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Adam Peters | Daniels 'was special in every way'


General manager Adam Peters addressed the media after taking Jayden Daniels with the No. 2 overall pick. Here is a full transcript of his press conference.

On why it was QB Jayden Daniels
"Why not Jayden? To us, he was special in every way on the field, off the field. I talked to him a couple times and I told him kind of what I told you guys the other day, didn't really watch a lot of the quarterbacks hard during the season, being with the 49ers. And then I turned on Jayden for the first time here, and I couldn't believe it. I honestly couldn't believe how good he was and saw him on tv, saw him on highlights and everything. But when you really study him as a quarterback, just as a quarterback, he's really, really good. And just the way he could process, the way he could see the field go through reads, deliver on time, deliver with pressure in his face, take a hit and deliver a third down pass and move the chains. He's the best deep ball thrower we thought in the draft. And that's even before he started watching him run. And the way he runs, he just kind of, we talk about it kind of takes your soul as a defense. You know, you think you got him and then all of a sudden, he rips off a 40-yard run and this is against the SEC, this isn't against some lower competition. This is against the best of the best. So, for all those reasons on the field and off the field. I can't say enough about him. We did a lot of work on, on all these guys. We did a lot of work on Jayden. In terms of every single person we spoke to it was just exemplary as a person, personal character, football character, his work ethic, his football intelligence, how much he cared, his leadership, how he is as a teammate. They were all exemplary. We went back to high school. We went back to Arizona State and [Arizona State Head Coach] Herm Edwards, his personal quarterback coaches, LSU and all the staffers at LSU, [LSU Head Coach] Brian Kelly. Every single person you would talk to, it was the same answer. So, we felt so good about how awesome of a person that he was on top of watching all that tape. It made us feel really, really good about making this pick. And if we could've run it up, we would've run that pick up. We waited a little while because I think they tell us to do that, but <laugh>, but we couldn't be happier."

On when the team decided it would be Daniels:
"Yeah. I think you guys are getting to know how we do things and going through the whole process, I think it's important and I think I said this last week too, you know, you don't wanna make a decision until you have to because you never know what's gonna happen. But that being said, we knew it was Jayden for a while and it would've taken a lot for it to not be Jayden personally, you know, or just in reality. I mean and it was the building, the whole building was in. I would say unanimous on that one and it's easy to see why."

On if there was an opportunity to move up from pick 36:
"Yeah, if there was one of the players that we would've wanted to get up, we would've tried to. And we did. We made a couple calls, but nothing materialized."

On what stood out about Daniels in terms of what Offensive Coordinator Kliff Kingsbury on the offense:
"Yeah, I think with Kliff, what's great about Kliff is he can really mold the offense around anyone. You know that and that's what one of his, as [Dan Quinn] Q says, superpowers, right? So, he's gonna build the offense around Jayden. And he's worked with a lot of athletic quarterbacks, so he knows how to do that and there's some terminology carry over. I think just as you go anywhere, there's terminology carry over and, and concept carry over. They've discussed a little bit of that, so they're already vibing and it's gonna be a really great marriage with him and really all of our offensive coaches, [Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Pass Game Coordinator] Brian [Johnson] and [Quarterbacks Coach] Tavita and [Assistant Quarterbacks Coach] [David] Blough in that room. We're just ready to surround him and support him to be the best he can."

*On his reception of the mass reaction to hosting his 30 visit at Top Golf: *"For me personally, we believed in what we did. You know, we believed that it was a really good process and an enjoyable process. And sometimes there's not a whole lot going on, you know, when you're waiting two weeks or whatever for the draft, and there's not a whole lot to talk about. And something kind of gets legs and it is what it is, you know. But I try not to worry about that too much. We'll always do an after-action plan and say, what could we have done better? Or what did we do well also? So, we'll challenge ourselves, but I think in the end, it was almost overwhelmingly positive in terms of not only everybody's experience, but what we got out of it too."

*On what he makes of the reaction to the fact that no one seemed to know the plans they had in regard to the coaching search and draft selections: *"I think that's just the reflection of the people in this building and really being committed to this team and keeping what's in-house, in-house. So, you know, I'm proud of our team for that. Proud of the people in this building for keeping things under wraps. But I think that's probably what I take out of it, Ben, is just I'm proud of our guys for and men and women who didn't let anything outta the building."

