Jayden Daniels Injury Update: Will the SEC’s Leading Passer Play Against Florida?

Jayden Daniels took a huge hit against the Alabama Crimson Tide in Week 10. What does his availability look like for the Florida game?

LSU Tigers QB Jayden Daniels entered concussion protocol during LSU’s loss to Alabama after taking a hit from Alabama EDGE Dallas Turner.

What is the latest on his status? Will he be ready for Florida?

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Will We See Jayden Daniels Against the Florida Gators?

Head coach Brian Kelly told reporters on Thursday that Daniels is “probable” to play against Florida. He was cleared to return to practice on Wednesday after the fourth-quarter crunch he sustained against the Crimson Tide knocked him out of the game early in the fourth quarter.

Kelly told Paul Finebaum that the hit should have been targeting. However, the conference responded by saying that the hit didn’t meet the targeting standard.

Garrett Nussmeier took a snap for Daniels, but Daniels soon left the game again for further evaluation. ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported later that he was in the concussion protocol and would miss the rest of the game.

The Dangerous Daniels

Arguably no quarterback outside of Carson Beck has elevated their draft hopes the way Daniels’ has with his performance in 2023. In nine games, Daniels has thrown for 2,792 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions. He has also averaged 11.3 yards per attempt as a passer.

But his impact goes well beyond the passing attack. Daniels is also the team’s leading rusher. He’s rushed for 684 yards on 103 attempts, which is an incredible feat, considering college football counts sacks as part of a player’s rushing stats.

MORE: SEC Standings, 2023

But there’s also a problem with Daniels as a runner. The 6’4″, 210-pound passer plays the game like he’s the same size as Josh Allen, the quarterback or the pass rusher. But he truly acts like the Bills’ QB, taking unnecessary hits at an incredibly alarming rate.

Some hits he has taken in 2023 make onlookers and TV watchers wince from their seats.

Jayden Daniels Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Manipulates second and third-level defenders
  • Spot zone coverage annihilator
  • Great quick game feel
  • Intermediate rhythm throws are automatic
  • Creativity to escape pressure
  • Lack of panic under pressure
  • Disciplined feet create throwing hallways vs. pressure
  • Quick release
  • Explosive lateral mover with good vision

Weaknesses

  • Moderate velocity
  • Absolutely no contact balance
  • Inconsistent release sporadically leads to horrendous wobblers
  • Has “on” and “off” days regarding ball placement
  • Post-snap coverage rotations can catch him by surprise

Current Draft Projection and Summary

There’s a lot to like about Daniels. He’s a naturally accurate passer to all three levels of the field with more than enough velocity to place passes into NFL windows.

Even if Daniels never elevates his draft stock enough to get a shot to start immediately at the NFL level, his skill set is a perfect fit as a backup.

His experience and passing prowess make him an enticing Day 2 option. Teams fielding aging quarterbacks could look to him as an option. But offenses that rely heavily on QB runs could also bring him in as a high-end backup option early in his career as insurance for a mobile starter.

Teams with mobile QBs that implement a heavy dose of RPOs mixed with vertical passing concepts would be a perfect fit.

It’s almost impossible to argue that he’s done anything but elevate his draft stock to the level of a Day 2 passer. He’s had a monster season while Nussmeier breathing down his neck, it will say a lot about Daniels’ mental makeup.

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