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Jayden Daniels off to Washington

By Jared Smola | Updated on Thu, 25 Apr 2024, 9:11 PM EDT

The Commanders added LSU QB Jayden Daniels in Round 1 of the NFL Draft. Daniels won the 2023 Heisman Award after racking up 3,812 yards and 40 TDs passing, plus 1,134 yards and 10 TDs rushing. He completed a sterling 72.2% of his passes in spite of a big 10.5-yard average target depth. Daniels was especially lethal throwing deep, completing 35 of 55 passes 20+ yards downfield for 1,347 yards, 22 TDs, and 0 INTs. He led the FBS in completion rate, yards per attempt, TDs, and Pro Football Focus passing grade on throws 20+ yards downfield. Daniels was just as impressive as a runner, averaging 10.4 yards per carry if we remove the negative yardage from sacks taken. He ripped off eight runs of 15+ yards, including an 85-yard TD vs. Florida. It’s certainly worth noting that it all came in Daniels’ fifth college season. He spent three years at Arizona State before transferring to LSU for the last two. But he consistently improved as a passer, culminating with a 92.0 PFF passing grade last year – second among 125 qualifiers. Daniels’ combination of deep-ball prowess and truly elite rushing ability give him massive fantasy upside. Think Lamar Jackson. In Washington, Daniels has a clear path to the Week 1 starting role. This supporting cast is underwhelming behind Terry McLaurin, but note that the Commanders have two Round 2 picks and three Round 3 picks. Regardless of what tomorrow brings, Daniels’ fantasy upside will remain tied to his excellent rushing ability. Consider him a likely fantasy spot-starter in 2024.

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Jared Smola, Lead Analyst
Jared has been with Draft Sharks since 2007. He’s now Lead Analyst, heading up the preseason and weekly projections that fuel your Draft War Room and My Team tools. He currently ranks 1st among 133 analysts in draft rankings accuracy.
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