Jayden Daniels’ Agent Was Allegedly Irked By Pre-Draft Visit With Commanders As Speculation Intensifies On No. 2 Pick

Jayden Daniels
NBC Sports

As the 2024 NFL Draft closes in, and the general football-loving audience grows smarter with every passing year, it’s a little easier to distinguish what is a so-called “smokescreen” and what is genuine buzz around certain prospects. When it comes to LSU Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jayden Daniels, he’s been the favorite to go No. 2 overall to the Washington Commanders, with Caleb Williams to the Bears being a 99.9999% certainty.

But the Commanders’ new leadership put a unique twist on their pre-draft visiting process by bringing in all the top QBs for a mix and mingle before meeting with them individually.

According to ESPN’s preeminent NFL insider Adam Schefter, this whole situation might’ve rubbed Daniels and/or his camp the wrong way, to the point where it might’ve alienated him from landing with Washington.

Again, we should take all these silly subplots with a grain of salt, because they’re more often than not trivialities that don’t mean much in the end. Nevertheless, picking a franchise QB high in the draft is a years-spanning decision that impacts the entire organization, and the rest of the NFL for that matter. What the Commanders do at No. 2 will dictate how the rest of the draft unfolds, and they’ll have their pick of the litter among the best college QBs once Williams goes off the board.

An added layer to this Daniels controversy is the fact that his agent, Ron Butler, “liked” a couple suspicious posts on X/Twitter.

Take from those what you will. It’s rather noteworthy, too, that in the aftermath of all this, North Carolina’s Drake Maye has suddenly become a real contender to unseat Daniels as the second QB drafted, per the latest odds:

Those sportsbook numbers are highly speculative, yet they don’t come from out of thin air. Somebody may or may not know something, or there’s at least enough doubt around Daniels’ future to skew the lines Maye’s way. Additionally, Michigan signal-caller JJ McCarthy is by no means out of the mix for Washington. Remember this report from less than a month ago?

Now that could be a total smokescreen, but who really knows?

With Daniels’ lean build, reckless running style, and loaded supporting cast at LSU — on top of how this pre-draft visit may or may not have went over — you could see the Commanders talking themselves into McCarthy. So-called “QB charting” can be paralysis by analysis to me a lot of the time. That said, this little anecdote on Daniels is interesting:

The Commies, too, could easily be scared off by Maye’s innate inaccuracy and myriad YOLO throws on his tape and opt for a “proven winner” like McCarthy, who comes from a pro-style offense and led Michigan to a national championship.

If he isn’t off the board to Washington at No. 2, there’s no telling what teams might do to come up and get Daniels. The Vikings, Broncos and Raiders all need a QB and pick at Nos. 11, 12 and 13 respectively. I’d be surprised if either of the AFC West teams moved up for Maye or McCarthy, but Daniels might be worth the move. I still have Daniels penciled in at No. 2 like Schefter, yet these recent developments have me thinking of other possible scenarios.

Somebody do this to me and just get me to Thursday for draft night already.

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