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Daniels Looks to Make an Impression | Commanders NFL Draft


Written By Adam Aniba


This year's NFL Draft headliners feature USC QB Caleb Williams as the presumptive #1 pick, UNC QB Drake Maye (FULL Scouting report) and LSU signal caller Jayden Daniels.


All 3 quarterbacks offer different skill sets, but Daniels could be the wildcard of the bunch.


Similar to Williams/Maye, Daniels possess impressive arm talent, but what he can do as a runner is what will intrigue teams looking for a franchise signal caller.


Jayden Daniels

6'4" 210 lbs | QB | LSU

Draft Proj 1st Rd

ASU (29 games451/723 6,025 yds for 32 TDs & 13 ints

*(Rushing) 296 att for 1,288 yds for 13 TDs

Career LSU (26 games502/715 6,725 yds for 57 TDs & 7 ints

*(Rushing) 321 att for 2,019 yds with 21 TDs

2023 (12 games236/327 3,812 yds for 40 TDs & 4 ints

*(Rushing135 att for 1,134 yds for 10 TDs

Background

Daniels hails from San Bernardino, CA and played quarterback for Cajon High School.


He concluded his career with an impressive 14,000 all-purpose yards and 170 touchdowns with 3,645 of those yards came as runner.


The Cajon HS quarterback was named a 4-star recruit by ESPN and was invited to play in the Under Armour All-American game.


Daniels was highly recruited and ultimately committed to Arizona State for the 2019 season.


As a freshman Daniels played in 12 games. On the season he threw for 2,943 passing yards and 17 touchdowns with only 2 interceptions. He ran for 355 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns.


For his efforts the Wildcats QB was an Honorable Mention for the Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year in 2019.


The 2020 season was shortened due to COVID and the Arizona State signal caller only played in 4 games. On the season he threw for 701 passing yards with 5 touchdowns and 1 interception. He added 223 yards rushing for 4 touchdowns.

Although it was a shortened season, Daniels made a big impression after rushing for 111 yards vs USC and being named to the Davey O'Brien Award Watch List.


The 2021 season would be a career season for Daniels as a runner (13 games), in which he rushed for 710 yards 6 touchdowns. He threw for 2,381 yards for 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.


Daniels elected to transfer to LSU for the 2022 season and became the starting signal caller immediately (starting 14 games).


The Tigers signal caller finished the season with 2,913 yards passing for 17 touchdowns with only 3 interceptions, in addition to rushing for 885 yards leading to 11 touchdowns on the ground.


Daniels had his best statistical output as a dual threat signal caller in '22, which led to him being awarded the Charles McClendon MVP Award and was also a Davey O’Brien Award semifinalist.

The LSU signal caller put together an even better season in 2023. Daniels is one of only two players in SEC history to pass for 3,500 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season, since former Texas A&M signal caller Johnny Manziel.


2023 Awards & Accolades

2023 Heisman Trophy Winner

2023 Davey O’Brien Award Winner

2023 Manning Award Winner

2023 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Winner

2023 AP Player of the Year

2023 1st-Team All-American

2023 SEC Offensive Player of the Year

2023 1st-Team All-SEC


Daniels threw for nearly 1,000 more yards compared to '22 with 3,812 yards and nearly twice as many touchdowns with for 40 to only 4 interceptions. He also rushed for a career high 1,134 yards for 10 scores.


His passer rating of 146.5 through 12 games is the best in FBS history. He capped off his record breaking season winning SEC Offensive Player of the Week 5 times.


PROS

  • Excels when the pocket breaks down and has to throw on the run

  • Exceptional runner, displaying the ability to find running lanes when the pocket breaks down while flashing wide receiver speed

  • Displays a quick release with the ability to make tough throws on every level

  • Excelled when asked to run tempo and is a proven field general

  • Deep ball accuracy is evident

CONS

  • Too often locks onto his first read

  • Struggles at times with accuracy when throwing from the pocket and needs to step into his throws consistently

  • Throwing motion interferes with accuracy at times and will need to be refined on the next level

  • Footwork is choppy and often doesn't get his legs into his throws, which effects velocity

  • Although a productive runner, more of a north/south scrambler

Outlook

The sky is the limit for the LSU signal caller, but the right team and system will be key. Although Daniels displayed his ability as a runner, he's no Lamar Jackson and won't be able to do a lot of what he did as a scrambler on the next level.


The team that selects Daniels needs to feature a balanced offensive attack, which shouldn't be predicated on the Heisman winner throwing the ball 35-40 times a game in his first season.


Daniels was surrounded by some extremely talented pass catchers at LSU, which helped him minimize turnovers with a career mark of 57 touchdowns to only 7 interceptions.


Teams are fully aware of how athletic Daniels is and how much of a running threat he can be. In saying that, GMs will be looking to see some refinement from Daniels as a passer and how he'll look in a professional setting during the NFL Combine.


Many believe Maye will be the second quarterback off the board in April's NFL Draft, but Daniels isn't a prospect to overlook.


*GAMES WATCHED*

9/23/3 vs Arkansas, 9/30 vs Ole Miss, 10/7 vs Missouri, 11/11 vs Florida, 11/4 vs Alabama & 11/25 vs Texas A&M


**CLICK CARD BELOW FOR MORE SCOUTING REPORTS**


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