ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. names Commanders as one of NFL draft’s Day 2 winners

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. loved the Washington Commanders’ selection of LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels at No. 2 overall in the 2024 NFL draft.

On Saturday, the Commanders entered the second round of the draft with five selections — two in the second round and three in the third round. At No. 36, Washington selected Illinois defensive tackle Johnny Newton, who many believed should have gone in the first round.

While the Commanders have two standout defensive tackles in Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne, Newton adds another stud to the mix.

Instead of using the No. 40 pick, Washington traded it to the Eagles for a pair of second-round picks and a fifth-round pick in exchange for No. 40 and No. 78. Instead of two second-rounders and three third-rounders, the Commanders now had three second-round selections and two third-round picks.

The Commanders used those picks to select cornerback Mike Sainristil and tight end Ben Sinnott.

So, what did Kiper think of Washington’s Saturday haul? He named the Commanders as one of his Day 2 winners.

I mentioned the Commanders’ trade with the Eagles above, and Washington ended up with three second-round picks. New GM Adam Peters landed a game-wrecker for the middle of his defense. He got the best slot corner in this class. And he got my second-ranked tight end, a player who could make plays in the pass game and block his butt off in the run game. This is a home run Round 2 class for the Commanders, who entered this draft with a lot of holes.

To finish out Round 3, Washington took wideout Luke McCaffrey, which was a reach based on my rankings. Still, Christian’s brother has the physical traits to be an intriguing flier.

All five of Washington’s Day 2 selections could help the Commanders next season, which is almost uncommon in recent years.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire