2024 NFL Draft Odds: Jayden Daniels Favored as Second Overall Pick

Former North Carolina Tar Heel Drake Maye has gone from the favorite to be the first player taken after USC’s Caleb Williams to an underdog behind Jayden Daniels.

As of Monday, April 22 — three days before Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft takes place on Thursday, April 25 — Daniels, the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner from LSU, is expected to become the Washington Commanders’ QB of the future.

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Daniels would be the first quarterback taken by this franchise in the first round since Dwayne Haskins, who was selected at No. 15 in the 2019 NFL Draft.

The question this year is which signal-caller Washington prefers — more specifically, will it be Daniels or Maye?

 

Jayden Daniels — Odds to Be Drafted No. 2:

Daniels has vaulted up NFL teams’ draft boards since running away with the Heisman Trophy with a dominant senior season for LSU. With 40 touchdowns through the air and 10 more on the ground in 2023, Daniels showed off a ton of upside as both a passer and a runner. While his ceiling is undeniable, his running style, combined with his frame, make his durability a question. Will Washington invest heavily in a thin quarterback who loves to take off after injuries quickly derailed Robert Griffin III’s career following a promising rookie season?

One of the other knocks on Daniels is that he’s already 23 years old, while the 21-year-old Maye will not turn 22 until August.

Drake Maye — Odds to Be Drafted No. 2:

Before the 2023 season kicked off, scouts appeared split on whether Maye or Williams would go No. 1 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft. But Maye’s second season under center for Mack Brown’s Tar Heels did not go according to plan, as he posted worse statistics as a redshirt sophomore in 2023 than he did in 2022. Maye’s completion percentage (from 66% to 63%), passing yards (4,321 to 3,608), and passing TDs (38 to 24) all decreased from 2022 to 2023, while his interceptions increased (from seven to nine).

Still, Maye has the frame, arm strength, and polish that scouts covet. If the Commanders go with Daniels instead of Maye, it’s unlikely that New England will pass on him at No. 3.

Latest Jayden Daniels & Drake Maye News

There’s no single reason or event to highlight as the explanation for why Daniels has gone from the underdog to go No. 2 to 50-50 with Maye to the favorite in recent months. Ultimately, there are a number of possible reasons why Daniels enters the draft as the likely No. 2 pick ahead of Maye, but it’s all just speculation.

As for the latest news, the final weeks before the draft always bring about intriguing “revelations” about top prospects, and this year is no exception. Last week, the Commanders hosted four players at their facilities — Daniels, Maye, and fellow QBs JJ McCarthy and Michael Penix Jr. — and the visit included a trip to a local TopGolf. The Commanders’ decision to host all four players at once has been widely discussed, including by PFT’s Mike Florio and Chris Simms in comments that immediately made the rounds.

How the QB prospects interacted with Washington brass aside, nothing truly notable involving Daniels or Maye has occurred since their final games with the Tigers and Heels, respectively.

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About the Author
Tyler Everett

Tyler Everett

Writer
Tyler Everett has been a sports writer since joining the student newspaper at his alma mater, NC State, back in 2008. He has covered sports, sports betting, and the business of sports for several newspapers and websites, including the Denver Broncos, Charlotte Observer, High Press Soccer, and Sports Business Journal.

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