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After going 2nd in the NFL draft, Daniels is Washington's latest quarterback of the future

Washington Commanders Jayden Daniels - The Canadian Press

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Jayden Daniels is confident he can start in the NFL.

Just not this minute.

“Man, I don’t know the playbook, so I’m not prepared right now," he said.

Give it time, learn the playbook and Daniels might be Washington's quarterback of the future. That's certainly what ownership, the front office and coaching staff think after taking the Heisman Trophy winner out of LSU with the second pick in the draft, and now Daniels is the latest hope to be the long-term solution at the position that has eluded the organization for longer than he has been alive.

General manager Adam Peters thinks Daniels' journey has prepared him for what it takes to be a franchise QB. Daniels, for his part, said he doesn't feel any pressure in that after what he has been through in life, on and off the field.

“Football is fun,” Daniels said at his introductory news conference Friday. “It’s a getaway from everyday life. That’s how I treat it. That’s how I approach each and every day.”

Washington has had 20 different starting quarterbacks in the nearly two decades since its most recent victory in a playoff game. When either Daniels or veteran Marcus Mariota runs on to the field in September, he will be the team's eighth different Week 1 starter in as many seasons.

No one is committing to that being Daniels quite yet, fresh off the plane from the draft in Detroit.

Controlling owner Josh Harris deferred to Peters and new coach Dan Quinn, and the football operations brain trust isn't going that far, especially in late April.

"We’ll let that all the way play out," Quinn said, citing what he believes to be a strong QB group of Daniels, Mariota and journeyman Jeff Driskel. “The expectation for us is putting out the most competitive team that we can. When that time comes, when he’s ready, then that’s when we’ll do it. But there’s no timeline on that."

Rebuilding under the new regime led by Harris, Peters and Quinn, the Commanders aren't expecting to win right away, so it's more about Daniels developing into a top player than being one right out of the gate. And even after a stellar final college season in leading the nation with 4,946 total yards, the 23-year-old from San Bernardino, California, understands he has room to improve.

“I’m not a finished product,” Daniels said. “I still got more in the tank to learn, and I got more ability to tap into."

And resources to tap into, as well. Daniels said he has gotten to know Super Bowl winner Doug Williams and 2012 No. 2 pick Robert Griffin III and can continue to lean on those former Washington quarterbacks as he navigates the challenges and of being the face of the franchise.

Peters also sees qualities within Daniels to be able to handle those, including transferring from Arizona State to LSU and developing a penchant for showing up early, leaving late and working hard to get better.

“He’s been through the fire, he’s been through adversity and he’s come out as well as you can come out,” Peters said. "He earned everything he’s got.”

Now Daniels needs to earn the chance to be a starting quarterback in the pros. It's a big responsibility, just as it was for so many of the starters before him in Washington who had high expectations to thrive and win.

“We all know what a good quarterback can do in this league,” Harris said. “I’m optimistic. Obviously, we’re going to have to do everything we can do develop a system around him ... We’re going to have to build the capabilities around him to support him, but we’re off to a good start.”