Raiders Projected to Add Record-Breaking 22-Year-Old QB

jayden daniels

Getty LSU QB Jayden Daniels.

Unless the draft order changes dramatically to end the season, the Las Vegas Raiders are highly unlikely to have a top-five draft pick. The team is currently sitting at No. 11, which would put them out of the range of drafting USC’s Caleb Williams or UNC’s Drake Maye.

That means that if the Raiders are in the market for a quarterback, they’ll have to look at the second wave of prospects. Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal believes that LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels could be the pick at No. 11.

“It’s time for the Raiders to use a high draft pick on a quarterback, and Daniels is the kind of player who should get fans excited about the future,” Hill wrote in a December 1 mock draft. “His talent has been on full display with 3,812 yards passing and 40 touchdowns to four interceptions while adding 1,134 yards and 10 scores on the ground. He probably would be the slam dunk Heisman Trophy winner if LSU had made the Southeastern Conference championship game. Aidan O’Connell has shown he perhaps can be a capable backup and even hold down the starting spot while Daniels gets acclimated. The Raiders could have a solid tandem for the next few years as they rebuild.”

Jayden Daniels Having Record-Breaking Season

Jayden Daniels is one of the highest quarterback risers this year. The 208.0 passing efficiency rating is the highest in NCAA history. It’s even higher than the 202.0 rating Joe Burrow put up at LSU in 2019 before he became the No. 1 pick.

Not only is Daniels proving to be an excellent passer, he’s also a major threat in the run game. He’s rushed for 1,134 yards this season to go with 10 touchdowns. With the NFL starting to move toward having more mobile quarterbacks, he’s exactly the type of player teams are looking for.

Now, there’s a reason why Daniels isn’t being talked about for the No. 1 pick. He’s not a can’t-miss prospect. He doesn’t have the biggest arm and can get sloppy with his mechanics. He also takes a lot of hits. He’s going to need some work if he’s going to develop into an NFL quarterback. However, his raw athleticism makes him a dynamic player to have as he develops as a passer. Lamar Jackson wasn’t an elite passer coming into the NFL but he’s improved greatly and is now just as dangerous with his arm as he is on the ground.

Jayden Daniels Has Ties to Antonio Pierce

If the Raiders decide to promote interim head coach Antonio Pierce to a full-time role, then Jayden Daniels to Las Vegas becomes something to watch. Pierce was coaching at Arizona State while Daniels was still there from 2019 to 2021.

While Pierce was coaching the defensive side of the ball, he was involved in the recruiting side of things and should be very familiar with Daniels’ game. The coach will have a good advantage thanks to his knowledge of the young quarterback.

However, even if the Raiders decide not to retain Pierce as head coach, Daniels could still be on their radar. Aidan O’Connell likely isn’t the long-term answer at quarterback and Daniels brings far more upside to the position.

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