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Jayden Daniels is coming off of one of the most electrifying college football seasons for a quarterback ever. Yes, his 2023 Heisman Trophy season at LSU is one of the best statistical marvels of all time. 

He totaled 3,812 passing yards, 40 passing touchdowns and only four interceptions while completing 72.2% of his passes. That output led to Daniels setting college football's single-season passing efficiency rating record (208.0). Daniels was similarly dynamic on the ground, rushing for 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns on 135 carries, good for 8.4 yards a carry. He led all college football quarterbacks in both yards per pass attempt (11.7) and yards per carry (8.4) while becoming the only FBS player since the turn of the 21st century to average over 300 passing yards per game and 75 or more rushing yards per game in a season in 2023. 

Just to put into context how mind-bendingly dominant his 2023 production was, here is how his Heisman season compares in totality with LSU's other Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback, 2019 College Football Playoff national champion and 2020 NFL Draft first overall pick Joe Burrow. The two award-winning campaigns are strikingly similar. 

LSU QBs to win Heisman Trophy 


Joe Burrow (2019)Jayden Daniels (2023)

Total Yards/Game

402.6

412.2

Total Touchdowns/Game

4.3

4.2

Passing Efficiency Rating

202.0

208.0*

Draft Pick

1st

?

*Best in FBS history

The 2023 Heisman Trophy winner will enter the NFL with 55 games of experience as a starter (29 at Arizona State, 26 at LSU), and he maximized that play time into being the only player in major college football history with 12,000-plus career passing yards and 3,000-plus career rushing yards. 

Here are the five best fits for one of the top three quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft now that the dust has settled from free agency. All five of these teams attended LSU's Pro Day on Wednesday. 

5. New York Giants (6th overall pick)

Daniel Jones doesn't feel like the right choice to be the New York Giants long-term quarterback. Problem is the G-Men signed the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft to a four-year, $160 million extension last offseason. 

Jones struggled in 2023, throwing two touchdowns to six interceptions in six starts before a torn ACL ended his season. His 2022 run in which he had the lowest interception rate (1.1%) in the NFL appears to be an aberration and not the new normal. However, New York would have to eat $69 million in dead money if they cut Jones this offseason. That number decreases to a much more feasible $22 million hit in 2025.

One thing the Giants have struggled to do with Jones is get their downfield passing game going. He has never averaged 7 yards per pass attempt or higher in any of his five seasons in the NFL. Daniels could immediately revive that element of their offense. He led college football in yards per pass attempt (11.7) 

New York clearly needs a successor for Jones, and by the time he will likely be shown the door in 2025, Daniels will be ready to soar. 

"It was fun," Daniels said at the NFL Scouting Combine when asked about meeting with the Giants. "Going there and being able to talk football, they handed me the clicker, and we were jus talking ball. It's always fun. I love football. I'm very passionate about it. Whenever I get to talk ball, I love it. ... Just how energetic the coaching staff was. They were just going in and getting to know me as a person. They were very excited about that."

4. New England Patriots (3rd overall pick)

The Patriots offense Daniels would be a part of if selected is murky at best. There's a new offensive coordinator in Alex Van Pelt, plus the team's top three wide receivers (K.J. Osborn, Kendrick Bourne and DeMario Douglas) currently profile best as third receivers on a contender. They did retain Hunter Henry, which is huge for their red zone passing game. The Patriots are also projected to have $38.1 million in effective cap space, according to OverTheCap, which would rank as the most in the entire NFL. They can be players in the June 1 cuts free agency market, as well as carry some of that space over to next offseason. 

Daniels would be a stark contrast stylistically from the pocket passers used last season from Mac Jones -- who ranked bottom three in NFL in yards per pass attempt (6.1), TD-INT (10-12) and passer rating (77.0) -- and Bailey Zappe -- whose eight turnovers from Weeks 14-18 were tied for the second-most in the NFL. Both of them played huge roles in the Patriots' anemic offensive attack

Daniels led the nation in passing yards per attempt (11.7) while breaking the single-season passing efficiency rating record (208.0). He is exactly what New England needs to move forward. 

