News & Politics

Will Jayden Daniels Solve the Commanders’ Woes? NFL Draft History Offers Clues.

Things don’t always work as planned.

Football player Jayden Daniels. Photograph by Tammy Anthony Baker/Flickr.

Last night, the Commanders had the second pick in the NFL Draft, and they selected LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels. That’s great news–or is it? For DC’s football team, draft position hasn’t always corresponded with success. A few examples:



Desmond Howard, 1992

The Heisman winner was picked fourth, then barely cracked the starting lineup over three seasons in DC.

Heath Shuler, 1994

A QB who went third in the draft, he quickly fizzled.

LaRon Landry, 2007

The safety, picked sixth, made the Pro Bowl–but by then he’d been traded to the Jets.


Diamonds in the Rough

Darryl Grant, 1981

The DC football great was chosen–what?!–231st.

Mark Rypien, 1986

There were 145 other players who got snapped up before the guy who’d be the Super Bowl MVP five years later.

Terry McLaurin, 2019

Arguably DC’s best current player, he was chosen a lowly 76th.


A version of this article appears in the May 2024 issue of Washingtonian.

Arya Hodjat
Editorial Fellow