Expert Analysis

3/27/24

4 min read

Jayden Daniels 2024 NFL Draft: Combine Results, Scouting Report For LSU QB

Jayden Daniels throws the ball
LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels looks to throw during his team's game against Texas A&M in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, November 25, 2023.

The 2024 NFL Draft is getting close, making it an excellent time to highlight some of the class' best players with scouting reports. Each report will include strengths, weaknesses and background information. 

Here's our report on Jayden Daniels.

Jayden Daniels' 2024 NFL Combine Results

  • Height: 6'4"
  • Weight: 210 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: DNP
  • 10-yard split: DNP
  • Vertical jump: DNP
  • Broad jump: DNP

Jayden Daniels 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Played from the pocket with patience. He did not look to escape and run. Daniels showed a sense of progression reading.
  • Showed a feel for rhythm and timing of the passing game from the pocket. He made some strong anticipation throws.
  • Athleticism to leave pocket and run for yards puts tremendous stress on defenses and can simplify coverage.
  • Decisive within the context of the offense when reading, throwing the ball and leaving the pocket to run.  
  • Showed excellent awareness for check downs when the deeper route concepts did not present a clean read.
  • Gives an offense the designed boot pass game and designed QB run game. He is a good athlete with easy movement.
  • 2023 - Explosive playmaker with his legs. He is capable of taking it to the house every time he runs.
  • Good ball carriage and ball staging on his dropbacks. He has a quick, compact, clean delivery with no wasted motion.
  • You can tell playing the position in a fundamentally sound way with strong mechanics is important to him.
  • Consistently threw with good balance and firm base from the pocket. His feet and stature are always in good position.
  • Showed feel for pocket movement with subtle slides to create a more comfortable space to deliver within timing.
  • Dropbacks in which he showed patience in the pocket. He showed a feel for routes' interconnectivity.
  • Coverage recognition, anticipation and precise timing to make tight-window throws vs. zone coverage
  • Showed pocket toughness to stand and deliver in the face of pressure without compromising throwing mechanics.

Weaknesses

  • Arm strength on the average to slightly above scale. His deep balls had a tendency to lose energy on the back end.
  • Dropbacks where he leaves throws on the field and runs out of the pocket. He is capable of big plays with his legs, though.
  • Ball location must become more consistently precise. He's not scattershot, but he missed throws that had to be made.
  • 2023 – Arm strength with the power to drive the ball when demanded at times lacking. Not a high-level passer.
  • Still showed a tendency to not turn it loose when throws were there within play concept and structure.
  • A few too many dropbacks when he did not process the route concept vs. the coverage. Did not isolate. 
  • Did not see anticipation throws in the LSU offense. Can Daniels make those kinds of throws at the next level?
  • Overall, he took too many hits as a runner and in the pocket vs. pressures. He must learn to run smarter.

NFL Transition

Daniels is an intriguing prospect because his best trait is his explosive running ability by design and through second reaction movement. However, he is a relatively refined passer with solid fundamentals and mechanics. He has an innate willingness to work from the pocket with some sense of patience and progression reading.

Daniels' pocket command has improved significantly with experience, and he has reached a level of play where he has a desirable combination of pocket efficiency and playmaking explosiveness. He does not have a sudden twitchy arm, and the ball does not explode out of his hands. There were clear examples on his tape of deeper throws that lost energy on the back end. Overall, he can make the necessary throws within the structured context of the passing game. There was a calmness and poise to his game, with an easy fluidity to his movement both as a passer and runner.

The tape showed some issues that need to be worked on and could be cleaned up with coaching and experience. Those include less than clear vision at the second and third levels of the coverage, resulting in throws left on the field. There were also snaps when he could compensate for that deficiency with his running ability.

While Daniels mostly exhibited comfortability and patience in the pocket, that did not necessarily translate to consistent higher-level elimination and isolation within the context of route concepts vs. coverage. Overall, Daniels is a higher-level QB prospect with the ability to be patient and efficient from the pocket, especially at the first two levels of the defense.

He has the dynamic playmaking ability to place stress on the defense in critical down-and-distance situations. The fact that Daniels has shown meaningful improvement in his two seasons at LSU is a real positive. My sense is he would work best in an offense that features a higher percentage of 11 personnel with more spread formation looks to better help define the defense pre-snap.


Other Notes

Daniels played his final two seasons at LSU after three years as the starter at Arizona State. He originally came out of southern California as one of the top three dual-threat QB recruits in the nation. In 2023 at LSU, Daniels threw 40 TD passes with only four interceptions, and he rushed for more than 1100 yards 

In 2022, LSU's pass game featured predominantly half-field reads. Daniels always had the run option if he did not get a clear picture of the route concepts vs. the coverage 

In 2023, LSU's pass game featured NFL route concepts with progression reads that Daniels will need to make at the next level. He made some big-time slot fade throws vs. Ole Miss, three went for touchdowns. He showed a willingness to be patient vs. Ole Miss' high-percentage zone coverage concepts.


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