2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Jayden Daniels




  • Jayden Daniels, 6-4/210
  • Quarterback
  • LSU

Jayden Daniels Scouting Report

By Charlie Campbell

Strengths:

  • Tremendous dual-threat skill set
  • Dynamic playmaker
  • Can be a lethal point producer
  • Above-average accuracy as a passer
  • Excellent deep-ball accuracy
  • Works through progressions
  • Will read coverage
  • Throws to the right receiver
  • Can make the required throws
  • Throws with quality timing
  • Aggressive to push the ball downfield
  • Hits receivers on the run
  • Lofts ball well
  • Throws a very catchable ball
  • Leads receivers for more yardage after the catch
  • Able to loft in touch passes
  • Throws a very catchable ball
  • Athleticism
  • Elite mobility
  • Very fast; can run away from defenders
  • Dynamic runner in the open field
  • Can throw off platform
  • Superb speed for a quarterback
  • Avoided turnovers
  • Good decision-maker
  • Was not reckless with the ball
  • Greatly improved as a pocket passer
  • Showed huge improvement over 2022 and 2023
  • Good height
  • Quality build
  • Upside

Weaknesses:

  • Lacks special arm talent
  • Doesn’t throw with anticipation
  • Has to see receivers come open before pulling trigger
  • Will miss some open receivers at times
  • Has to learn to slide to avoid injury

Prospect Summary:

While Daniels received media attention during his final collegiate season, the dual-threat playmaker had already been on the radar of NFL teams for years. After an impressive debut as a freshman at Arizona State, I heard buzz from Southwest area scouts that Daniels could turn into a really good prospect. That season, he completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,943 yards with 17 touchdowns and two interceptions.

Daniels didn’t play as well in 2020’s COVID-19-shortened season, completing 58 percent of his passes for 701 yards, five touchdowns and an interception. He booested his completion percentage up to 65 percent in 2021 while totaling 2,380 yards and 10 touchdowns, but he also threw 10 interceptions. After that third year with the Sun Devils, Daniels transferred to LSU to work with new Tigers coach Brian Kelly.

Daniels showed improvement in 2022, completing 69 percent of his passes for 2,913 yards, 17 touchdowns and three interceptions. He also ran for 885 yards and 11 touchdowns. As a senior, Daniels took his game to another level, completing 72 percent of his passes for 3,812 yards, 40 touchdowns and four interceptions. He also picked up 1,134 yards and another 10 touchdowns on the ground. Daniels had two excellent receivers and a good offensive line, but a porous defense kept LSU from making the SEC Championship. The Tigers played in a lot of high-scoring affairs with Daniels carrying them to wins.

Daniels has a lot of ability as a passer for the next level. While he is generally accurate, he will miss some passes at times. His accuracy might be described as good, but not elite. Mostly, Daniels throws some great passes, locating the ball well and leading his receiver to make the catch and pick up additional yards. Daniels lofts in some beautiful passes downfield, and his deep-ball accuracy is exceptional. When Daniels sees a receiver break free downfield, he will put excellent touch on the ball to drop it in with a very catchable pass for his target. Entering the next level, Daniels’ natural deep-ball accuracy is very impressive.

There is no doubt that Daniels can find his rhythm and get the ball out on time. He is patient, but he does not have a problem of holding the ball too long, like some other college quarterbacks. Head coach Brian Kelly really developed Daniels well, and he showed immense improvement in operating as a pocket passer; both in working through his progressions and getting the ball out to the right receiver.

Daniels has a quality arm and can push the ball vertically, but he does not just fire fastballs, as he throws a very catchable ball. Daniels demonstrates excellent feel, lofting in touch passes and not throwing a flat ball. He is an aggressive quarterback who challenges defenses downfield.

Overall, Daniels does a good job of protecting the football and avoiding interceptions. He typically makes good decision and does not regularly provide a defense with the opportunity to take the ball away. Daniels is not careless with the ball as a runner, and his ball security is an asset entering the NFL.

Like any college quarterback, Daniels has things to work on entering the NFL. While he is generally accurate, he will miss some passes that should be completions. Sometimes, Daniels will have a stretch of some passes being a bit behind, but not too far off for an incompletion. He also needs to learn to anticipate receivers coming open. At LSU, Daniels had to see his receivers get open before pulling the trigger. In the NFL, however, he needs to improve on anticipating that his receiver is about to separate from coverage.

In terms of his ability on the ground, Daniels is reminiscent of Lamar Jackson in terms of explosive speed, cutting ability, and elusiveness. Daniels is very fast for a quarterback and can run away from defenders. He also is elusive as a runner, where he will juke and dodge defenders to accelerate into space. On top of his feet and quickness, Daniels has a sturdy build that gives him the strength to take hits. However as a pro, he must learn to slide because he was too physical as a runner at LSU. There is no doubt that Daniels needs to slide more to cut down on his injury risk. In the NFL, Daniels could be a running threat like Lamar Jackson is for the Ravens.

With his passing and running ability, Daniels has the tools to be a franchise quarterback and a dangerous NFL starter. He could lead a prolific scoring offense and be a tremendous playmaker at the pro level. In the 2024 NFL Draft, Daniels looks like a high first-round pick. He is worthy of consideration to go first overall or as a top-five selection.

Prospect Comparison:

Lamar Jackson. Some team sources say Daniels is a lot like Jackson. Both are fast, dynamic runners, with quality size and toughness. They each have some faults as a passer, but they make up for it with big plays and definitely have the passing ability to be effective throwing the ball. In the NFL, I think Daniels is going to be a dynamic playmaking dual-threat quarterback like Jackson is.





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