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Jayden Daniels downplays issues with commanders, says he would be ‘blessed’ to become No. 2

Jayden Daniels handled the media with the same composure and command he displays in the pocket.

Asked repeatedly about speculation that he didn’t want to play for Washington and whether he would rather go to another team, Daniels naturally took a diplomatic approach a day before the NFL Draft.

“I’m blessed to go wherever I’m called,” Daniels said Wednesday. “Anyone who calls my phone, anyone who gives the card to the commissioner that says my name, I have a chance to go there and they will have everything for me.”

Asked further about the commanders and whether he would be willing to go, Daniels responded, “100 percent.”

LSU’s 2023 Heisman Trophy winner is expected to be one of the top three players selected Thursday night. After USC quarterback Caleb Williams went to Chicago first overall, Daniels is the favorite to be the No. 2 pick.

The Commanders need a franchise QB and will have their choice between Daniels, North Carolina’s Drake Maye or Michigan’s JJ McCarthy. The team took an unorthodox approach during their preliminary visits and welcomed them all along with several other prospects for a Topgolf outing.

Reports that Daniels’ agent, Ron Butler, was unhappy with the visit led his client to answer questions about it 33 hours before the commanders arrived.

“I just had fun with the other guys, being able to interact with people along the way. It was cool,” Daniels said, adding that he wasn’t a golfer but he was starting to learn this sport.

Teams generally want to maximize their time with a player before the draft. Washington was therefore criticized for its decision to host a group visit.

Will Caleb Williams and Jayden Daniels be the No. 1-2 picks in the 2024 NFL Draft?

Will Caleb Williams and Jayden Daniels be the No. 1-2 picks in the 2024 NFL Draft?

Daniels downplayed the problems with this.

“I spent quite a bit of time with them,” Daniels said. “Obviously the Zoom meetings before and the combination and when I got up there I hung out with them but I had other places to go so I had to take a flight but overall , it was just a good visit.”

New Commanders coach Dan Quinn hired former Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury as offensive coordinator. Kingsbury had some success with dual-threat quarterback Kyler Murray in Arizona and previously with Patrick Mahomes and Johnny Manziel in college.

“Obviously his track record with moving quarterbacks speaks for itself,” Daniels said. “I know Cliff.”

Daniels has a strong relationship with Raiders coach Antonio Pierce, who was an assistant at Arizona State when he played there before transferring to LSU.

Las Vegas would have to trade number 13 to get Daniels.

Commanders hold No. 2 pick in NFL Draft: Ron Rivera talks Daniels vs. Maye

“I’ve known AP since I was a teenager, so obviously our relationship off the field meant a lot,” Daniels said. “We’ll see what happens, but I’m lucky enough to go wherever I’m called.”

The most QBs in the top five are three, so there’s a chance this draft could set a record if McCarthy sneaks in.

“We have a chance to be really good,” Daniels said of the draft class. “Lots of special talent in this draft.”

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Associated Press reporting.

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