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Can Jayden Daniels Match RGIII’s Electric Rookie Season?

There are many similarities between the Washington Commanders’ first-round draft selection, Jayden Daniels, and former Washington Redskins’ 2012 first-round pick, Robert Griffin III (better known as RGIII). Both quarterbacks were drafted with the second overall pick, both are dual-threat in their ability to play the position, and both had similar statistics in college, especially in their final season. Additionally, both aim to improve upon a lackluster previous NFL season and propel their team to new heights.

While it is unfair to compare Daniels to Griffin III as he has yet to even play a snap in the National Football League, there are undeniable Déjà vu moments already happening. If Daniels can produce like RGIII did in 2012, the Commanders will be in prime position to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2020 COVID-19 season, in which they lost to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

I’d like to admit that I don’t remember the last time that an NFL team and two players were so eerily similar over a decade later. Daniel and RGIII not only share several similarities to their play-style, and college statistics, but the organization’s direction and record were so similar as well.

In 2011, the then Washington Redskins finished the season with a 5-11 record, 4th in the NFC East. In 2023, the Washington Commanders finished the season with a 4-13 record, 4th in the NFC East. Both times the organization was awarded the second overall pick and both times they took a quarterback who was electric in college.

Coincidences occur in life and this is exactly what is happening but since we are going down this path, let us take a look at RGIII’s rookie campaign via statistics and then come back to this article in January of 2025 when the NFL regular season is complete to see if Jayden Daniels’ stats are similar.

RGIII Rookie Campaign (2012) Statistics: 

Completions: 268

Attempts: 412

Yards: 3,284

Passing Touchdowns: 22

Interceptions: 6

*Includes Playoffs

Team Record (2012): 

Team Record: 10-6

Playoff Game: Seahawks

Result: Lost 24-14

Comparing Daniels’ Last College Season to RGIII: 

RGIII Baylor 2011 Season: 

Completions: 291

Attempts: 402

Yards: 4,293

Passing Touchdowns: 37

Interceptions: 6

Rushing Attempts: 179

Rushing Yards: 699

Rushing TDs: 10

Daniels’ LSU 2023 Season: 

Completions: 236

Attempts: 327

Yards: 3,812

Passing Touchdowns: 40

Interceptions: 4

Rushing Attempts: 135

Rushing Yards: 1,134

Rushing TDs: 10

Eerily similar…

Final Thoughts/ History Repeats?

I understand that history can repeat itself and that it is totally possible that Daniels has an outstanding rookie campaign, taking his team to the playoffs. I, also, understand that in the NFL and in life there can be coincidences and it is not one-hundred percent certain that Daniels will have a successful rookie year. However, with the current offensive staff in place and a new head coach who has reached the Super Bowl before in Dan Quinn, the organization is in good hands moving forward.

Daniels is the final piece to the puzzle and if he can replicate RGIII’s 2012 season, minus the gruesome injury that altered his career, Washington will be exciting to watch again — and the NFL needs a new team and player to root for every once and a while.


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