Vikings make bold trade for Jayden Daniels in recent 2024 mock draft

Former LSU QB Jayden Daniels
Former LSU QB Jayden Daniels / Justin Ford/GettyImages

The search for a quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings continues, and many believe it will lead them to trade with the New England Patriots for the third overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. 

But while many believe such a deal would land them a shot at North Carolina’s Drake Maye or Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy, Pro Football Focus’s Steve Palazzolo projects the Vikings to take LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels with the third overall pick in his latest mock draft.

“Daniels’ rushing ability and fundamentals give him a high floor as a player who can put a ton of stress on a defense,” Palazzolo wrote. “His arm talent is good enough to give him a decently high ceiling and makes him a worthy first-round bet to make.”

How realistic is Jayden Daniels to the Minnesota Vikings in the 2024 NFL Draft?

Palazzolo projects the Chicago Bears to take USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the first overall pick in the draft but has Maye going to the Washington Commanders with the second pick. While many connected McCarthy, who Palazzolo projects to go to the Patriots after trading down with the Vikings at pick No. 11, to Minnesota, Daniels’s connection hasn’t been as obvious until this week.

SI’s Albert Breer outlined the Vikings’ scouting tour in recent weeks as they’ve studied the quarterbacks in the upcoming draft. While visits have been had with Maye, McCarthy, Washington’s Michael Penix, and Oregon’s Bo Nix, Daniels had been conspicuously absent from the list until NFL’s Ian Rapoport recently reported they were scheduled to meet in Baton Rouge next week.

While Daniels hasn’t been directly linked to Minnesota, it’s possible the Vikings could try to get him in the draft. The Vikings reportedly tried to trade up for Anthony Richardson in last year’s draft, and Daniels has a similar skill set, rushing for 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.

But Daniels is a more advanced passer than Richardson was coming out of Florida, completing 72.2 percent of his passes for 3,812 yards, 40 touchdowns and four interceptions on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy last season.

Daniels’s dual-threat ability led The Athletic’s Dane Brugler to compare his game to Lamar Jackson, and while Palazzolo’s projected trade of the 11th and 23rd overall pick going to New England in exchange for the third overall pick seems low, it may be worth giving up more capital such as the Vikings 2025 first-round pick to get a deal done.

This could all be smoke in a process that has become messier by the minute. But with two weeks until the draft, Daniels shouldn’t be ruled out as a potential target for the Vikings.

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