*On how Daniels attacked different speeds of the defense: *"Yeah, I think it's a real skill as a quarterback runner and some quarterbacks really just know how to do it. It's instinct. One, he has great speed and great acceleration, but he is also a really, really like instinctive talented runner. And the way I would describe it is slashing. So, one, he is very decisive when he runs, and you have to be decisive in this league especially. But SEC too, but this league especially, 'cause if you're indecisive, these guys are big and fast and they're gonna get on you and they're also, you know, 255 pounds and they're still run as fast as you. So, what he does, he is very decisive and he slashes. So, he is never breaking down. He is never breaking stride, he's attacking edges. And if you see, you watch the tape, there's defenders that think they have a great angle on him, and then next thing you know, he is gone because he is never slowing down and he is attacking edges. So, I think you can teach that, but a lot of it's instinct and also just, he is really fast. He's going to run over 21 miles an hour, which is as fast as a quarterback can get really. That and maybe [Pittsburgh Steelers QB] Justin Fields and [Baltimore Ravens QB] Lamar [Jackson], you know, those are the guys that, that run that fast. So I think it's a combination of his speed and his talent, his instinct, and really his toughness and just he's got it all."

On how Daniels mentally attacked the speed:
"Really well, really well. That was something you look at and you can see how does he get through his reads and does he know where to go with the ball? Does he see the blitz? Does he know where his hots are? I keep talking about being able to play the position first and he can do it and he does it really, really well. And that's a big part of it."

On if there was ever a discussion about Daniels not wanting to come to Washington:
"Not for us, not internally. He never expressed that to us and really expressed that he was really happy to be wherever he went. And that's the attitude that I think anybody has to take when you're in that position. He never expressed that to us and we're thrilled to have him here and I know he is thrilled to be coming here. And we've had a lot of conversations and we're really excited to work together."

On how much input Offensive Coordinator Kliff Kingsbury had in the process:
"Kliff had a lot of input in the process. When we went out and did all the Pro Days, he was with us the whole time. So, we had a lot of time together to talk, just talk philosophy, talk quarterback play, just talk about the players. And so, he was a very, very, very big fan of Jayden, like all of us. And he is extremely fired up."

On if Daniels is ready for the pressure that comes with being the No. 2 pick in Washington:
"Yeah, he's been through the fire. He's been through adversity, and he's come out as well as you can come out. He's a Heisman winner, which is a remarkable accomplishment in itself, but the way he became that is through battling through adversity, work ethic, just working harder than every person on the team really. I tell this story, but he's the guy that got the passcodes changed for the doors so he can come in early and he can stay late. And that's him. That's not any God-given ability. That's just him wanting to be great. So, he's faced adversity transferring schools. He wasn't given anything. You could tell he was raised really well. That's one thing that you can really tell by his work ethic, by the way he carries himself. And so, you could tell he was raised well, but he wasn't handed anything. He earned everything he's got."

On if Daniels is able to take hits in the NFL:
"Yeah, I think with any quarterback, not just Jayden, you want to tell them to get down, not take the hit. If that's your biggest problem with somebody, then it's a pretty good deal there. And so, we'll encourage him to not take those hits. But he is so competitive, he is so tough. He got up every time. No questions about his toughness or his durability. I think wanting him to play 17 to 20 plus games every year, we want to make sure he takes care of his body and we know he will."

On his message to Daniels on how to manage the pressure of being a quarterback in this media market:
"Yeah, I think he's gotten a taste of it this weekend, really. I mean the stuff he had to go through, you know, media wise this weekend was a lot. And my message to him is just keep being himself because that's what's gotten him here. And he's built to handle all this, and that's on and off the field. He's a very, very mature young man. He is a man, there's no doubt about it. That's what everybody assured me is this is not a college kid, this is a man. And I heard that from Herm Edward, Brian Kelly, and I believe it, by the way of the interactions we've had with him. So, he's built for this. We have a great team around him that will help him. Nobody can do this on their own, and we're gonna do a great job of surrounding him with whatever he needs to handle everything, but he can do it."

On how he will optimize the draft capital the team has remaining:
"There's a lot of great players left. We're five picks tomorrow, so we're really excited. And so we recalibrated a little bit before I came in here, just talked about what we're gonna try to accomplish tomorrow. Doing the draft on the East Coast, it starts way later, so we'll have a lot of time tomorrow. And it's not like I'm gonna be sleeping until two, so those days are over. But I never slept until , not even in college [laughs] But we'll have a lot of time tomorrow to really strategize and see, 'All right, these are the players left on the board and there's a lot of really good ones still left.' We're gonna get a lot of really good players tomorrow and on Saturday as well. We're excited."

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