Washington Commanders QB Jayden Daniels Already Impressing Veteran Teammates

Jayden Daniels may be new to the NFL business but his Washington Commanders teammates are already impressed.
Washington Commanders quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) and tight end Zach Ertz (86).
Washington Commanders quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) and tight end Zach Ertz (86). / Photo By: Washington Commanders
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The Washington Commanders hitched their futures, and general manager Adam Peters staked his professional reputation, on quarterback Jayden Daniels by selecting him second overall in April's NFL Draft.

They liked his passion for the game and his explosive playmaking ability, and those who have observed Commanders practices so far through the early portion of the offseason have noted some of those same attributes while watching the rookie take his first NFL reps.

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More important than the opinions of outsiders, however, are those belonging to his teammates. Especially veterans like Washington linebacker Bobby Wagner, quarterback Marcus Mariota, and defensive tackle Jonathan Allen. As all three bring different lenses through which they're watching Daniels' early impressions on the team.

"He shows the potential. You see the throws, you see the decisions that he's making, you see the confidence that he has, you see the work that he's putting in too," Wagner said about his early impressions of Daniels. "He is coming in early, whether it's working out or putting in the film, and so that's the thing you look for as a vet. Just somebody that wants it and he's definitely that guy."

Of course, Wagner got to watch a lot of Daniels as he was playing his way through the college ranks as the quarterback started his career with the Arizona State Sun Devils as the linebacker was playing on the West Coast primarily with the Seattle Seahawks.

On the other side of the country, Allen has been one of the Commanders players who has had to live through nearly a decade of disappointment on the field and in the front office all the way up to the owner's suite.

He too, has been impressed by Daniels so far.

Washington Commanders quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) and tight end Zach Ertz (86).
Washington Commanders quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) and tight end Zach Ertz (86). / Photo By: Washington Commanders

"He's cool, man. He's a quiet guy," Allen said of his new quarterback. "He comes in, he works, and I pride myself on being one of the first guys here and he always beats me here, so I think that's pretty cool. Stays late. I mean, he does everything you want out of your No. 2 overall pick rookie quarterback. So I'm excited to see him work, excited to see him play, and just focused on what I got to do to try to make his life as easy as possible."

Perhaps the player on the Commanders roster today with the best lens to view Daniels through is Mariota, the veteran quarterback who still has the desire to compete, but also has the knowledge and veteran savy to be a role model for the rookie.

Mariota himself was a No. 2 overall pick and expected savior of an NFL franchise. So he knows what Daniels is going through better than anyone else on the team, and knows what is most important for the rookie to make a good impression on his teammates.

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"He looks good. I think he really moves well, throws the ball well, and for a young guy that's coming in seems to really command the offense and I think that's important," Mariota said. "I think that's very important in the quarterback position, to be able to stand in front of these guys, especially older players, and kind of nail it and say, I got this. I got it figured out. So I think he's done a great job of that and we just got to continue to help him grow and develop and I think at the end of the day when we were all competing in that room, it makes every one of us better."

The early returns on Daniels are positive, and the future looks bright in Washington. As the team continues to build toward training camp we'll get our next look at the entire Commanders team in early June at the next OTA practice open to the media.

Stick with CommanderGameday and the Locked On Commanders podcast for more coverage of the Washington Commanders throughout the 2024 season.

David Harrison


David Harrison has covered the NFL since 2015 as a digital content creator in both written and audio media. He is the host of Locked On Commanders and a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. His previous career was as a Military Working Dog Handler for the United States Army. Contact David via email at david.w.harrison82@gmail.com or on Twitter @DHarrison82.