The Washington Commanders are far from a hot pick or even a dark horse pick to make the playoffs this season, but great watching options abound for fans of the franchise and high ceiling football talent.

The Commanders of course brought in former Heisman winner Jayden Daniels to be their quarterback of the future this offseason. Daniels will most likely start from day one and he will be flanked by a scrappy and talented group of young players who should at least make things interesting this season.

Daniels signed his rookie contract amid a QB battle recently and the situation surprised more than a few fans. New Commanders addition Austin Ekeler revealed on-field evidence that Daniels is ready to be a leader at the next level.

As the Commanders prepare to turn over a new leaf in Washington, D.C., there are two hidden gems to keep an eye on this season. Both are rookies; one on offense and one on defense, and they each have a very real chance to make an impact this season.

Hidden Gem #1: Luke McCaffrey 

Rice wide receiver Luke McCaffrey (WO15) during the 2024 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.
© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The McCaffreys are a first family of football, led by former Denver Bronco Ed and current 49er Christian.

Luke McCaffrey is the latest in a long line of blazing fast players from the McCaffrey family and he is currently penciled in as a starting wide receiver for Daniels' Commanders alongside Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson.

McCaffrey ran a blistering 4.47 40 time at the NFL Combine this past spring, .1 seconds faster than Christian McCaffrey's 40 time.

McCaffrey has the smarts of a former quarterback combined with the sure hands of a wide receiver. He caught 71 balls for nearly 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns last season for the Rice Owls after spending time at Louisville and Rice.

Hidden Gem #2: Mike Sainristil 

Sainristil played his college ball at Michigan and clinched the national championship with an interception of Michael Penix Jr., the first round pick of the Atlanta Falcons. Sainristil fits the same mold as McCaffrey. He previously played a different position, slot receiver, which gave him incredible insight on what offensive players are doing and has allowed him to excel on the defensive side of the football.

Sainristil lowers the boom on defense, hitting as well as any slot corner in recent memory. He also locates the ball well in the air and has the ball skills to either knock it out of the receiver's hands or intercept the pass flat-out.

The Massachusetts native is also a high character locker room guy who will almost certainly form a great rapport with Daniels. Sainristil isn't likely to play on offense any time soon, but it's an option worth exploring if Commanders Coach Dan Quinn decides to give it a try.

Sainristil called himself the “best slot WR in the Draft” on an Instagram story prior to April's event, and considering the Everett, Masachusetts native's ability to back up his bravado both on and off the field, there is an outside chance the Commanders will give him a chance to play the position part-time.

Sainristil also has potential as a special teams performer and kick returner, if Coach Dan Quinn and the Commanders decide to go that route. The second-round pick out of Michigan might not reach the same heights of superstardom that he did in college, but he will almost certainly become the type of glue guy that any NFL team would love to have on their roster beginning this season and for the foreseeable future.