Jayden Daniels

QB, · LSU

UPDATES

Daniels won the coveted Heisman Trophy, giving him a CFB Grand Slam for a 2023 in which he also was the Associated Press Player of the Year, the Walter Camp national player of the year award as well as recipient of the Davey O'Brien Award as the top quarterback in college football.

Daniels was college football's most upwardly mobile quarterback this season and moved  to No. 5 on NFLDraftScout.com's early December ratings. Last year we thought he wasn't synced up with the passing game due to his run-first approach. The 2023 season was different. He became a constant threat as both a runner and a passer. 

His 208.0 passign effiency rating is the highest in NCAA history, even eclipsing former LSU and current Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow, who posted a 202.0 rating in 2019 to become the No. 1 pick. And what about Daniels' running? He rushed for 1,134 yards wit h 10 touchdowns. That's more than some of the top college running backs, such as Michigan's Blake Corum (888 yards), Georgia's Daijun Edwards (726), Oregon's Bucky Irvin (1,006), FSU's Try Benson (743) and Alabama's Jase McClellan (737). NFL teams are moving more and more to mobile quarterbacks as they are at least trying to feel comfortable with the face of the franchise galloping into danger.  So watch some team to draft the galloping Daniels in the top five.

OVERVIEW

Tempting talent whose versatile ability should transfer to a decent NFL career. After his 2022 season, we projected him as an NFL backup because we were wary that he could either run or pass consistently enough to be a starter. But he improved both and the NFL seems more willing to use mobile quarterbacks, so Daniels looks like a top ten draft prospect.

After playing three seasons at and graduating from Arizona State. Daniels transferred to LSU last year and helped the Tigers to a 9-3 regular season that included a win over Alabama and propelled LSU to the SEC Championship Game. He threw for 2,774 yards on 373 attempts with a completion percent of 68.1 for an average of 7.4 yards per pass, with 16 TDs, while taking 45 sacks, and totaling a QB rating of 100.8. He added 143 runs for a total of 1,013 yards at an average of 7.1 per run.

However, backup QB Garrett Nussmeier won’t let Daniels rest. If the senior struggles, Nussmeier will be ready to pounce. How Daniels handles that heat will mean a lot for his NFL Draft prospects.

Prior to transferring to LSU in March, the QB played three seasons at Arizona State, throwing for 6,024 yards and 32 TDs against 13 interceptions.

ANALYSIS

Strengths:

Shows accuracy to all levels of the field and has arm strength to make every requisite NFL throw. Good zip and ball placement on the quick slant and nice touch down the seam and on the post-corner, so he can attack defenses vertically and horizontally.

Daniels must be accounted for when used in the read-option game. He is a loose-limbed, flexible athlete with speed to pick up yardage in scramble situations. Thin, athletic build with room for another 10-15 pounds of muscle.  Mobility makes him dangerous.

He became a constant threat as both a runner and a passer in 2023

Daniels' 208.0 passing effiency is the highest in NCAA history, even eclipsing former LSU and current Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow, who posted a 202.0 rating in 2019 to become the No. 1 pick. And Daniels ran for 1,134 yards with 10 touchdowns. That's more than some of the top college running backs,

 Weaknesses:

Daniels showed significant improvement across the board from in 2023 compared to 2022, when he got by on athleticism but lacked consistency. He was most comfortable running and did not seem in sync with the passing game. This was not the case in 2023.

In a new system during 2022, Daniels struggled with his decision-making after the snap and needed to improve pre-snap recognition, especially against a blitzing defense. Slow reading progressions and was troubled by relatively simple coverage rotations. Didn't decipher information as quickly as you would like, but does see the entire field and understands coverage. Daniels often held the ball too long. Daniels'  mechanics were increasingly sloppy after he was forced to move from his spot.

Before LSU: 4-star recruit out of San Bernardino, California. Born on December 18th, 2000. Started all four years at Cajon High School. Threw for over 14,000 yards and 170 touchdown passes. 3,645 rushing yards as well. Alumni of the Under Armour All-American game. Committed to Arizona State on December 13th, 2018. Started all but one game during his freshman campaign in 2019. Totaled 2,943 passing yards and a 17:2 TD:INT ratio. Added 335 rushing yards and three scores on the ground. Honorable Mention Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year in 2019. During COVID-shortened 2020 campaign, started all four games. Was named to Davey O'Brien Award Watch List prior to the 2020 campaign. Transferred from Arizona State to LSU for the 2022 season.

FRANKLY: Daniels wanted to enter the 2023 draft, but heeded NFL scouting feedback that gave him a low evaluation. His decision-making was vastly improved in 2023 and he harnessed the ample athletic ability in is arm and legs. For the right team, coach and system, Daniels is a to 10 pick. 

HISTORY — from college profile

2022 (jr): Transfer quarterback from Arizona State where he served as the starter for three straight years … Enrolled at LSU in January and took part in spring practice ... Led Tigers to 10-4 record ... Culminated season by completing 12-of-17 for 139 yards (rushed for 67 yards) as LSU crushed Purdue 63-7 in Citrus Bowl ... Threw for 2,913 yards and 17 TDS (against three interceptions) ... Rushed for 885 yards (4.8 yards per carry) ... Completed 32-of-45 for 300 yards in loss to No. 8 Tennessee (10/8) ... Completed 23-of-32 for 349 yards and three TDs in road win at Florida (10/15) ... Completed 21-of-28 for 248 yards and two scores in 45-20 win over No. 7 Mississippi ... Against UAB (11/19), completed 22-of-29 for 297 yards and a TD in 41-10 victory ... Threw for 208 yards (16-of-24) and one touchdown in SEC Championship Game loss to Georgia (12/3).

