Top QB Prospect Eyeing Vikings After Agent’s Cryptic Post on Commanders

Kevin O'Connell, Vikings

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

The Washington Commanders had their pick of the litter in selecting the second quarterback in this year’s draft — but a recent short-sighted move by Washington has pushed Jayden Daniels into the Minnesota Vikings‘ court.

Following a report that the Commanders hosted an unconventional four-quarterback visit with Drake Maye, J.J. McCarthy, Michael Penix Jr. and Daniels, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio called out the Commanders for playing games with the young quarterback prospects.

“Why would you dilute your ability to get maximum time, and just the opportunity to evaluate, you’re trying to evaluate four guys at once,” Florio said on April 17.

Florio’s lambasting of Washington caught the attention of Daniels’ agent Ron Butler. Butler shared a post on X (formerly Twitter) with Florio’s comments with the thinking emoji on April 18.

The same day, Bulter leaked to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero that Daniels “is scheduled to have dinner tonight with Vikings brass in Baton Rouge.”

Butler had previously prevented the Vikings from meeting with Daniels, but the dinner is a sign of change from Daniels’ camp.

“It’s a mistake,” Florio said of the Commanders’ treatment of Daniels in an April 18 airing of Pro Football Talk. “Ron Butler tells NFL Media today’s the day there’s a private workout in Baton Rouge for Jayden Daniels with the Minnesota Vikings. I’ve been saying for weeks: if I’m one of these guys, where do I want to go? I want to go play for Kevin O’Connell who is definitely going to get me to my ceiling.”

Jayden Daniels’ Agent Shows Change of Stance With Vikings

Jayden Daniels, Minnesota Vikings

GettyJayden Daniels #5 of the LSU Tigers.

KSTP’s Darren Wolfson reported on April 4 that the Vikings have faced difficulties scheduling a private meeting with Daniels due to his representation’s skepticism that the Vikings can move into the top three picks to draft him.

“This would be more the Jayden Daniels camp [saying]: ‘We think our client is going No. 2 to Washington or his floor is No. 3. We really don’t think New England is going to move off of No. 3. Why have him do all these meetings it’s already been a lengthy pre-draft process, let’s not overload him let’s have him focus on Washington, focus on New England. Do we need him to focus on the Vikings,’ Wolfson said, explaining Daniels’ perspective on an April 4 airing of SKOR North’s “Mackey and Judd” podcast.

But after the Commanders potentially upset Daniels’ camp, they may not be interested in landing in Washington, opening the possibility of Daniels falling past the Commanders and in range of a Vikings trade-up.

Vegas has already followed suit.

Florio noted that Daniels was the clear favorite over Drake Maye to be selected No. 2 overall, -275 to +215. But after Butler’s reaction and word spreading Daniels may not want to land in Washington, DraftKings has closed the gap between the two quarterbacks, who both have -115 odds as of April 18.

FanDuel had Daniels at -250 and Maye at +185. Now, they’re both -110.

Commanders Under Fire for 4-QB Visit

Josh Harris, Dan Quinn and Adam Peters

GettyWashington Commanders owner Josh Harris, head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Adam Peters.

The Vikings have taken a holistic approach to their evaluation of this year’s quarterback class, opting to put more energy and resources into private workouts getting to know prospects over several days on campus.

They’ve emphasized the importance of the quarterback position, which not only sets the tone of a locker room but is also a partnership that’s integral to the organization.

O’Connell has maintained that the meetings are just as much about the prospects getting a feel for the Vikings as they are about getting to know the player. There’s level ground for both sides.

Meanwhile, the Commanders, who did meet privately with all four prospects previously, put together a strange experiment that rubbed several league sources the wrong way, according to Florio.

From Florio on an April 18 airing of Pro Football Talk:

We’re so conditioned to think this is about all the power the team has to evaluate the players and they can do these stupid a** games like, ‘Let’s put the four guys together. Let’s see how they interact in the room together,’ even though they’re never going to be in a room together ever again.

What about for the player?

‘I’m going to get drafted by one of the most dysfunctional franchises in the NFL over the last quarter century. They’ve got new management. Why should I want to play here? Show me something that makes me want to be part of this team for the next five, 10 or 15 years…