The Vikings Should Target This QB in the 2024 NFL Draft

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For a couple of years now, the 2024 NFL Draft class has been hyped up as one of the best QB classes in recent memory.

With the Vikings potentially on the hunt for their QB of the future following Kirk Cousins’ Achilles injury, such a draft could not come at a better time. Names like Caleb Williams and Drake Maye highlight the class, but in all likelihood, the Minnesota won’t be able to land them seeing as they should go in the top five.

However, there is another dream QB prospect that could fall a bit further in the class that should cause the Vikings to be aggressive next spring. That QB is LSU’s own Jayden Daniels, whose draft stock has been skyrocketing throughout this season.

The Vikings Should Target This QB in the 2024 NFL Draft

2024 NFL Draft
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Daniels transferred to LSU prior to the 2022 season after starting his collegiate career at Arizona State, and ever since then, he has captivated the college football world. Not only has the QB proven to be an accurate passer, but his ability to scramble and make plays with his legs is extraordinary.

During his first year with the Tigers, he threw for 2913 yards along with 17 TDs and 3 INTs while rushing for 890 yards and an additional 12 TDs. Those are already impressive numbers for a player in their first year with a program, but 2023 has seen Daniels completely explode into a Heisman candidate. The QB has totaled nearly 5000 yards through 12 games (3812 passing, 1134 rushing) and has thrown for 40 TDs compared to 4 INTs and has another 10 TDs on the ground.

Behind the super powers of Daniels, the LSU Tigers have averaged a truly ridiculous 46.4 points per game this season, more than any other program in college football this season.

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Daniels possesses a rocket of an arm which allows him to spread the ball across all three levels of the field, and he throws accurately as well. His average depth of target was 10.5 yards this season, ranking 17th among 86 QBs in college football with at least 300 drop backs, per PFF.

Even with a clear emphasis on throwing downfield, Daniels completed 72.2% of his passes during the regular season, the seventh-best in college football. This is because the QB has a truly beautiful deep ball that he can lay into receivers’ arms with ease. Combine this terrific deep-passing ability with reported 4.5 speed and terrific elusiveness in the pocket, and Daniels has all the raw tools to be able to succeed at the NFL level.

He is also getting much better with his mechanics, so Daniels shouldn’t come into the league as a totally raw prospect. His release is progressively getting quicker over the years, and he does a great job of avoiding turnover-worthy throws into double and triple coverage.

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There are a few potential red flags with Daniels, though. For one thing, while he stands at 6’3″-6’4″, the QB is rail-thin at only 185 pounds. Considering some of the hits that he could open himself up to while scrambling in the open field, durability both immediately and in the long-term is a concern for any team looking to take him with a top draft pick, let alone any team (such as the Vikings) who could need to trade up in order to take him.

In terms of actual play, though, Daniels still needs to continue working on some of the basics. He has really honed in on improving his deep passes, which is great, but he still misses too many “gimme” plays in the short and intermediate areas of the field. He will need to get the timing down at the NFL level to ensure that he doesn’t miss these opportunities.

Overall, though, there is a ton of upside with Daniels as he prepares for the NFL Draft next spring. If the Vikings were to put him in an offense with their current offensive line as well as Jordan Addison, Justin Jefferson, and T.J. Hockenson as his main pass-catchers, there is a huge chance for him to blossom in Kevin O’Connell’s scheme. Plus, he already looks great in purple and gold.

NOTE: This article originally appeared on our sister-site, PurplePTSD.com.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

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