LSU QB Jayden Daniels Is Fully Equipped to Be a Star in the NFL

Sep 3, 2023; Orlando, Florida, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) gives a thumbs up during the first half against the Florida State Seminoles at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NFL Draft is chock full of great quarterback talent at the top of the class.

While Caleb Williams and Drake Maye have been a one-two punch at the top ever since the conclusion of last year’s draft, Jayden Daniels has been rising up the ranks in recent weeks. In the latest edition of the Vikings Draft Thermometer series, we’ll be discussing Daniels’ rise, and why he is worth a selection at the top of the first round this spring.


Dec 3, 2022; Atlanta, GA, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) passes against the Georgia Bulldogs during the first quarter of the SEC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 210 pounds
  • Arm Length: TBD
  • Hand Size: TBD
  • 40-Yard Dash: TBD
  • School: Arizona State (2019-2021), LSU (2022-2023)
  • Games Watched: Florida State (2023), Mississippi State (2023), Missouri (2023), Alabama (2023)

Daniels came out of high school as a highly-touted prospect. He was considered four-star player and a top-50 recruit in the 2019 class, per 247 Sports, and committed to Arizona State where he played his first three collegiate seasons.

Following the 2021 season, though, Daniels made the decision to enter the transfer portal after Arizona State went just 18-12 with him as a starter and never truly gained the national spotlight with the program.

Daniels then landed at LSU for the 2022 season, and his collegiate career took off from there. The Tigers appeared in bowl games in each season he was there and finished in the top 25 College Football Playoff ranking at the end of each year.


Jayden Daniels
Oct 1, 2022; Auburn, Alabama, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) warms up before the game against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports


  • 2019: 205/338 (60.7%), 2943 yards, 17 TDs, 2 INTs (12 games)
  • 2020: 49/84 (58.3%), 701 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT (4 games)
  • 2021: 197/301 (65.4%), 2381 yards, 10 TDs, 10 INTs (13 games)
  • 2022: 266/388 (68.6%), 2913 yards, 17 TDs, 3 INTs (14 games)
  • 2023: 236/327 (72.2%), 3812 yards, 40 TDs, 4 INTs (12 games)


  • 2019: 107 carries, 515 yards (4.8 yards per carry), 3 TDs, 8 fumbles (12 games)
  • 2020: 27 carries, 267 yards (9.9 yards per carry), 4 TDs, 2 fumbles (4 games)
  • 2021: 124 carries, 844 yards (6.8 yards per carry), 6 TDs, 2 fumbles (13 games)
  • 2022: 150 carries, 1079 yards (7.2 yards per carry), 11 TDs, 4 fumbles (14 games)
  • 2023: 120 carries, 1250 yards, (10.4 yards per carry), 10 TDs, 3 fumbles (12 games)


Nov 25, 2023; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) during warmups before the game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Daniels possesses a rocket of an arm which allows him to spread the ball across all three levels of the field, and he throws accurately as well. His average depth of target was 10.5 yards this season, ranking 17th among 86 QBs in college football with at least 300 drop backs, per PFF.

Even with a clear emphasis on throwing downfield, Daniels completed 72.2% of his passes during the regular season, the seventh-best in college football. This is a result of the QB’s truly beautiful deep ball that he can lay into receivers’ arms with ease.

Combine this deep-passing ability with ridiculous athleticism and speed along with terrific elusiveness in the pocket, and Daniels has all the tools to be able to succeed at the NFL level.


Nov 26, 2022; College Station, Texas, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) in action during the game between the Texas A&M Aggies and the LSU Tigers at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Because of a thin frame at just 210 pounds, there is a concern that injuries could begin piling up if he continues to scramble at the rate that he did in college. However, he has been able to bulk up a bit in recent years, so this is less concerning than it would have been a couple years ago.

Daniels still needs to continue working on some of the basics. He has really honed in on improving his deep passes, which is great, but he still misses too many “gimme” plays in the short and intermediate areas of the field. He will need to get the timing down at the NFL level to ensure that he doesn’t miss these opportunities. It’s a similar critique to that of Anthony Richardson last offseason.

The QB is also on the older side of the spectrum and will turn 24 years old in December. This could impact his draft stock in a negative fashion.

NFL Projection

Nov 12, 2022; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) rushes in the first quarter as Arkansas Razorbacks linebacker Drew Sanders (42) defends at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
  • Draft Stock: Top Five-First Round
  • Immediate Role: QB1
  • Best-Case Scenario: Lamar Jackson
  • Worst-Case Scenario: Marcus Mariota
  • Vikings Draft Thermometer (1-100): 70

Jayden Daniels would be my choice for the Vikings in the 2024 NFL Draft. However, that choice would likely entail that the Vikings trade up from the 11th overall selection, and that Daniels isn’t taken by one of Chicago, New England, or Washington.

It would take a lot for the Vikings to get Daniels this year, but the talent is there and the potential is off the charts. The QB would help revolutionize Minnesota’s offense with his outstanding arm talent and truly ridiculous athletic ability.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via 247 Sports, Pro Football Focus and Sports Reference CFB.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.