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NFL Draft Profile – QB Jayden Daniels

By Doug Orth | 3/28/24 |

Jayden Daniels


College: LSU
Height/Weight: 6' 4’’/210
Hands: 9 3/8"
Age: 23 (at the time of the 2024 season opener)

Important NFL Combine Numbers

40-Yard Dash: N/A
Vertical Jump: N/A
Broad Jump: N/A
20-Yard Shuttle: N/A
3-Cone: N/A

College Production (Stats)

High-end NFL Player Comp(s): Lamar Jackson, but a more refined passer

Low-end NFL Player Comp(s): Robert Griffin III

Best Scheme Fit: Universal. The shotgun spread would accentuate his rushing ability, but he is a strong enough pocket passer to succeed in any offense.

Best Team Fit(s): Bears, Vikings, Commanders, Raiders, Giants, Broncos

Non-bolded times - Good examples of attribute
Bolded times - Average/poor examples of attribute

Position-Specific Attributes and Grades
Attribute Att Grade Scale Examples
Accuracy 9.0 10.0

2:02, 2:13, 5:23, 7:33, 9:29, 10:05,

0:00, 1:10, 4:53, 4:56, 7:08, 7:38

Anticipation/Tight Window 9.5 10.0

2:13, 2:27, 5:23, 7:33, 7:56, 9:29, 10:05

1:10, 4:56

Decision Making 9.0 10.0

0:32, 1:14, 2:36, 5:32, 6:45

2:54, 3:30, 3:47,4:24

Durability 7.5 10.0


0:17, 3:30, 3:47, 4:24, 8:08

Improvisation/Throw On Run 9.5 10.0

1:48, 5:11, 7:20, 9:13, 11:35

Poise/Awareness 8.5 10.0

2:28, 4:58, 8:02

1:36, 2:54

Vision/Read Progression 9.5 10.0

2:28, 2:54, 4:38, 5:46, 9:33


Athleticism/Mobility 5.0 5.0

2:36, 2:45, 3:29, 4:48, 6:43, 6:45, 10:27

Arm Strength 4.0 5.0

0:00, 1:48, 2:13, 3:51, 6:40, 7:16, 8:11

0:52, 1:40, 7:38

Film Grade 71.5 80.0

Pre-Draft Fantasy Prospect Grade* (out of 50): 42.5

* - How well does his skill set carry over to the fantasy game? For quarterbacks, a player needs to be a realistic threat for 4,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards to be a candidate for a perfect grade. Positional scarcity at the pro level is also a part of the equation.


  • Elite athlete who is a threat to take it to the house on every carry.

  • Despite knowing he can beat defenses with his legs most of the time, patience is one of his virtues; he prefers to throw first and run second.

  • Precision passer in the short and intermediate areas of the field.

  • Consistently hits his receiver in stride and does an exceptional job at dropping throws "in the bucket."

  • Routinely fits the ball into tight windows and lives to tell about it.

  • Only player in FBS history to throw for 12,000 yards and rush for 3,000 yards in a career.


  • Borderline reckless at times as a runner; does not do a good enough job of avoiding contact or protecting himself when he knows a hit is coming.

  • Probably needs to add about 10-15 pounds before he can feel confident about holding up for a full season.

  • Occasionally leaves the pocket a bit too soon in search of breaking a big run.

  • Opposite-hash throws tend to hang in the air a bit too long.

  • Possesses more than enough arm strength but displays a tendency to leave his deep ball a bit short.

Bottom Line

Daniels may not have risen to national prominence until last season, but that should not take away from the quarterback he became in 2023. Detractors might suggest last year had more to do with the Tigers relying so heavily on two first-round talents at receiver (Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr.) and less to do with Daniels taking a huge step forward. One thing is clear from watching six of his games against some of the best defenses college football had to offer: Daniels is more than just an "athletic quarterback." He is very adept at picking apart a defense from the pocket and has no problem finding the second or third option in his progression if necessary. (To that end, his 208.0 passer efficiency rating in 2023 was the highest ever by a college quarterback. The 2021 campaign was also the only one of his four full college seasons in which he threw more than four interceptions.) He is so explosive that he will likely enter the 2024 season as one of the NFL's top-five running threats at quarterback. Athletic quarterbacks - at the college or pro level - tend to be a bit too anxious to tuck it and run when the first option or two are unable to break open. Although Daniels will do that on occasion, he is much more likely to let things develop.

Other than his slight frame (6-4, 210), which would typically (and rightfully) lead to questions about his long-term durability by itself, there are only two big issues that pop up repeatedly on his tape. The first one is avoiding unnecessary contact when he runs. Daniels puts himself in a position to take a big hit too often and does not have the bulk right now to continue taking that kind of punishment at the pro level. (He did improve in this area over the course of last season, however.) The other main concern with his tape is good but not great arm strength. Many former and current quarterbacks can overcome the lack of elite arm strength with anticipation (which Daniels possesses), but it is a bit of a surprise that Daniels does not have a cannon considering how physically blessed he is virtually everywhere else.

The great thing about Daniels is that he would be a first-round prospect if he was merely a pocket passer and did not possess the game-breaking ability he has as a runner. While it may be a bit concerning that his final college campaign (40:4 TD-to-INT ratio) was such an outlier from his previous three full seasons, the most reasonable explanation why 2023 may not have been a fluke is because he had Nabers and Thomas to go along with a scheme that catered to his strengths. Daniels deserves a ton of credit for resisting the temptation of leaning on his rushing ability and trusting his spatial awareness when things get chaotic in the pocket as often as he does. He can improvise when necessary, but there is calmness and discipline to his game that most quarterbacks with his athleticism do not possess. It is difficult to find much of a weakness in his game (per PFF, his 19 career fumbles across four-plus seasons are three fewer than Caleb Williams had in 2023 alone). If durability proves not to be an issue and he can add muscle to his frame without sacrificing speed and/or quickness, the sky is truly the limit for him.

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Doug Orth has written for FFToday since 2006 and been featured in USA TODAY's Fantasy Football Preview magazine since 2010. He is also a high-stakes player who often appears as a guest analyst on a number of national sports radio shows, such as Sirius XM’s “Fantasy Drive." Doug is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

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