Washington Commanders NFL Draft Class Receives High Marks from Pro Football Focus

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The Washington Commanders had an incredible three days during the 2024 NFL Draft, taking a big leap toward contention. One thing is clear after the Commanders’ selections during the event — there’s a new era in the nation’s capital.

It’s hard not to feel the new energy when there’s a new potential franchise quarterback in town. Especially when the new potential franchise quarterback happens to be Heisman-winning LSU product Jayden Daniels, who is going to provide a fun spark to the offense. His dual-threat play style adds a unique wrinkle to Commanders offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury’s offense.

The team used the second round to add two new defenders — selecting defensive lineman Johnny Newton at pick No. 36 and cornerback Mike Sainristil at pick No. 50. Just in the first two rounds, the Commanders got better on two levels of the field defensively and secured the engine to their offense.

Pro Football Focus rated each of the 32 franchise’s draft hauls and gave the Commanders an “A” for the nine players they brought onto their roster.

“Daniels does make sense as a theoretical fit in a Kliff Kingsbury spread-to-run offense that will allow Daniels to add on in the run game and get the ball out to players in space,” PFF wrote of the Commanders taking Daniels over Drake Maye.

The Commanders had the choice between Daniels or North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye, and opted to get a guy with sky-high potential who fits the mold of the new-look offense in Washington D.C.

PFF also happened to be a fan of the Commanders’ two defensive second-round selections, and specifically Sainristil at pick No. 50.

“The Commanders continue to draft good football players. Sainristil brings a fierce mentality to the team and provides positional versatility,” PFF wrote of the new Commanders cornerback. “He secured a career-best six interceptions in 2023, second among cornerbacks, and his 90.3 PFF grade since 2022 ranked fourth among Big Ten cornerbacks. Sainristil has great reaction speed and is fearless in run defense.”

Washington addressed a little bit of everything during the draft — adding two new weapons, one tight end and one wide receiver, and a new offensive tackle to help keep Daniels’ jersey clean. They brought in guys on each level of the field defensively.

There’s no other way to put it — the difference between last NFL season and next for the Commanders could be night and day, and this football team is going to provide a fun watch each and every Sunday.

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