Commanders Prefer Jayden Daniels Over Drake Maye, According to Colin Cowherd

Colin Cowherd
Colin Cowherd /

Everybody knows the Chicago Bears will be selecting Caleb Williams at No. 1 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft. No one knows what will happen after the Bears are off the clock. The rest of the first round of the draft is layered with intrigue, starting with the No. 2 overall pick held by the Washington Commanders.

There admittedly isn't much mystery surrounding what position the Commanders will target with the second pick in the first round. They need a quarterback, and the team's decision to trade last year's starter in Sam Howell eliminated any remaining doubt. Which quarterback is the question.

Drake Maye was considered the second-best prospect in this year's class going into the 2023 season. But an underwhelming year from the North Carolina product opened the door for competition, and Jayden Daniels delivered. The LSU signal-caller won the Heisman Trophy after a highly productive season and his draft stock has skyrocketed in the months leading up to the draft. He successfully elbowed his way into the top-five discussion and now most mock drafts have Daniels going, at worst, No. 3 overall to the New England Patriots.

On Monday, Colin Cowherd put on his reporter hat and told The Herd's audience that, as of now, the Commanders would take Daniels over Maye. For all sorts of reasons.

Whether or not this will happen, much less be the right decision, remains to be seen. But you know what? It feels like Maye has fallen victim to the Draft Industrial Complex. By which I mean the narrative surrounding Maye has taken on a life of its own to his detriment, simply because he's such a good prospect that he's actually boring.

To be clear, Maye is by no means perfect. This past season with the Tar Heels revealed some flaws in his game that were hidden by the better supporting cast he enjoyed in 2022. But the guy has the frame of a prototypical pocket passer, standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 230 pounds. He has the arm to make any throw you could dream up and did so over the last two years. His tape is littered with examples of Maye successfully progressing from his first read to his last and making the throw.

He isn't perfect in that department. Hell, Maye isn't perfect in many ways. He gets happy feet in the pocket for no reason, and is the only quarterback of the top group with a tendency to completely airmail short passes.

That said, the goal is not to find the perfect prospect -- because that prospect does not exist. Yet every year there's one guy, oftentimes a quarterback, who gets knocked for not being perfect. This year it feels like Maye is that guy, and it's possible we look back on the previous months of discourse in utter disbelief once the games start.

None that is a knock against Daniels. He's skinny as a beanpole and has a disturbing tendency to hurl himself headfirst into gigantic hits for seemingly no reason. But there's a lot to like about him. The Commanders could end up looking like geniuses for taking him No. 2 if that comes to fruition.

A whole lot can and will change in the next three weeks and the last time Cowherd tried reporting NFL Draft knowledge he got a call from Caleb Williams' camp. So we'll see. But this is where I plant my flag on the Drake Maye narrative mountain.