NFL Draft Profile: See where LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels was drafted

LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels captured the 2023 Heisman Trophy and is projected to be a top pick in this year's draft. PHOTO BY: LSU athletics

Former LSU quarterback was drafted No. 2 overall by the Washington Commanders at the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit.

He was the second quarterback selected in the draft after Caleb Williams who went first overall. Daniels denied pre-draft rumors that he did not want to end up in Washington and said he would be “100 percent” fine with the Commanders drafting him.

“I’m blessed to go wherever I’m called,” Daniels said. “Whoever calls my phone, commissioner gets up and says my name, I’ll be blessed, and they’re going to get my all.”

Daniels is the second LSU quarterback in the last five years to go in the top-5 picks of the NFL draft after Joe Burrow went No. 1 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. He is the fifth LSU quarterback to be taken in the first round after Y.A. Tittle, Bert Jones, JaMarcus Russell and Burrow.

Daniels is the first of LSU’s three Heisman winners to not be drafted No. 1. LSU’s first Heisman winner, Billy Cannon, was selected No. 1 overall in the 1960 NFL Draft though he played in the AFL instead.

“If he was a poor decision-maker, if he was sloppy with the football, if he couldn’t walk into an NFL locker room and lead the guys, then those are the things that leave you not getting any sleep. He can put on weight,” LSU head coach Brian Kelly said before the draft. “Those are small concerns, he is a flat-out playmaker. He’ll change the look of your franchise, and that’s why I believe he’s the best QB in the draft.”

Daniels is a dual-threat quarterback with some of the most electrifying speed the quarterback position has seen. He started his career at Arizona State and has five years of starting experience under his belt.

Daniels came out of high school as a four-star recruit before winning the starting quarterback job for the Sun Devils his freshman season and becoming their first ever true freshman to start at quarterback.

He threw for 2,943 yards and 17 touchdowns and ran for another 355 yards and three touchdowns his first year as a starter. COVID derailed his sophomore season and his third year as ASU’s starter was a bit of a disappointment.

He threw for 2,381 yards and 10 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. He ran for another 710 yards and six touchdowns, but his one-to-one touchdown-to-interception ratio saw his career as a Sun Devil come to a close.

Daniels transferred to LSU and took over as a starter, and he improved on almost every stat. He threw for 2,913 yards and 17 touchdowns with just three interceptions and rushed for a career-high 885 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also completed a career-high 68% of his passes as he helped lead LSU to upset wins over Ole Miss and Alabama and led the Tigers to and SEC West title.

LSU came up short in the SEC Championship game against Georgia, but the Tigers finished the season with a dominant bowl win over a depleted Purdue squad.

After a successful year one as a Tiger, Daniels entered his final year of eligibility with high expectations. He exceeded all of those expectations and put together one of the best seasons in college football history.

Daniels threw for 3,812 yards and 40 touchdowns with just four interceptions. He also ran for another 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns. He completed 72.2% of his passes and finished with a record-breaking passer rating of 208.0.

His best performance of the season came in LSU’s win over rivals Florida. He threw for 372 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 234 yards and two touchdowns. He became the first player with over 350 passing yards and 200 rushing yards in one game.

Daniels won almost every accolade a player can win in 2023. He was named an All-American, first-team All-SEC, SEC Offensive Player of the Year and the Heisman Trophy winner.

He also picked up the Walter Camp Award, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, Davey O’Brien Award, and Manning Award. He was also named the AP College Football Player of the Year.

Daniels didn’t play in LSU’s bowl game and decided not to compete in any drills at the NFL Combine and only threw at LSU’s Pro Day, but he still boasted some of the highest draft stock in this year’s draft.

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Will Nickel

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