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Terry McLaurin on Jayden Daniels: The kid loves ball and has a good feel for the game

After the Commanders made quarterback Jayden Daniels the No. 2 overall pick of this year’s draft, it didn’t take long for the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner to make a strong impression on one of Washington’s best players.

In a recent interview with Scott Van Pelt on ESPN’s SportsCenter, receiver Terry McLaurin said he was impressed with the poise Daniels displayed from the day he arrived on the scene.

"[I]t seemed like he knew the entire offense when he got there,” McLaurin said. “He’s in there calling the huddles during the walk-throughs. He’s in there calling the plays and he’s extremely confident. And it’s a testament to his preparation and the studying he did on his own. But also, I just think the kid loves ball and he has a good feel for the game. So, I think he really came in with the right mindset and energy and guys are already gravitating toward him.”

While it can be difficult for rookie quarterbacks to have immediate success in the NFL, McLaurin said he thinks Daniels has a similar makeup to 2023 AP offensive rookie of the year C.J. Stroud.

"[H]e started out at Arizona State, goes to LSU, has a good first year, but that second year he takes off, man, and he wins the Heisman — he has them in contention for the playoffs. He’s just used to winning and used to what it looks like to be a really successful player,” McLaurin said. “And as a leader and as his wide receiver, I just want to be the best player I can for him. So, I’m going to push him and I know he’s going to push me.

“But you don’t have to tell him what to do when it comes to practice. He’s out there early, he’s getting warmed up, and if he doesn’t like a rep that went down in practice, he’s like, hey Terry, let’s come over here let’s get this rep again. … And I think that’s a testament to his work ethic and how he tries to prepare each and every day in practice — because he treats every practice and every rep like it’s a game-rep situation.”

Daniels has plenty more progress to make before the season begins, but the early returns on Washington’s investment appear to be positive.