National Football League
Eight perfect fits from NFL Draft: Jayden Daniels poised to shine in D.C.
National Football League

Eight perfect fits from NFL Draft: Jayden Daniels poised to shine in D.C.

Published May. 2, 2024 4:34 p.m. ET

The most important part of the player-acquisition process is placing a prospect in a scheme that perfectly suits his talents. While assessing a player's skills and physical dimensions is critical, the best coaches and scouts are capable of projecting a player's potential impact within a particular scheme. 

With most NFL players classified as "system" guys, the marriage between prospect and scheme ultimately determines whether a player excels at the next level. After taking a few days to review the 2024 NFL Draft to see which players landed in ideal situations to maximize their talents, here are eight rookies who could shine this season as perfect scheme fits: 

Jayden Daniels, QB, Washington Commanders, 1st round (No. 2 overall)

If Kliff Kingsbury follows the blueprint that helped Kyler Murray win 2019 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Daniels could also walk away with some hardware at the end of the 2024 regular season. The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder is a playmaking machine with elite traits as a passer and runner. Daniels can carve up defenders with surgical precision from the pocket or create chaos on the perimeter as a dynamic scrambler with exceptional speed, quickness, and burst. After watching Kingsbury quickly build an offense around a similar athlete in Arizona that resulted in a QB1 producing 3,500-plus pass yards and 500-plus rush yards with 20-plus total touchdowns, Daniels could blow those numbers out of the water directing a fast-break offense that fully utilizes his skills a dual-threat playmaker. 


Blake Corum, RB, Los Angeles Rams, 3rd round (No. 83 overall) 

Sean McVay's decision to turn the Rams' running game into a gap-based scheme featuring various pin-and-pull tactics meshes perfectly with Corum's skills as a downhill runner with exceptional balance, body control, and vision. The Michigan standout is regarded as an all-time great in the maize and blue after totaling 3,700-plus rush yards and 58 rushing scores in an old-school offense that utilized similar tactics. The 5-foot-8, 205-pounder can win with force or finesse between the tackles, exhibiting outstanding strength, power, and agility with the ball in his hands. As a sneaky playmaker in the passing game with soft hands and exceptional ball skills, Corum is a three-down weapon in an offense designed to showcase versatile RB1s. 

Keon Coleman, WR, Buffalo Bills, 2nd round (No. 33 overall)

Josh Allen's handpicked WR1 should flourish in the Bills' scheme as an outside receiver in a "12" personnel package that creates one-on-one opportunities on the perimeter. As an acrobatic pass catcher with extraordinary ball control and hand-eye coordination, Coleman dominates 50/50 ball matchups in the red zone while also flashing underrated playmaking potential on "catch-and-run" concepts. With Allen invested in helping Coleman succeed immediately as the No. 1 option in the passing game, the Bills' decision to take the charismatic pass catcher with a Keenan Allen-like game. 

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Graham Barton, C, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1st round (No. 26 overall): 

The versatile frontline blocker with five-position flexibility could fill multiple roles at the line of scrimmage. As an athletic pivot with outstanding movement skills and a high IQ, Barton could enable the Buccaneers to execute a variety of run-blocking and pass-protecting schemes at the point of attack. In addition, his versatility provides Todd Bowles with the flexibility to put his best five blockers on the field without worrying about assigned positions. Given the importance of dominating the trenches in big games, Barton's addition helps the Buccaneers trot out an A-plus lineup along the line of scrimmage. 

Laiatu Latu, EDGE, Indianapolis Colts, 1st round (No. 15 overall): 

Gus Bradley's simplistic scheme relies on a four-man rush to generate pressure on the quarterback. Latu can win with various pitches that keep blockers guessing at the point of attack as a polished pass rusher with a non-stop motor and an expansive toolbox. The straightforward game plans employed by the Colts will enable the UCLA standout to play fast and free at the point of attack. Moreover, the simplicity will lead to an aggressive approach from a pass rusher with A-plus skills as a quarterback chaser. 

Braden Fiske, DT, Los Angeles Rams, 2nd round (No. 39 overall): 

Despite stepping into a role vacated by a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, Fiske should excel on a frontline featuring young, athletic defenders along the front with high-revving motor. The 6-foot-4, 292-pounder with world-class explosiveness (4.78-second forty-yard dash, 33.5-inch vertical jump, and 9-foot-9-inch broad jump) is a "bull in a china shop" with a rugged game that overwhelms blockers at the line. With a collection of young, hungry pass rushers around him (SEE: Kolbie Turner, Byron Young, and Jared Verse), the second-round pick could thrive as a disruptive force in the middle of the Rams defense. 

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Junior Colson, LB, Los Angeles Chargers, 3rd round (No. 69 overall):

Credit Jim Harbaugh for selecting a "green dot" defender with experience in Jesse Minter's scheme. As the signal-caller for the Wolverines, Colston understands the nuances of the scheme and his defensive coordinator's game-day thought process. The experience directing the collegiate version of the scheme should help the rookie play fast and fearless at the second level. In addition, his comfort with the scheme should enable him to emerge as a team leader early in his career. 

Cooper DeJean, DB, Philadelphia Eagles, 2nd round (No. 40 overall)

Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio loves to move his top defenders around like marquee pieces on a chess board. DeJean should become the "Queen" of the Eagles defense as a versatile defender with the capacity to play outside (cornerback), inside (slot defender), and deep (free safety) based on matchup or playmaking potential. Though it is too early to cast DeJean as a Jalen Ramsey-like playmaker, the Iowa product possesses the skills and versatility to occupy the role that helped the All-Pro defender flourish in Miami and Los Angeles within the scheme. 

Bucky Brooks is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. He also breaks down the game for NFL Network and as a cohost of the "Moving the Sticks" podcast. Follow him on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.


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