3 best NFL fits for Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels in the 2024 NFL Draft

These NFL teams would be "dope" fits for the Heisman Trophy winner.
NFL Combine - Jayden Daniels
NFL Combine - Jayden Daniels / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages

Is LSU's Jayden Daniels the third-best quarterback entering the 2024 NFL Draft?  That was the question entering the NFL Scouting Combine and it is still a debate after the combine and will continue to be a debate up until the draft.

What’s clear is that the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner belongs in the conversation with Caleb Williams and Drake Maye.  Depending on a team’s need at the position he could be ranked before or behind either of those players.

So which NFL teams are the best fit for what Daniels can bring to the table on the field and as a leader?

2024 NFL Draft: Jayden Daniels is the wild card at the top of the draft

As NFL mock drafts vary from week-to-week, so does the draft position of Daniels who some mock draft analysts have going as high as No. 2 and some as low as No. 8 to the Atlanta Falcons.  Wherever he goes come draft night, that team is going to have a player that has drawn comparisons to Lamar Jackson.

Although Daniels didn’t work out or throw at the NFL Combine, his projected 40-time is 4.5, which would’ve put him up there with Robert Griffin III and just behind Justin Fields as far as all-time rankings of 40 times at the quarterback position.  So, the speed and ability to manipulate the pocket is there. 

In a league that saw Jackson dominate during the regular season, NFL executives of teams needy of a quarterback see Daniels having similar attributes.  A guy who can make things happen with his feet and stifle defensive backfields with his arm. A guy who can step in and have similar immediate success as Houston Texans young stud C.J. Stroud.

In examining the best fits for Daniels in the 2024 NFL Draft, I looked at scheme, need and what a player like Daniels adds at the quarterback position for the team.

Atlanta Falcons would be the squad with Jayden Daniels in the mix

There will be a few teams looking to trade up for a player like Jayden Daniels.  Although the price would be steep, a team that is in striking distance would be the Atlanta Falcons who have the No. 8 overall selection in the NFL Draft. 

If they trade up or if Daniels falls to them at No. 8, the Falcons will get a quarterback who would fit nicely with the talent the team already has.  As Dane Brugler of The Athletic pointed out in his Mock draft, which has Daniels going No. 8, a talented offense featuring Kyle Pitts Jr. Bijan Robinson and Drake London would look scary in the NFL South with the LSU quarterback thrown in the mix.

"Arthur Smith is now the Falcons' former head coach because he believed his scheme and (misuse of) weapons could elevate mediocre quarterback play. It is interesting to think about what Atlanta's talented, ready-to-go roster would look like if you dropped in Daniels.

After producing a minus-12 turnover margin, you can bet that will be a point of emphasis for the Falcons. In 13 starts this season, Desmond Ridder had 12 interceptions and 12 fumbles; in 12 starts, Daniels accounted for only four interceptions and three fumbles."

It’s hard to see Daniels falling that far down in the top 10, but if that were to happen, the Falcons would be a big winner in the draft.  The hope for the Falcons would be a team in the top 3 selecting Marvin Harrison Jr. and Drake Maye ahead of Daniels and him sliding outside that top 3.  In that scenario the Falcons could strike a deal with a team like the Arizona Cardinals or Los Angeles Chargers who hold No. 4 and No. 5.  Neither of those teams would be likely to select Daniels, but he wouldn’t get past the New York Giants at No. 6.

New England Patriots would be a "dope" destination for Jayden Daniels

At the NFL Combine, Daniels said playing for the Patriots would be “dope,” but there were rumblings that some in his circle don’t view New England as a fit for the dual-threat quarterback.

As NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry clarified on Monday, that assumption was more climate related as Daniels would be going from California to the unpredictable weather of New England.  That being the sole reasoning behind a player not wanting to play for a particular team seems like a reach.  So let’s go off his own words about the possibility of being drafted by the Patriots.

2024 NFL Draft prospect Jayden Daniels speaks at the NFL Combine
Jayden Daniels / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

“It’d be dope,” Daniels told reporters at the NFL Combine. “Obviously growing up and seeing what Tom Brady did there, six Super Bowls, that’s tough to live up to. But it would be dope to come in there, see the success that they had, and help them get back on that track.”

Whether it is Drake Maye or Daniels, the Patriots offense will see a major jolt over what the team put on the field a season ago.  With needs all over the field offensively, drafting one of the top quarterbacks should be a priority for the Patriots.  Given what Daniels did at LSU last season producing 50 total touchdowns (40 passing, 10 rushing), injecting him at the QB position makes the offense a lot more interesting. 

With Alex Van Pelt as the new offensive coordinator, the Patriots are in better position to draft and develop a young quarterback.  They would just need to get players around him.

Washington Commanders would get a game changer at the QB position

The Washington Commanders, who hold the No. 2 overall selection, also has a Maye vs Daniels dilemma on their hands.  It is likely that whatever player they don’t chose will be the player the Patriots chose.

While I see the Patriots as a good fit for Daniels, the Commanders are the best fit given their needs, draft position and offensive players they will have around him.  With the success Daniels had at LSU throwing the ball to top wide receivers in the NFL draft like Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr., he would a nice tandem at the NFL level as well in Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson.

Washington Commanders wide receiver Terry McLaurin
Terry McLaurin / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

The Commanders also have a ground attack that could compliment Daniels as well.  But is Daniels high on their draft board or is it, Maye?  With Dan Quinn taking over as the team’s new head coach, he will need to make reign in whichever QB he feels gives the offense the best chance of making some noise in 2024.

If he is looking for a game changer at the position, Daniels is their man.  Washington did have some success with Sam Howell as quarterback as he did show scrambling ability.  Imagine how much more exciting the offense could be with Daniels adding some razzle and dazzle on the field?

Other teams to watch when it comes to Daniels in the 2024 NFL Draft are the New York Giants, Las Vegas Raiders and Minnesota Vikings.  Obviously, the Raiders or Vikings would have to make a splash and trade up for him.  The Giants could patiently wait for him to fall to No. 5.  In that scenario, they would have to decide whether they have enough believe in Daniel Jones to pass up the opportunity of drafting him.