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Scouting Report: Jayden Daniels

Jayden Daniels (LSU via Arizona State)

Games watched: Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Alabama, Texas A&M

DOB: Dec 2000


  • Has NFL arm strength. Drives the ball to the field side on tape. Longer throw in college than in the NFL.

  • Enough arm strength to make all the throws.

  • Athletic throwing motion, base is great when he throws. Repeats his throwing motion well.

  • Conscientious about form in the pocket. Almost mechanical.

  • Footwork is really good when throwing the ball. Feet are always lined up to throw.

  • Has the athleticism in space to carry the ball. Quickness to get outside makes him an option to run the read option or RPOs. Can take space in front of him.

  • Will be able to angle out of bounds for first downs when everyone’s back is to the LOS.

  • Appears to scan the field well. I don’t think an NFL coordinator will be the first person who has asked him to make full field reads.

  • Seems like a good kid. Interviews well, everyone apparently likes him. Quarterbacks drafted highly have a lot of pressure on them.

  • Outstanding college production in final year.

  • Passes the various rules of thumb. 66.3% college passer, which is considered to be above the accurate enough cutoff. Started 55 games in college, which is more than enough: hell, probably as many as Bryce Young, Mac Jones, and Tua combined.


  • Accuracy is a major concern.

  • Ball placement is not good. Throws at the vicinity of his targets, not to precise locations.

  • Sprays the ball off target very often for top pick. Was rarely punished for it with negative plays.

  • Weapons everywhere. Can he do it in the NFL where the talent is even?

  • Preternatural visual ability to be accurate is a concern. Why is this quarterback, who seems to do everything right when he throws the ball, so off so often?

  • Slight build. Won’t be able to take advantage of his running ability much.

  • Takes BIG hits. Gets trucked about once per game. Sometimes gets rocked when unaware of defenders in his peripheral vision, limiting how much you want him carrying the ball in the middle of the field.

  • Appears to lack an instinct for taking glancing blows.

  • Extremely good athlete in a vacuum, but not a natural playmaker running with the ball. All his rushing yards come taking space in front of him, not a lot of instinctual stuff on film like reversing field or cutbacks.

  • Clock seems fast in his head.

  • Gets happy feet under pressure, perceptible that the game is speeding up on him. 

  • Puts his head down under pressure. Appears to lack the ability to feel the rush with his head up. 

  • Not a natural playmaker behind the LOS when ad-libbing. This is good to an extent, because you don’t necessarily WANT your quarterback ad-libbing, and Daniels exercises discipline on the field. But the club isn’t in his bag.

  • Lower throwing platform than his height might imply. Height isn’t a factor throwing over the trees. Not necessarily a bad thing, as most modern NFL quarterbacks don’t have that classic high release.

  • Purely a shotgun QB so far. Not under center in college (theme alert!).

In case you cannot tell, I have a lot of reservations about Jayden Daniels. I can really see the NFL swallowing him up.

There’s a difference between college-open and NFL-open. On “tape”, he has managed to be questionably accurate despite throwing into windows that are college-open. I see him throwing to targets, not to spots. This works fine when you have a cohort of big-men-on-campus, that come down with anything within their radius. But in the NFL, he’s going to have to not just hit his targets, but lead them with throws, throw low at the sticks, throw high at the goal line, put it where only they can get it on the boundary, etc. I’m just not seeing the ability to be that accurate here.

Then on the athlete side of things, I’m concerned about his ability to stay healthy if his athleticism is used in the NFL. I don’t think he possesses the instincts to be asked to carry the ball. He doesn’t know how to protect his body at all. He’s going to need to make his living as a thrower of the ball primarily.

Some people have been (incredibly superficially) comparing him to Lamar. Hindsight is 20/20, but first of all: Lamar was the man at Louisville from day 1. He didn’t have to transfer to look good. His best targets were… James Quick, Jamari Staples, and Jaylen Smith. Besides, they are in different worlds athletically - were Lamar not an NFL QB, he’d be an NFL something-else. The same is not true of Daniels.

I believe that for Daniels to succeed, he is going to need to go to a team with a bunch of weaponz, and a coordinator who can scheme open windows to be read. Then, that team can rely on Daniels’ brain, preparation, and athletic arm to find and hit those windows. Sounds like the Patriots, right?

Next up: Drake Maye. Enjoy!

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