Vikings Taking an Extra Look at Exciting Young QB, Insider Reveals

Kevin O'Connell, Minnesota Vikings

Getty Head coach Kevin O'Connell of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Minnesota Vikings are in on quarterback Jayden Daniels, “immediately” requesting a meeting with him after his pro day, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on March 27.

“Immediately following his Pro Day, #LSU QB and potential Top 3 pick Jayden Daniels is scheduled to meet with the #Patriots, #Commanders, #Giants, #Vikings, #Broncos and #Raiders, per his agent Ron Butler,” Rapoport wrote in a post on X (formerly Twitter). “Daniels has not previously met with any teams [since the combine]”

Daniels is among the first-tier quarterbacks expected to be selected in the top five of April’s draft. While Caleb Williams appeared locked in as the No. 1 overall pick to the Chicago Bears, who the Washington Commanders is still a debate between North Carolina’s Drake Maye, Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy and Daniels.

Daniels won the Heisman Trophy for a tremendous 2023 season. He threw for 3,812 yards passing, 40 touchdowns and just four interceptions and also ran for 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.

Jayden Daniels a Sleeper Among Vikings QB Targets

Jayden Daniels, Minnesota Vikings

GettyJayden Daniels #5 of the LSU Tigers.

When considering what Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell is looking for in a quarterback, the consensus has trended more toward traditional pocket passers like Maye and McCarthy.

The homework the Vikings have done on those two quarterbacks is extensive, however, that doesn’t mean they’re out on Daniels either — a point KSTP’s Darren Wolfson wanted to make clear last week.

“There’s one that’s clear cut: Let’s take Caleb [Williams] out of the equation. But of the three, among Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels and J.J. McCarthy, my sense is the Vikings have pretty strong, good opinions on all,” Wolfson said on a March 21 episode of SKOR North’s “Mackey and Judd” podcast.

“Now, I understand it if Maye is clear-cut No. 1 of those three, but I’m telling you there’s been very, very little Jayden Daniels chatter and I guess I don’t get it. I’m not sitting here dismissing the possibility of Daniels ultimately being the guy here,” Wolfson added.  “There’s Vikings interest there. I understand it, talk all you want about Maye because of the Josh McCown connection (he coached him in high school). We talked about J.J. McCarthy going back to the fall, all the work the Vikings have been doing… but I’m just saying, don’t sleep on Jayden Daniels.”

The hesitance surrounding Daniels beyond his 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame is his ability to stick in the pocket and make throws over the middle of the field.

Despite the touts surrounding his athleticism as a dual threat, Daniels has shown he can make those throws in rhythm over the middle that O’Connell has asked of his quarterbacks.

Vikings Spending Significant Time With J.J. McCarthy

J.J. McCarthy, Minnesota Vikings

GettyJJ McCarthy of the Michigan Wolverines.

While the Vikings are interested in Daniels, O’Connell nor Kwesi Adofo-Mensah attended LSU’s pro day.

Instead, they are spending significant time with McCarthy, O’Connell revealed on KFAN.

“Looking forward to spending some time with him over the next few days and getting to know him” he told host Paul Allen on March 26.

The Vikings brass are not expected to be at North Carolina’s pro day either but instead are opting for private meetings with prospects this year.