Connect with us

NFL Draft

New England Patriots Top 30 Visit: LSU QB Jayden Daniels



LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) celebrates after a touchdown against Florida during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)

Every NFL franchise is allowed to invite up to 30 draft prospects to visit their facilities and meet with the members of the organization before the NFL Draft. These selections range from first-round targets to players who might be available as undrafted free agents. As news about the New England Patriots Top 30 visits surface, Patriots Football Now will highlight each of the visitors. Today’s feature is LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels.

College Career

Jayden Daniels was ranked as a four-star prospect from Cajon High School in San Bernardino, Cal. The school also produced former Patriots wide receiver Charles Johnson (best known for his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers). Daniels’ composite ranks (via 247 Sports) placed him as the No. 35 prospect in the country, No. 2 dual-threat quarterback, and No. 3 player from California in the Class of 2019.

Daniels committed to Arizona State, where he would begin his college career. Current Las Vegas Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce was Daniels’ primary recruiter for the Sun Devils.

Arizona State named Jayden Daniels their starting quarterback as a true freshman, becoming the first QB in school history to do so. He retained the job for his three seasons on campus. In Daniels’ first two seasons, which included a COVID-shortened four-game season in 2020, he passed for 22 touchdowns against only three interceptions over 16 games. His third year at ASU was less successful. His completion percentage rose to 65.4% but he finished with just 10 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions in 13 games.

Daniels entered the transfer portal after the 2021 season, opting to go to LSU.

His touchdown-to-interception ratio returned to being exceptional with the Tigers. In 2022, he finished with 17 and three, respectively, while throwing for 2,913 yards. He rushed for an additional 11 scores while amassing 885 yards on the ground.

Jayden Daniels’ 2023 season was nothing short of sensational. He had 90 plays of at least 20 yards. He completed 72.2% of his passes for 3,812 yards and threw for 40 touchdowns against only four interceptions. Daniels also rushed for 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns. He walked away with the 2023 Heisman Trophy following his historic season.

Pro Football Focus gave Daniels a grade of 94.7 on the season, the highest grade for any quarterback in college football.

NFL Draft

Jayden Daniels attended the NFL Scouting Combine for interview purposes only. Not only did he skip testing and positional drills, he did not even get measured and weighed. However, he did take care of that has his LSU Pro Day. Daniels weighed in at 210 pounds while standing 6-foot-3. The weight took many by surprise, as his general build looks very slim. It is one of the biggest question marks surrounding him as he transitions to the NFL.

Daniels has good footwork when passing and throws a nice, catchable deep ball. His arm is good but not great. His accuracy was excellent last season, but some of his numbers are skewed to be a bit deceiving. Daniels has been very effective at avoiding interceptions, but there are other factors contributing to that beyond his accurate passes. One is his athleticism, which is elite. Instead of forcing throws, Daniels can take off on his own instead of making a potentially risky pass.

The negative side of his low interception total is his seeming willingness to take sacks. This can be the result of waiting for a receiver to open before releasing the ball and simply holding it too long.  He can improve this by making more anticipatory throws and being willing to just throw one away. Doing so will avoid negative plays and unnecessary hits.

Speaking of unnecessary hits, his slight build does raise concerns. He is an electric runner and should continue to be a dual-threat at the next level as well. But he does need to get better at protecting himself when he runs by getting down or stepping out of bounds.

Herm Edwards, Daniels’ coach at Arizona State, has compared Jayden Daniels to Edwards’ former Philadelphia Eagles teammate Randall Cunningham. It’s a very solid comp. However, NFL defenders are bigger and faster than when Cunningham arrived in the league 39 years ago. Three major injuries prevented the three-time NFL MVP runner-up from fully reaching his Hall of Fame potential. Despite more protections in place for quarterbacks, staying healthy will be a concern with Daniels’ frame and style of play.

The New England Patriots will almost certainly add a quarterback at No. 3 overall in the upcoming NFL Draft. In the two most recent NFL Mock Drafts on PFN, Jayden Daniels is projected to go second overall to the Washington Commanders. However, if Washinton opts for Drake Maye or J.J. McCarthy at No. 2, Daniels will be very much in the conversation to come to New England. Regardless, it is hard to conceive of a player with his combination of athleticism and production getting out of the top five later this month.

Award-winning blogger, Dan's work has also been featured on Fox Sports, Boston Metro, Barstool Sports,, and many other outlets.