Jayden Daniels Expresses Preferred NFL Destination

Kliff Kingsbury supports dynamic QB Jayden Daniels at LSU.

by Nouman Rasool
Jayden Daniels Expresses Preferred NFL Destination
© Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Jayden Daniels, the standout 2023 Heisman Trophy winner from LSU, remains a top contender for the second overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft, currently held by the Washington Commanders. Despite his limited influence over the draft process, Daniels has openly expressed a preference for playing with the Las Vegas Raiders, according to insights from two general managers in a recent report by The Washington Post's Jason La Canfora.

Daniels' connection to Raiders Head Coach Antonio Pierce, stemming from their time together at Arizona State, has fueled speculation about a reunion in Las Vegas. The Raiders have not been discreet about their interest in Daniels, with past discussions among Offensive Coordinator candidates about integrating him into their system.

However, as the draft nears, a trade up from the Raiders' current 13th pick to secure Daniels seems increasingly unlikely, adding a layer of intrigue to the predraft deliberations.

Kingsbury Backs Daniels

Washington's new Offensive Coordinator, Kliff Kingsbury, reportedly favors Daniels, who has impressed with his dual-threat capabilities.

In his final college season at LSU, Daniels excelled, rushing for 1,143 yards and throwing 40 touchdowns with only four interceptions. This performance significantly boosted his draft stock, despite concerns about his physical stature.

Daniels has undergone a noticeable physical transformation, bulking up from 185 pounds during his 2021 season at Arizona State to 210 pounds this offseason, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. This increase in size has been a point of discussion among scouts, as maintaining a heavier playing weight could impact Daniels' agility and resilience against the physical demands of the NFL.

The Commanders, under their new ownership and management, hosted Daniels along with other quarterback prospects — a move that deviates from the usual individual-focused visits. This strategy might suggest a broader evaluation strategy as the team prepares to potentially select a quarterback in the top 10 for the first time since 2012.

As the draft approaches, the dynamics within the Commanders' front office will be crucial. The involvement of new owner Josh Harris, known for his roles with the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, has been more pronounced than some might expect.

His previous decisions, such as the discussions around trading players like Montez Sweat and Chase Young, indicate a proactive approach in shaping the team's future.