Could analytics lead the Commanders to choose Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy?

Washington Commanders owner Josh Harris has never shied away from the importance of analytics to his sports organizations. He proved that with the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils. In October, Harris made his first big hire with the Commanders, hiring Eugene Shen to serve as Washington’s senior vice president of football strategy.

Shen quickly made his impact felt, consulting on the trades of defensive ends Montez Sweat and Chase Young for 2024 NFL draft compensation. The trades gave Washington a total of nine picks in the draft.

New general manager Adam Peters’ first big personnel move — no offense to free agency — is who he will select at quarterback?

Peters, himself a strong proponent of analytics, will likely decide between Jayden Daniels (LSU), Drake Maye (North Carolina) and J.J. McCarthy (Michigan) on Thursday night.

Most people believe the Commanders will choose Daniels — the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner. Others think the pick is Maye, who most think has the highest long-term ceiling.

What about McCarthy?

The national championship quarterback may have less buzz than Maye and Daniels for No. 2 overall, but some who know Peters believe he’s firmly in the mix.

And, according to a report from Jason La Canfora of The Washington Post, if Washington allows analytics to help make the decision on the No. 2 overall pick, two other NFL GMs think McCarthy may be the pick.

Two general managers told me they believe that if the Washington Commanders let the analytics guide them, McCarthy is their guess for the No. 2 pick. If the team’s coaches hold significant sway and offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury’s voice resonates, then Daniels would be the selection. Both general managers also believe Daniels would love to be a Raider.

Two things here: How much of an impact will analytics play in the decision for the No. 2 pick? Secondly, how much sway will Kingsbury have?

One note on Kingsbury: does anyone know if Kingsbury would prefer Daniels over Maye?

The 2024 NFL draft begins on Thursday.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire