NFL Draft News & Analysis

Washington Commanders 2024 NFL Draft picks, analysis and rookie spotlight

2X3K3XJ Ashburn, United States. 26th Apr, 2024. Washington Commanders first round number 2 pick in the NFL 2024 Draft, Quarterback Jayden Daniels with Head Coach Dan Quinn (left) and General Manager Adam Peters (right) after addressing the media in a press conference at the Commanders Training Facility in Ashburn, VA on April 26 2024 (Alyssa Howell/Image of Sport) Credit: Newscom/Alamy Live News

The 2024 NFL Draft is now in the rearview mirror. After a flurry of selections from April 25 to April 27, 257 players were selected to join the NFL.

With that, we give you our full recap of the Washington Commanders‘ draft, with analysis on every selection the team made during the weekend and an in-depth look at their top pick.

For more information on the players your favorite team drafted, it’s not too late to get the 2024 NFL Draft Guide, which includes expanded scouting reports, draft grades, offseason reports, unique advanced data, PFF grades and much more.

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2024 Draft Picks

Daniels — Daniels is QB3 behind Drake Maye on both the PFF big board and the consensus big board, but the new regime in Washington takes him at No. 2 overall. Daniels does make sense as a theoretical fit in a Kliff Kingsbury spread-to-run offense that will allow Daniels to add on in the run game and get the ball out to players in space.

Newton — This wasn’t a need for Washington, as two of their best players — Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne — play along the interior defensive line. However, this is a tremendous value selection at the top of the second round. Newton is the 11th-ranked player overall on the PFF big board and was extremely productive over his college career. Just three Power Five interior defensive linemen have recorded 100 or more pressures over a two-year stretch since PFF began charting college in 2014: Newton, his new teammate Jonathan Allen and DeForest Buckner.

Sainristil — The Commanders continue to draft good football players. Sainristil brings a fierce mentality to the team and provides positional versatility. He secured a career-best six interceptions in 2023, second among cornerbacks, and his 90.3 PFF grade since 2022 ranked fourth among Big Ten cornerbacks. Sainristil has great reaction speed and is fearless in run defense.

Sinnott — After previously getting great value in this draft, according to the PFF big board, the Commanders pick the 105th-ranked player in Round 2. Sinnott is an athletic tight end for Jayden Daniels to develop with for the next decade. He doesn’t do any one thing at an elite level but can do everything well. Sinnott’s 14 missed tackles forced in 2023 ranked third among tight ends, and he made 31 explosive plays over the past two seasons.

Coleman — The Commanders finally land an offensive lineman at the top of the third round, selecting Coleman out of TCU. The 6-foot-6, 320-pounder struggled in 2023 but was far better in 2022 when he earned a 79.6 PFF grade. He could wind up on the inside in the NFL, but he has the experience on the outside, so he could still get a shot there first.

McCaffrey — McCaffrey has NFL bloodlines and is a natural athlete who knows the nuances of route running. He lacks an explosive element to his game but has strong hands, especially in contested catch situations, where his 32 receptions since 2022 are the most in college football. A former quarterback, McCaffrey has a good feel for finding open zones. While the Commanders already have weapons in the receiver room, McCaffrey provides a different style for the group.

Magee — A high-level competitor with a nonstop motor, Magee offers some solid run-and-chase ability, physicality in the box and upside as a blitzer. He posted a career-best 87.2 PFF grade in 2023 and an eye-catching 90.7 pass-rush grade that ranked fourth among all linebackers. At worst, Magee will be an impact core special teamer, but he has the competitive toughness and athletic traits to become a starter.

Hampton — Hampton is a supersized safety at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, and he comes with good athleticism. He’s an interesting addition to a Dan Quinn defense that prioritizes those kinds of hybrid athletes in the middle of the field. Hampton was at his best in coverage around the line of scrimmage, as he earned an 81st-percentile coverage grade in the box last season for the Huskies.

Jean-Baptiste — Jean-Baptiste recorded 43 total pressures a season ago, including six sacks and 11 quarterback hits. He also produced 21 run stops without missing a tackle.


Rookie Spotlight: QB Jayden DanielsLSU

Scouting summary

Daniels' scouting report starts with his mobility. His success on RPOs and when scrambling means the defense has to account for his legs at all times.

He is a fundamentally sound thrower with light footwork, fluid hips and a repeatable follow-through. This, plus his overall arm talent, yields adequate velocity to all three levels.

His touch in and out of structure has the potential for big plays. He is still speeding up his processing, an issue that resulted in a high sack rate in college, and he needs to protect himself more when tucking to run.

Click here to see Jayden Daniels' 2024 NFL Draft profile.
Wins above average

WAA represents the number of wins a player is worth over an average college football player and is a metric that evaluators can utilize to assess performance. It combines how well a player performed in each facet of play (using PFF grades) and how valuable each facet is to winning football games. The result is a first-of-its-kind metric that allows for cross-positional valuation and predicts future value at the player and team levels.

Daniels’ Wins Above Average (WAA) since 2019.
How Daniels ranks in the stable metrics
Jayden Daniels’ percentile ranks in the most stable passing stats since 2019.

Despite his not ranking very well in PFF’s career stable metrics, there’s no denying Daniels' improvement in college. In 2023, Daniels ranked in the 93rd, 93rd and 92nd percentile in clean-pocket grade, standard-dropback grade and first-and-second-down grade, respectively.

Daniels might not be the most polished passer, but he is a prolific runner. He leads all FBS quarterbacks in rushing yards since 2022, with 2,329, nearly 600 more yards than the next closest signal-caller.

The bottom line

Daniels' rushing ability and fundamentals give him a high floor as a player who can put a ton of stress on a defense. His arm talent is adequate to give him a decently high ceiling, making him a worthy first-round bet.

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