Commanders GM ‘close’ to making call on No. 2 pick

Washington Commanders general manager Adam Peters and head coach Dan Quinn are closing in on their choice with the No. 2 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Washington will follow the Chicago Bears on the clock next Thursday with a first-time general manager in Peters making the call in a room that includes Quinn and consistent involvement from owner Josh Harris.

“We feel great about staying at No. 2,” Peters said of the Commanders’ willingness to make a draft-day trade. “I don’t see a lot of scenarios where we trade down.”

When Ron Rivera was fired at the end of a 4-13 season in 2023, the decision was made for another reset at quarterback. Last year’s starter, Sam Howell, was 5-13 in two seasons. The new regime shipped Howell to the Seattle Seahawks in a trade that all but guaranteed Peters would be drafting a quarterback with the second overall pick.

“We have a few more things,” Peters said Thursday. “DQ and I will huddle up and probably have an answer sometime next week. I will say this also, you don’t need to make a decision until you need to make a decision. So there’s no rush with that, but I think we’ll have a pretty good idea what we’re doing early next week.”

A streak of seven consecutive seasons with a different starting quarterback to begin the season will hit eight in September. The run began in 2017, Kirk Cousins’ final year with the team.

It’s part of the reason Peters admitted he feels pressure to get the pick right for the fanbase, region and Harris, who purchased the team from Daniel Snyder before the 2023 season opened.

“Do we look stressed?” Peters joked Thursday. “There’s a lot of pressure. It’s a great responsibility. We take this very seriously, that’s we’ve been working tirelessly. There’s pressure. That’s what we signed up for.”

It’s a position the Commanders have been in before, a reminder of the long stretch of failures under Synder’s control. Washington picked No. 2 overall in 2020 (Chase Young, who was traded last October) and 2012 (Robert Griffin III led Washington to the playoffs as a rookie) and 2000 (LaVar Arrington was a three-time Pro Bowl selection).

The last playoff win for Washington was Jan. 7, 2006. Their active streak of 32 seasons without playing for the conference championship is the longest in the NFL, thanks to the Detroit Lions breaking through earlier this year.

The Commanders are in agreement with the majority of the football world anticipating local product and Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams will be off the board — to the Chicago Bears as the No. 1 pick — when Peters and Washington make their pick next week.

Peters and Quinn received sharp criticism for hosting the remaining top-ranked quarterbacks in the draft on a group visit to Top Golf. LSU Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye (North Carolina), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), and Michael Penix (Washington) were on hand to tee it up with Washington’s new brass.

Peters clarified the group gathering was a tradition during his time with the San Francisco 49ers, and he learned the benefits of talking to the players in a relaxed environment among their immediate peers. Each quarterback, Peters reiterated Thursday, received individual time with the front office and coaching staff during the visit.

“Very beneficial,” he summarized.