Vikings Urged to Pass on 50-TD Superstar Who May Fall to Them in NFL Draft

Kevin O'Connell

Getty Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell during the team's 2023 season opener.

If the Minnesota Vikings are going to spend multiple first-round picks to trade into the top five for a quarterback next week, they have to make sure they draft the right guy.

Selecting the correct player from one of the most talented QB classes in recent memory is easier said than done and will require a complex process of of elimination limited by the draft pick Minnesota can ultimately acquire — likely no higher than No. 3 overall from the New England Patriots.

Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report suggested on Saturday, April 20 that the Vikings stay away from reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels, regardless of where they ultimately select.

Rolling the dice on Jayden Daniels would not be a risk worth taking for Minnesota. Daniels is an undeniably exciting prospect. His athleticism and willingness to hang tough in the pocket when needed gives him a high ceiling. But he’s far from a sure thing. His arm talent could be his undoing.

The Vikings need a quarterback who can deliver the ball to Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison and T.J. Hockenson in the intermediate areas of the field. If they’re going to give up a bounty of picks to get into the top four, it should be for someone who’s capable of taking full advantage of their pass-catching corps.

Scouting Reports on Jayden Daniels Express Concerns Over Arm Strength

Jayden Daniels

GettyLSU quarterback Jayden Daniels.

The scouting reports on Daniels back up Ballentine’s concerns, despite the QB accounting for 50 total TDs (40 passing, 10 rushing) during his final year of college in the SEC.

Lance Zierlein of NFL Network noted a “lack of zip” that makes long throws to the edge of the field more treacherous for Daniels than other prospects, as well as “below-average push and placement on deep throws.”

“Daniels possesses a rare blend of playmaking talent and command from the pocket. He’s tall but slender, so there will be concerns about durability, considering how often he ran in college,” Zierlein wrote. “He’s an accurate passer over the first two levels and throws with anticipation to slice and dice zone coverages. He had noticeable issues putting deep throws on faster receivers in stride, though. He lacks ideal size and arm talent, but he’s much more capable as a runner and passer than most of the quarterbacks who have moved on to the next level lately.”

Jayden Daniels Could Fall Into Vikings’ Range if Commanders Pass on Him With No. 2 Pick

Jayden Daniels

GettyQuarterback Jayden Daniels of LSU.

Daniels has been on the radar for every QB-needy team either picking near the top of the draft or poised to trade into that position if the right opportunity presents itself. However, for most of the offseason Daniels has appeared out of Minnesota’s reach.

Mel Kiper Jr. and Field Yates of ESPN predicted in their most recent joint mock draft that Daniels would land with the Washington Commanders at No. 2. However, that appears less certain now after the QB’s camp has shown displeasure with the organization and how it has handled the pre-draft process where Daniels is concerned.

“He has had interest in playing for the [Las Vegas] Raiders, who pick 13th and probably can’t get high enough to pick him,” ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said on a recent episode of SportsCenter, per On3. “I can’t confirm that he doesn’t want to play for Washington, but it hasn’t been an easy smooth process for whatever reason so far.”

If the Commanders don’t select Daniels second overall, and assuming the Chicago Bears take Caleb Williams as nearly everyone with a microphone now predicts, Daniels drops into the pick Nos. 3-5 range where the Vikings can conceivably climb by packaging the Nos. 11 and 23 selections this year along with a 2025 first-rounder.

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