The Best QB From the 2024 Class Will be Jayden Daniels


  • Not all top QB draft picks become the best – Jayden Daniels wasn’t first but could have the most successful career.
  • Jayden Daniels dominated in college – winning the Heisman Trophy.
  • Daniels in a good situation in Washington with a strong roster, veteran help, and offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury.

The 2024 NFL Draft was a record breaker as six quarterbacks were selected in the first twelve picks. Some, like Caleb Williams and Jayden Daniels, are expected to play right away.

Others, like Drake Maye and Michael Penix Jr., are expected to spend some time on the bench before taking over. But within the next few years, all of those drafted will get the chance to prove that they can be franchise quarterbacks.

Just because you were a quarterback who was taken with one of the first three picks in the draft doesn’t mean you’ll be the best from that class. Baker Mayfield was first overall in 2018, ahead of Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson.

And in 2016, Mitchell Trubisky was drafted ahead of Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes. Jayden Daniels wasn’t the first quarterback taken in this draft. He was second, but the new Washington Commanders signal-caller will have the best career of the half-dozen QBs taken in the first round this year.


Jayden Daniels or Malik Nabers – Who Is More Likely to Win Offensive Rookie of the Year?

Although the two former LSU stars have called off their bet, it’s still an interesting hypothetical to consider.

The quarterback was dominant in one of the NCAA’s toughest conferences

Jayden Daniels throws a pass

Last season, Daniels won the Heisman Trophy as the best player in college football. Winning the Heisman isn’t always a precursor to future NFL success, but Daniels didn’t have an average collegiate football season. He had a season for the ages, and did it in one of the toughest conferences in America.

Daniels saved some of his biggest games for the toughest opponents. He threw for 346 yards against Florida State and sliced and diced his way to 414 yards and four touchdowns against Ole Miss. When he needed to run the ball to dominate, he did that instead. Daniels rushed for 163 yards and a touchdown against Alabama and for 234 yards and two touchdowns against Florida.

Michael Penix Jr., who played at Washington, and Bo Nix, who played at Oregon, were the two QBs from this draft who came closest to Daniels in overall statistics. Daniels threw two more touchdowns than Penix Jr. despite playing in three fewer games and attempting 139 fewer passes. Daniels played in two fewer games than Nix but outrushed him by 906 yards and four touchdowns.

Jayden Daniels 2023 Season



NCAA Ranking

Passing Touchdowns



Passing Yards Per Attempt



Rushing Yards Per Attempt



The leap for a quarterback going from college to the pros is tough on any player. Daniels, though, played against many future NFL players in 2023 while competing against SEC teams and playing Florida State and Wisconsin out of conference.

The uber-efficient quarterback led the NCAA in rushing yards per carry (running backs included) and passing yards per attempt.

Washington Doesn’t Have the Best Roster, But the Fit is There

Veteran pass catchers and running backs can help him thrive

Jayden Daniels drafted by Washington Commanders
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The quarterback going into the best offensive situation is probably Caleb Williams, as the Chicago Bears have loaded up at wide receiver this offseason. But Daniels isn’t far away as the Commanders have compiled a nice roster of weapons themselves. The receivers are good, as Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, and second-round rookie Luke McCaffrey are the top three options.

The Commanders made several upgrades to the offensive line as well, adding Tyler Biadasz and Nick Allegretti in free agency and Brandon Coleman in the third round of the draft. Importantly, the Commanders have two key veterans on their offense, running back Austin Ekeler and tight end Zach Ertz.

They can both help to make life easier for Daniels in his first season, serving as security blankets and emergency valves when he gets in a bind.

Perhaps most importantly, Jayden Daniels’s offensive coordinator is Kliff Kingsbury. The offensive innovator has been on a tough streak lately, but he is eager to prove to the league what he’s capable of doing.

Kingsbury helped develop Patrick Mahomes at Texas Tech and showed that he could handle a rushing quarterback after working with Kyler Murray, who won the 2019 Offensive Rookie of the Year award under Kingsbury’s tutelage.

However, Kingsbury likely feels that he has a lot to prove after his project blew up in the desert Oppenheimer style, and that should be scary for the defenses that have to stop the Commanders.

All statistics are courtesy of Pro Football Reference and all contract figures are courtesy of Spotrac unless otherwise noted.


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