Who is the Commanders’ X-Factor in 2024?

The 2024 Washington Commanders will likely go as far as rookie quarterback Jayden Daniels takes them.

We don’t say that to put pressure on the No. 2 overall pick, but there isn’t much expected from the rebuilding Commanders in 2024. Washington has a new general manager and coaching staff and turned over half of the roster. It’s why some compare Daniels to C.J. Stroud one year ago.

Stroud took over as quarterback of a bad team after Houston selected him second overall in 2023. As a rookie, Stroud was phenomenal, helping the Texans win the AFC South title and a playoff win.

Could Daniels follow a similar path?

Washington’s defense will be much better under head coach Dan Quinn and defensive coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. Offensively, the Commanders will also be better after refusing to run the ball last season. That doesn’t mean either unit will be good enough to make Washington a playoff team.

That’s where Daniels comes in again.

Pro Football Focus recently named Daniels as Washington’s X-Factor for 2024.

Washington brought in several veterans and put together a huge draft class, but the team’s fate lies in the hands of second-overall pick Jayden Daniels. The 2023 Heisman winner was the best player in college football last season. His dual-threat ability should inject life into a team that has perpetually struggled to find a franchise quarterback.

All of this is 100% accurate. All of Washington’s moves will improve the team, but it’s the rookie quarterback who could take them from “improved” to good.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire