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Commanders’ Jayden Daniels scores a bold rookie season goal for CJ Stroud

The Washington Commanders selected Jayden Daniels with the second overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Daniels will lead the Commanders into a new era under new leadership and with a much-revamped roster. During a recent appearance on All Facts No Brakes with Keyshawn Johnson, Daniels talked about his connection with CJ Stroud and his ambitious goals for his rookie season.

“That’s my boy,” Daniels said, “We’re competitive, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to do better than him in his rookie year.”

Jayden Daniels and CJ Stroud both grew up in California’s Inland Empire and played youth football against each other. Last year’s first overall pick, Bryce Young, also grew up not far away in Pasadena. Daniels says he played youth football against both Young and Stroud.

“What he did, as you said, is unheard of,” Daniels said. ‘I don’t compare myself to him. I mean that because I am a competitor, because we are from the same region, I want to surpass him. Just like he was a two-time Heisman finalist, but he didn’t win one, so I won one. That’s my brother, that’s my darling, what he did is unheard of, but that’s just who he is, he’s a confident person.

For context, CJ Stroud threw for 4,108 yards, 23 TDs earned Rookie of the Year honors and led the Texans to a playoff win. Jayden Daniels clearly sets the bar high for himself.

A preview of expectations for the 2024 Washington Commanders

LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Washington Commanders
© Kirby Lee – USA TODAY Sports

It’s fair to say that Jayden Daniels has unreasonably high expectations for his rookie season. The road ahead will be incredibly difficult if he wants to win Rookie of the Year and get the Commanders to the playoffs. However, that doesn’t mean Washington’s season is over before it starts.

The Commanders are in a unique situation where simply succeeding on the field is not the only priority in 2024. Washington must establish a new identity under new ownership and move the organization in a more positive direction. Establishing a new culture is not a one-year job, but Commanders can take the first step by building a competitive team and ensuring the organization is run well behind the scenes. In that sense, their win-loss record becomes less important than establishing a new normal.

But this doesn’t mean there won’t be expectations for the team’s performance in 2024. Ownership will expect progress, especially after a 4-13 season that left fans with little room for hope.

Chief brass must set realistic expectations for the 2024 season. Washington has a new quarterback and a new offensive coaching staff, as well as a change in defensive philosophy. Not to mention there will be several new starters on both sides of the football. There’s little chance the Commanders get off to a good start given the amount of turnovers they’re overcoming. That said, it would be encouraging to see the team return to form later this year.

According to multiple sportsbooks, the Washington Commanders currently have a total of 6.5 wins over/under.