Arbella Early Edition

Report: Jayden Daniels ‘probably leader in clubhouse' for Commanders

The Commanders' pick at No. 2 will have a significant impact on the rest of the first round.

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The New England Patriots' decision with the No. 3 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft could come down to whatever the Washington Commanders do right before them at No. 2 overall.

The general consensus is the Chicago Bears will select USC quarterback Caleb Williams at No. 1 overall. That's when the draft really gets interesting because the Commanders would then have to select between LSU's Jayden Daniels and UNC's Drake Maye as the next-best quarterback available.

The Patriots, assuming they keep the pick, don't trade down and still want a quarterback, would then be left with whoever the Commanders passed on.

So, which way are the Commander leaning with about five weeks to go before the draft begins?

"The more I've started to ask around, the more it seems like Jayden Daniels is probably the leader in the clubhouse to be a Commander," Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer said Thursday on NBC Sports Boston's Areblla Early Edition, as seen in the video player above.

"It does match up with what (Commanders offensive coordinator) Kliff Kingsbury has looked for in his quarterbacks over the years. Obviously, Jayden Daniels had a great season last season at LSU, and he's arguably the most ready to play of the three (top-tier QBs) at the top of the draft because he's played the most football. He played five years in college.

"I think right now, again, this could change in the next few weeks, I just think Jayden Daniels is the leader in the clubhouse to be the second overall pick."

Kingsbury was the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals from 2019 through 2022. While he was there, the Cardinals drafted quarterback Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick in 2019, and he has a similar skill set to Daniels. They are both good passers and can also pick up lots of yards running the ball.

The Patriots having to settle for Maye wouldn't be a bad outcome for them. Not at all. Our Phil Perry published the quarterback version of his Prototypical Patriots series earlier this week and Maye was the best fit for New England at the position.

Maye has many of the physical tools that scouts love. He's 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds with a rocket arm and impressive athleticism. His stats in 2023 were not as strong as his 2022 numbers, but the North Carolina offense didn't have a ton of talent at wide receiver last season.

There really isn't a bad scenario for the Patriots here. Both Daniels and Maye both are projected to be franchise quarterbacks and have skill sets that are good fits for the modern NFL game.

What's important is the Patriots do select a quarterback. It's the most important position, and it's not often you have a top-three pick. The last time New England had a top-three pick was in 1993. The Patriots must take advantage of this great opportunity and invest in their next franchise quarterback.

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