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ESPN's Jeremy Fowler addresses rumors Jayden Daniels doesn’t want to play in Washington

Alex Weberby:Alex Weber04/20/24
Jayden Daniels
Matthew Dobbins | USA TODAY Sports

On the Saturday ahead of the NFL Draft, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler explained why rumors about Jayden Daniels‘ hesitance with the Commanders could have some legitimacy.

Fowler joined SportsCenter to break down a bevy of NFL Draft prospects and had some interesting info on the guy long seen as the likely pick at No. 2.

“A ton of interest going Jayden Daniels’ way, why not, he’s a Heisman winner, but some questions about Daniels’ interest in going to Washington. What can you tell us on that front” Fowler was asked when on SC.

He admitted that you can’t rule out the possibility of Daniels actually not wanting to go to Washington, even though most folks still expect he gets selected there.

“Well, there’s a little bit of smoke there,” said Fowler. “So, people I talk to with the Commanders and other teams, they do believe Daniels is the favorite to be the pick at No. 2. Nothing set in stone of course, it is the draft. But I’m talking to somebody close with Daniels who believes that he has at least openly wondered about his options.”

Daniels has other teams in mind, but in the NFL Draft, it’s just hard to imagine how he escapes those top three teams, barring a trade, per Fowler.

“He has had interest in playing for the Raiders, who pick 13th and probably can’t get high enough to pick him.”

To cap off the conversation, Jeremy Fowler said that he’s ultimately not sure what’s going on in the mind of Jayden Daniels, but at the very least, he doesn’t appear to be embracing Washington too warmly in the lead up.

“I can’t confirm that he doesn’t want to play for Washington, but it hasn’t been an easy smooth process for whatever reason so far.”

These rumors started when a coworker of Fowler’s, NFL insider Adam Schefter, shared on the Pat McAfee Show that perhaps the Heisman winner wasn’t too fond of the D.C. area.

“The signs point to Jayden Daniels, which they do, and the Commanders are going through it after this week, when again, I think it’s a situation where from the outset, Jayden Daniels has had an interest in being other places,” Schefter said on PMS.

However, Schefter said the other day that Daniels had come to the realization that he has no choice in the draft and is “prepared to go wherever he’s drafted.” He added that “most people still believe it continues to be No. 2 to the Washington Commanders.”

So, it does appear that if Washington selects him, then Jayden Daniels will report to training camp with no questions asked. However, perhaps the Commanders see Daniels’ attitude towards coming to the team and would rather take a different QB that’s shown more commitment to the franchise in the pre-draft process.