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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Jayden Daniels (QB – LSU)

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Jayden Daniels (QB – LSU)

FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL Draft scouting reports before the Combine in March. Here’s a look at LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels.

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Jayden Daniels

Jayden Daniels (QB – LSU)

6’4” – 210 lbs.

Background:

Four-star recruit who originally attended Arizona State, playing three seasons there. Started as a true freshman, leading the team to an 8-4 record and passing for 2,943 yards (60.7%, 8.7 YPA), 17 touchdowns, and just two interceptions. Also ran for 355 yards and three touchdowns. The following year, went 2-2 in the shortened 2020 season, with 701 yards (6, five touchdowns, and one interception (223 yards and four scores on the ground.) Went 8-5 with 2,380 yards (65.4%, 7.9 YPA), ten touchdowns, and ten interceptions the next year (plus 710 yards and six touchdowns rushing) before transferring to LSU. Led the Tigers to a 10-4 record, with 2,913 yards (68.6%, 7.5 YPA), seventeen touchdowns, and three interceptions, with a whopping rushing line of 186-885-11. Won the Heisman this year after going 9-3 with 3,812 yards (72.2%, 11.7 YPA), 40 touchdowns, four interceptions, and an outstanding rushing line of 135-1,134-10 (8.4).

Positives:

Has started five seasons in school, with increasing output in the past two culminating in an excellent 2023 season. Has a nice base at the back of his drops. Able to operate the offense with rhythm and get the ball out on time in the quick game. Shows good arm flexibility and a quick release. Steps into throws and generates torque effectively. Shows good patience to wait for receivers to uncover, but also has the confidence to stick the ball on receivers in tight coverage. Significantly improved off of play-action this year. Excellent deep-ball thrower who completed 63.6% of his deep throws with 22 touchdowns and no interceptions this year; throws with anticipation, timing, and touch. Does a nice job of protecting the football. Climbs the pocket well against pressure, showing composure and keeping his eyes downfield. Able to throw on the move (by design or otherwise), with good fundamentals. Highly elusive quarterback with elite speed; can escape pressure, extend the play, and pick up first downs or more. Rushed the ball on plenty of designed runs, usually RPOs, and was very effective. Weaves through traffic effectively and is very hard to tackle one-on-one. Goes out of bounds near the sideline to protect himself.

Negatives:

Will turn 24 as a rookie. Frame is a bit thin, although he’s been adding bulk. Just under 58% of his throws came within ten yards of the line of scrimmage this year, and that figure was over 63% last year. A lot of first-read throws. Arm strength is certainly adequate, but doesn’t quite have elite velocity. Ball placement often forces adjustments which limit yards after the catch. Somewhat prone to bird-dogging his intended receiver, and tends to take off when his first read isn’t available. Can take some unnecessary hits, which may be a concern given his frame; would like to see him slide more often.

Summary:

A prospect who really put it all together this year, showing significant improvement and boosting his draft stock considerably; at this point, it would be a surprise if he wasn’t the third quarterback off the board. Now looks like a lock to come off the board in the first round because of his impressive combination of composure, decision-making, throwing mechanics, timing and touch on the deep ball, and elite athleticism. Biggest adjustments at the pro level will be going through more progressions and using his eyes to manipulate defensive backs.

Projection: Round 1

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