"It would be dope," Daniels said at the NFL Scouting Combine when asked about playing for New England. "Obviously growing up and seeing what Tom Brady did there, six Super Bowls. That's tough to live up to. It would be dope to come in there, seeing the success they had and help them get back on track."

For more draft coverage, you can hear in-depth analysis twice a week on "With the First Pick" -- our year-round NFL Draft podcast with NFL Draft analyst Ryan Wilson and former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. You can find "With the First Pick" wherever you get your podcasts: Apple PodcastsSpotifyYouTube, etc. Listen below!

3. Las Vegas Raiders (13th overall pick)

Whomever becomes the next full-time quarterback for the Raiders has the gift of being able to throw to three-time first-team All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams. Las Vegas unsuccessfully toggled between Jimmy Garoppolo (who they released), Brian Hoyer (who they released) and 2023 fourth-round pick Aidan O'Connell. They'll enter 2024 with O'Connell and Gardner Minshew.

In order for Daniels to end up with Las Vegas, new general manager Tom Telesco would likely need to trade up with the Patriots at least to acquire him. Daniels is on a different planet from an arm talent perspective than O'Connell. He could very well beat him or Minshew out to be the team's Week 1 starter if chosen.

New Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce was Arizona State's recruiting coordinator and linebackers coach when Daniels was the Sun Devils starting quarterback from 2019-2021. That connection could lead for an escalated effort by Las Vegas to do what it takes to select the Heisman Trophy winner. 

"It was great," Daniels said at the NFL Scouting Combine when asked about meeting with the Raiders. "Obviously going in there, I already knew Coach Antonio Pierce, but just overall meeting the whole staff, meeting everybody, it was a great energy. Just being able to sit down and talk ball. ... My time with A.P. ... He is who he is. People see it now, but he was the same when I was in high school weighing 150 pounds. He believed in me. He recruited me. He gave me an opportunity. Our relationship goes beyond football."

2. Minnesota Vikings (11th overall pick and 23rd overall pick)

Kirk Cousins is now an Atlanta Falcon, and the Vikings are operating like a franchise desperate for a new quarterback. They sent two second-round picks (one in 2024 and one in 2025) and a 2024 sixth-round pick to the Houston Texans in exchange for the 23rd overall pick in this year's draft. That gives them the draft capital to trade their two firsts this year and just their first next year to move all the way up inside the top five to go get Daniels.

Minnesota also has the best collection of playmakers of any team on this list: 2022 Offensive Player of the Year wide receiver Justin Jefferson, Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones, two-time Pro Bowl tight end T.J. Hockenson and 2023 first-round wide receiver Jordan Addison. They would be No. 1 on this list if they didn't need a massive trade up to go get Daniels.

1. Washington Commanders (2nd overall pick)

The Commanders are entering a new era with new ownership (Josh Harris and his ownership group), new head coach (Dan Quinn) and a new general manager (Adam Peters). They are fully equipped to rebuild and rebuild quickly. They still have the second-most effective cap space in the entire league ($35.9 million per OverTheCap) after being active in free agency, and Washington has five draft picks in the first three rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft. 

They had some solid playmakers on the roster already in Pro Bowl wide receiver Terry McLaurin, 2022 first-round pick wideout Jahan Dotson and 2022 third-round pick Brian Robinson Jr entering the offseason. Washington then added a touchdown machine in running back Austin Ekeler along with three-time Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz and Pro Bowl center Tyler Biadasz. New offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury was Kyler Murray's head coach and play-caller with the Arizona Cardinals for years, so he knows how to design an offense around a quarterback with dual-threat capabilities like Daniels.

The Commanders can add more offensive firepower in the draft and have their roster ready to roll for their new rookie quarterback. 

"With them, it was just how cool the whole staff was," Daniels said at the NFL Scouting Combine when asked about the Commanders. "Obviously Dan Quinn, Kliff Kingsbury and all those types of guys. Just being able to sit in there and get to know people. You see them on TV and see everybody coaching. Behind the scenes, to be able to just have a conversation, that's just the coolest part for me."