Another Clue for Jayden Daniels + Vikings Theories

mock draft
Matthew Dobbins-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota Vikings fans are starting to fall in love with Jayden Daniels.

Another Clue for Jayden Daniels + Vikings Theories

He’s a top quarterback prospect entering April’s draft, and wouldn’t you know it? He evidently might enjoy making his first NFL home in Minnesota.

Clue for Jayden
Matthew Dobbins-USA TODAY Sports.

Foremost, ESPN linked Daniels to the Vikings this week. Dan Graziano wrote, “Minnesota knows it eventually has to address the quarterback position long term, and the notion of bringing in Daniels to pair with their star LSU alum wideout Justin Jefferson has appeal to some in the organization.”

That was the opening salvo for Daniels-to-Vikings chatter after the Super Bowl. Then, KSTP’s Darren Wolfson sweetened the pot with a tweet, “And Daniels, no surprise, would enjoy landing here = the word.”

Vikings Are Basically Done
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Here’s the Wolfson tweet:

All this Daniels steam is accumulating because the Vikings may need a new quarterback, depending on the outcome of Kirk Cousins’ impending free agency. Cousins is scheduled to hit the open market in four weeks, and it is unclear as of February 13th if Minnesota will sign the 35-year-old to an extension.

Minnesota would have to spend a king’s ransom on a trade that would land Daniels, but nobody would care too much if Daniels morphs into a franchise quarterback. Stay tuned. The most likely destination on the draftboard to trade up for Daniels is probably the New England Patriots. Jerod Mayo’s team has several roster dilemmas to mend, and trading with Minnesota or another team could maximize roster building in New England.

Folks Are Now Mad
Tennessee Titans general manager Ran Carthon chats with Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah during practice in Eagan, Minn., Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023. © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Daniels has both marvelous traits yearned for by Vikings faithful and NFL general managers — he can fling the ball from the pocket with ease and also has a running back’s legs and feet. Winning the Heisman Trophy, too, in 2023 helped elevate his draft profile. Unless the NFL Combine is unkind, Daniels will probably fly off the board in the Top 5 picks.

Otherwise, Minnesota could stay put and still draft a quarterback at No. 11. Players like Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), and Bo Nix (Oregon) will likely be available to the Vikings with the organic 11th pick. Tulane’s Michael Pratt, too, could be a 2nd- or 3rd-Round option.

New Fox Sports
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The Vikings have drafted four players from LSU, Daniels’ school, in the last four drafts:

  • S Jay Ward (2023)
  • DL Jaquelin Roy (2023)
  • RG Ed Ingram (2022)
  • WR Justin Jefferson (2020)

Justin Jefferson, of LSU fame, of course, was also photographed with Daniels last week:

The NFL Draft is 72 days away.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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