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The Washington Commanders have selected LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels as the No. 2 overall pick at the 2024 NFL Draft. Daniels arrives to a Commanders team that has overhauled its masthead this offseason, installing Adam Peters as general manager and Dan Quinn as head coach. The final pillar to begin this rebuild was finding a franchise quarterback, which Washington has now identified to be the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. 

Daniels began his collegiate career at Arizona State where he was recruited by current Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce. The 23-year-old was with the Sun Devils for three years before transferring to LSU in March of 2022. There, he began putting himself in the history books as he won the Charles McClendon MVP award in 2022 after totaling 3,592 yards of total offense (third most in program history). 

The 2023 season, however, is when Daniels truly put himself on the map with a historic season that culminated in him winning the Heisman Trophy, joining Joe Burrow (2019) and Billy Cannon (1959) as LSU players to be bestowed the honor. He completed 72.2% of his passes last year while totaling 3,812 yards passing and 40 touchdowns. He also rushed for 1,134 yards and notched 10 scores on the ground. 

Daniels joins a Commanders offense that will be run by former Cardinals head coach and USC offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury. On top of having the bright-minded Kingsbury in his ear, Daniels has intriguing weapons at his disposal headlined by wideouts Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson along with a backfield consisting of Brian Robinson Jr. and free agent signee Austin Ekeler.

Here's what the Commanders are getting in Daniels, including his scouting report, pro comparison, career accolades, fantasy fit and overall NFL outlook.

NFL Draft grade: A

"I love this pick. It's a great situation for a rookie. The team has a new owner, coach and now quarterback. They can grow together. He will be the best QB in this class." -- Pete Prisco

Join us for live 2024 NFL Draft analysis from CBS Sports and an updating NFL Draft trackerAlso check out Pete Prisco's NFL Draft grades for every first-round pick and subscribe to the "With the First Pick" podcast for nightly recaps, winners and losers and more from Detroit.

Fantasy football outlook

It's clear that Daniels' dual-threat style was appealing to the Commanders. Offensive playcaller Kliff Kingsbury had a quarterback with similar traits in Kyler Murray, but Daniels is taller, faster and obviously younger. This offense also figures to be different than the one Kingsbury ran with the Cardinals with more spread concepts and a dedication to the run game. Daniels is familiar with those concepts and can add efficiency to the Commanders' run game just by threatening the defense with his legs. Washington's receiving corps isn't bad, making the offense tough to defend. That's what head coach Dan Quinn probably wanted more than anything else; now he has an offense that's different that most of the others across the league. Because of his accurate arm and rushing prowess, there's a very real chance Daniels leads all rookie QBs in Fantasy points and might even sneak into the low-end QB1 territory in 2024. You won't have to draft him that way, though -- expect Caleb Williams to get picked first. Daniels should be targeted with a late-round flier in 2024 seasonal leagues.

Dynasty spin

Daniels' quality arm and excellent speed figure to give him a leg-up (pun unintended) on other rookie quarterbacks to start his career. Playing at that kind of level (like Lamar Jackson has) or slowing down with his rushing (like Russell Wilson) or even succumbing to the brutalities of the NFL (like Robert Griffin III did) are all possibilities. It's important to remember that Daniels is lean, and while he avoided catastrophic injuries over five years of college, it's no guarantee he'll be able to do that in the NFL. That's the risk with taking Daniels, but it might be the only one as he's among the most refined throwers in the draft class. The dual-threat appeal of his game will keep him toward the top of rookie-only drafts, likely as a top-three selection in SuperFlex formats and as a top-eight pick in one-QB varieties.

Jayden Daniels NFL Draft prospect profile

  • Age as of Week 1: 23 years old
  • Height: 6-foot-4
  • Weight: 210 pounds
  • Hand size: N/A

Comparable body type: Robbie Chosen

CBS Sports prospect ranking

Position: No. 3 QB | Overall: No. 6 | Rating: 92.93 (All-Pro)

NFL comparison: Randall Cunningham

It's hard to pin down one person to compare to Daniels. Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III were faster. Josh Allen and Michael Vick, as prospects, weren't as accurate. Kyler Murray and Bryce Young were shorter. C.J. Stroud and Donovan McNabb were slower. Jalen Hurts and Anthony Richardson were thicker. Almost none of these guys had the clean footwork Daniels has. You get the picture. I initially had Justin Fields as his comp, but even that's not fair. If you remember Randall Cunningham, you remember a mobile playmaker with a good arm. I think Daniels plays like Cunningham with better accuracy and probably a less powerful arm.

Scouting report

Jayden Daniels is one of the most improved players in college football over the past two years. He is an experienced passer who doubles as an impact runner. His decision-making has improved immensely since his days at Arizona State. Daniels has enough arm strength to push the ball downfield. He showed the ability to uplift and entire offense this past season.


  • 2023: Heisman Trophy winner (led FBS in total YPG and total TD/game)
  • Career: 1st ever with 12,000+ pass yds and 3,000+ rush yds in FBS history


  • Impact performer as a runner
  • Over 3,000 college football snaps of experience
  • Throws with touch to all three levels
  • Keeps his eyes downfield when pressured
  • Makes good decisions on read options


  • Thin frame, but has not missed time due to injury
  • Average arm strength
  • Footwork has made strides but remains a work in progress

College stats breakdown

2023 vs. top-25 teams466.9%123810.5102564568.13

CBS Sports fantasy takes an in-depth look at Jayden Daniels as a draft prospect.