Quarterback, Arizona State, Eligible for 2022 NFL Draft
In 2019 Jayden Daniels came to Tempe as a four-star recruit and was the immediate starter for the Sun Devils. At 6’3” 185 lbs. he heads into his junior season behind center after a 2020 campaign that saw only four games.
|Year||Games||Completions||Attempts||Completion Percentage||Yards||Yards/ Attempt||TDs||INTs|
In his freshman season, Daniels proved to be a trusted piece putting up five games of more than 300 yards and rushing over the 50-yard mark three times. A few games stand out when looking at his game log from 2019: completion percentages of 22.2% and 42.9% against Utah and Florida State. These are two of the better teams Daniels faced, and while it shouldn’t be shocking they gave him fits, a sub-50% completion percentage is rough.
Daniels is a dual-threat QB whose numbers as a rusher in 2020 were much more impressive than his passing output. In just four games, he ran for 223 yards and four TDs. The issue here is that 111 of his rushing yards came in the season opener against USC. Obviously, no school from the Pac-12 had the season they were hoping for, but the athleticism of Daniels was on full display.
Jayden Daniels enters his junior season in an offense that is designed to put up impressive numbers. Herm Edwards fired the OC in 2019 after he felt the team wasn’t scoring enough points. Since then, ASU has finished 1st in Pac-12 in total offense, scoring offense, and rushing offense. However, a lot of this translates to lower passing numbers, as they finished 11th in passing offense and averaged less than 22 passing attempts a game.
Returning pass catchers isn’t really an issue, as their most prolific receiver caught just 11 passes. More importantly, the Sun Devils return Rachaad White and Chip Trayanum, so the rushing game won’t see much of a drop-off.
Daniels is an interesting prospect because he provides a lot of rushing upside. With the limited sample size in 2020, things become difficult. I think he profiles very similar to Trey Lance. The problem is he weighs about 40 lbs. less. Both QBs come from offenses that lean heavily on the run and both of them possess the ability to flick the ball deep downfield. Like Lance, Daniels is a bit of an enigma, so what he does in 2021 will be telling.
If you believe in the arm talent and that accuracy issues can be figured out, I think he’s worth a late 2nd or early 3rd round pick in SF leagues because of how valuable rushing QBs can be. He could become something, or he could be a flash in the pan. While the measurables are different, Daniels is very similar to other players like Pat White, Jalen Hurts, and Trey Lance that had or have questions about their ability to perform consistently at the NFL level.
Daniels is a decent enough passer. He has a quick throwing motion and can push the ball downfield.
The big issue at the next level will be his size. Daniels has only gained ten pounds since entering college, so putting on weight may be an issue for him. He has a pretty narrow frame, and that could lead to durability questions at the next level. QBs over 6’ and under 200lbs. do not have a great track record in the NFL (Shane Griggs, Marcus Vick, Reggie McNeal, Dennis Dixon, Pat White, and Kellen Moore). It will take adding weight or being a true outlier for Daniels to find NFL success.
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