Coach Spills the Beans on Vikings QB Prospect

mock draft
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Sportsbooks have narrowed Jayden Daniels’ NFL home to Washington Commanders for a few weeks, and his college coach appeared to confirm the theory this week.

Coach Spills the Beans on Vikings QB Prospect

LSU head coach Brian Kelly spoke highly of his quarterback at Daniels’ Pro Day, but near the end of his speech, Kelly point-blank said that Daniels would make big plays in the NFL — for the Washington Commanders.

Vikings QB Prospect
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“He’s gonna get the ball out to his playmakers and make plays for Washington,” Kelly told reporters about Daniels’ upside in the NFL.

A classic misspeak — or textbook reveal of too much information — Kelly essentially confirmed what NFL draft pundits have predicted for all of March: the Commanders will draft Daniels after the Chicago Bears select Caleb Williams, and that’ll be that. Washington’s new offensive coordinator, Kliff Kingsbury, has a documented history working with mobile or off-schedule quarterbacks like Kyler Murray and Caleb Williams, so Daniels to Washington shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.

It’s just that Kelly isn’t supposed to tip his hand with the revelation.

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Meanwhile, Commanders head coach Dan Quinn said on NFL Network last week about his team’s willingness to trade the second overall pick, “I would anticipate (GM Adam Peters) fielding these calls as it goes through, and usually it’s not necessarily later than No. 6 or 7, but those people who are usually in the top four or five, there’s somebody that somebody has targeted, and I think it’s mostly like ‘Well, I’ve got to take a shot!'”

He added, “A lot of times it’s no, like ‘Thanks for calling’ but it is part of the process, and you have to do your due diligence to listen and to find out just to make sure, like is there something that you just couldn’t refuse. I think anybody in personnel with the skills of Adam, they’re going to listen, but there’s only so many things that you’d consider, and it’d better be really good.”

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Quarterback Jayden Daniels 5 runs the ball as the LSU Tigers take on Georgia State in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, November 18, 2023. © SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Quinn’s words — not Daniels’ draft climb this offseason — may be the true smokescreen. Perhaps the Commanders will listen to trade offers, but in their heart of hearts, Daniels might be their guy no matter what. The Kelly mishap would confirm the theory.

There’s also a chance that Kelly blatantly misspoke. He might’ve bought into the Daniels-to-Washington hype without any insider information about Daniels’ NFL team.

The Vikings are expected to trade up the board between now and April 25th, the first night of the draft, in pursuit of a quarterback of the future after Kirk Cousins departed for the Atlanta Falcons two weeks ago. Daniels, among others — Drake Maye, J.J. McCarthy, and Michael Penix Jr. — are thought to be on Minnesota’s radar.

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Daniels won the Heisman trophy in 2023 and attended the same school as Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. The young quarterback will turn 24 during the 2024 regular season.

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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