—at Arizona State—

Helped the Sun Devils to an 18-11 mark and two bowl appearances in his three seasons at Arizona State … Started 29 games in 3 years … Passed for over 6,000 yards and 32 touchdowns in 29 games with the Sun Devils … Added another 1,288 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns … Posted a pair of 100-yard rushing games (125 vs. UNLV, 2021; 111 vs. Southern Cal, 2020) … Graduated from Arizona State … Pursuing a master’s degree in liberal arts.

2021 (jr): Started all 13 games at quarterback, guiding the Sun Devils to an 8-5 record and an appearance in the Las Vegas Bowl … Threw for 2,381 yards and 10 TDs … Added 710 rushing yards and 6 scores … Tossed for a season-best 287 yards and 2 TDs in win over UCLA … Had second career 100-yard passing/rushing game against UNLV in week 2 with 175 passing yards and 125 rushing yards in win … Rushed for a pair of TDs and threw for 236 yards in win over Colorado … Led the Pac-12 in completion percentage at 65.4, connecting on 197-of-301 passes.

2020 (soph): Started all 4 games in Arizona State’s COVID-shortened season … Sun Devils went 2-2 with wins over Arizona State and Oregon State … Threw for 134 yards and a TD and added first career 100-yard rushing game (111 yards) against Southern Cal in season-opener … Accounted for 3 TDs (2 passing, 1 rushing) in 70-7 win over Arizona in week 3 … Rushed for 83 yards and 2 scores in win over Oregon State in regular season finale … Finished year with 701 passing yards and 5 TDs to go along with 223 rushing yards and 4 scores.

2019 (fr): Started 12 games at quarterback in helping lead the Sun Devils to an 8-5 mark and a win over Florida State in the Sun Bowl … Became first true freshman quarterback in Arizona State history to start a season-opener for the Sun Devils … Capped his rookie season throwing for 2,943 yards, 17 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions … Added 355 rushing yards and 3 TDs … Outplayed future NFL first round draft pick Justin Herbert in win over Oregon, throwing for 408 yards and 3 TDs in 31-28 victory over the Ducks … Completed 22-of-32 passes against Oregon … Connected with Brandon Aiyuk on an 81-yard TD with just under 4 minutes to extend ASU lead to 31-21 with 3:54 remaining in contest … Threw 3 TD passes in consecutive starts against UCLA, Oregon State and Oregon … In collegiate debut, passed for 284 yards and a pair of TDs and added a rushing score in 30-7 win over Kent State on August 29 … Missed Southern Cal game with an injury but returned the following week against Oregon State … Accounted for 4 TDs twice (3 pass, 1 rush vs. Washington State; 3 pass, 1 rush at UCLA) … Scored on a 17-yard run with 34 seconds left in 38-34 comeback win over Washington State.

High school: Put up some of the most impressive numbers at Cajon High School (San Bernadino, CA), breaking several school and state records in the process … A finalist in both the Elite 11 and The Opening passing competitions and considered by some scouts as the best Dual-threat Quarterback prospect in the country … Selected to the prestigious Under Armour All-American Game … Consensus four-star prospect amongst the major recruiting services. Ranked as the No. 83 overall prospect and the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback prospect in the country in 24/7 Sports’ Composite Rankings…24/7 Sports lists him as the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback prospect nationally in their own rankings…tabbed by Rivals as the No. 107 overall prospect and the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback prospect in the nation…currently sits at No. 109 in the ESPN 300, who rated him as the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback in the class … A four-year varsity starter at Cajon High School, compiling a 44-10 record including back-to-back seasons with at least 12 wins… threw for a CIF-Southern Section record 14,007 yards and 170 touchdowns during a historic four-year career at Cajon High School … Added 3,645 rushing yards on 562 attempts and 41 rushing touchdowns showing off his unique athleticism … Produced back-to-back 6,000+ all-purpose yardage seasons as a junior and senior (12,487 total) … Completed 287-of-406 (70.7%) passes for 4,515 yards and 60 touchdowns compared to just four interceptions, posting a 142.8 quarterback rating during an outstanding senior season … Was equally as effective on the ground in 2018 as he was in the air, rushing for 1,536 yards and 16 touchdowns … Averaged 322.5 passing yards and 109.7 rushing yards per game as a senior leading Cajon High School go 12-2 and reach the 2018 Southern Section Division 3 Championship … Broke onto the national scene with an eye-popping junior season, completing 321-of-459 (69.9%) passes for 5,136 yards and 62 touchdowns compared to just five interceptions…also rushed for 1,292 yards and 15 touchdowns, including a 99-yard touchdown run in 2017…the Cowboys went 14-2 and defeated Downey in the 2017 CIF Southern Section 4A Football Championship, earning a berth in the CIF State Football 2-AA Bowl Championship.

PERSONAL

Graduated from Arizona State … Pursuing a master’s degree in liberal arts.

2022

passing
ATT YPA PCT YDS INT TD COMPLETIONS
388.0 7.5 0.686 2913.0 3.0 17.0 266.0
rushing
YPC TD YDS CAR LONG
4.8 11.0 885.0 186.0 37.0
receiving
REC YPR TD LONG YDS
1.0 5.0 1.0 5.0 5.0
fumbles
REC LOST FUM
0.0 3.0 4.0

Physical Attributes:

Proj Rd: 5
Height: 6036
Weight: 205
Forty: 4.52
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