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2024 NFL Draft: 2nd Overall Pick Odds, Picks, & Predictions

Drake Maye attempts to pass College Football Player Props numbers

The 2024 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, April 25th. Last season, Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud went 2nd overall and proceeded to light the NFL on fire. This season, oddsmakers are expecting the Washington Commanders to draft a quarterback as well. Which one they select is the potential franchise-altering question.

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2024 NFL Draft: 2nd Overall Pick Odds

Jayden Daniels-160
Drake Maye+140
J.J. McCarthy+300
Marvin Harrison Jr.+6000
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

2024 NFL Draft: Favorites to be the 2nd Overall Pick

It’s no secret the Washington Commanders need a new QB as badly as they needed a new owner. Washington hired a new GM this offseason and promptly traded away Sam Howell, last year’s starter. Let’s take a look at the favorites to be the 2nd overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

These odds are subject to change and have already shifted back and forth multiple times throughout the past two weeks. We expect more line movement as NFL insiders get more information.

Jayden Daniels, LSU, -160

Jayden Daniels, a fifth-year starter, lit the SEC on fire last season en route to winning the 2023 Heisman Trophy. Daniels is a dual threat. He threw for 3,812 yards and ran for an additional 1134. Daniels averaged an absurd 10.05 yards per touch, meaning that, on average, every time he completed a pass or ran the football, he picked up enough yardage for a first down.

Daniels’s playstyle is an issue for several reasons. For starters, he did not often target the middle of the field, which raises the concern that he may not be a pro-style passer. Also, he took way too many hits and hits in the NFL are much harder and more damaging than hits in college.

Adam Peters, Washington’s new GM, was part of the brass that traded up to select Trey Lance a few years back. While these two players are not exact comparisons, they do have similar playstyles. Is this meaningful or meaningless?

Drake Maye, North Carolina, +140

Drake Maye was the consensus No. 2 QB behind Caleb Williams all season long, and Washington will need to decide if they want to go with Daniels’ athleticism or Mayes’ more pro-style passing game. Maye was better as a redshirt freshman than he was last season as a junior, but he still had a great season. In 2022, Maye threw for 4,321 yards, 38 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. In 2023, those numbers were worse; he finished with 3,680 yards, 24 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in two fewer games.

Despite this dropoff, Maye was still 1st in the ACC In passing yards. North Carolina, as a whole, took a step back, so it was not a shock to see Maye’s numbers dip. However, he’s great on the move, solid in the pocket, and has a cannon for an arm.

Maye was the favorite to be drafted No. 2 a week ago, and now he is at a plus price. What will Washington do with the 2nd pick in the 2024 NFL Draft? Time will tell. We do not anticipate Washington trading out of this spot.

J.J. McCarthy, Michigan, +300

No player has seen such a rise in 2024 NFL Draft circles than J.J. McCarthy. McCarthy was labeled as a game manager, which could be the case, but either way, he was the QB of the 2023 National Champions. McCarthy’s leadership, work ethic, and other intangibles have been praised, and all reports are backing this sentiment.

McCarthy was asked to hand the ball off more often than he was asked to make plays himself. He improved in passing yards, yards per attempt, and completion percentage last year. Still, he only threw that ball 332 times for 2,991 yards. He only threw four interceptions, so he was making sound decisions when he was asked to throw.

It’s hard to imagine a team taking a player who was not asked to lead his team with the No. 2 pick in the draft. We saw Will Levis get a ton of pre-draft buzz last season, only to fall to the 2nd round. Will McCarthy have the same fate, or is this pre-draft buzz more legitimate?

2024 NFL Draft: Best Bets to Make

Drake Maye +140

Maye is our pick to be the No. 2 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Maye has been the consensus QB2 in this class for about 24 months. Why the change now? Yes, Daniels had an incredible season, but translating his success to the pro game seems like more of a pipe dream than a certainty.

Daniels had a magical season, but there are too many concerns. He took way too many sacks, and he did not throw over the middle of the field. On the other hand, Maye is better at making off-script throws, threw the ball over the middle of the field, and was much better at moving in the pocket.

It makes more sense for Washington to draft Maye than Daniels, and at plus money, we will certainly take a flyer that Washington will take Maye with the No. 2 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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