to fill as many holes as possible with their nine draft picks.
The team finished 4-13 and had the worst scoring defense in the NFL last season. The 19.4 points per game that the offense averaged, was good for 25th in the league. The Commanders gave up the most yards in the NFL last year on defense, and they had the 7th fewest takeaways of any team.
Curtis Samuel, Kendall Fuller, Antonio Gibson, and Kamren Curl are all slated to hit the market this offseason. This mock draft will not feature any trades, up or down. The commanders will draft where scheduled to on Pro Football Focus (2, 36, 40, 67, 100, 102, 141, 181, 223).
Washington Commanders NFL Mock Draft
Round 1, Pick 2: Jayden Daniels, Quarterback, LSU
After Caleb Williams goes with the first pick, the Commanders have a decision to make on whether or not they want to choose Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels. Maye has a higher floor and is a more complete passer right now, but Daniels has the higher ceiling, loads of talent, and the potential to be a generational player. He was the Heisman winner this past season.
Daniels stands 6-4 and weighs 210 pounds. For as much as he runs, one would like to see him put on an additional 15 pounds or so of muscle. He will likely run the forty between 4.40 and 4.50 seconds. On tape, he looks faster than that. He has an elite NFL arm and is exceptional at passing the deep ball.
Daniels shows great pocket awareness, evading defenders and finding a clear path to his target, or a clear path to run through. He is proficient at throwing on the run, even across his body. His footwork is sound and his delivery is compact, leading to a quick release with a lot of velocity. The LSU product has shown impatience in going through his reads. He needs to work on his lower body engagement for better accuracy and to maximize his arm strength.
It's a perfect situation for the Commanders, who can let Daniels come along slowly off the bench, while Sam Howell continues to take the starting reps. If Daniels shows that he is better than Howell in every passing category, then he starts right away, similar to what the Colts did with Anthony Richardson. Win-win.