Jayden Daniels is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner but he is not the current favorite to become the top pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. That distinction belongs to USC star Caleb Williams, though the outlook could be shifting.

With the NFL Combine going on this week in Indianapolis, quarterback prospects on hand met with the media Friday morning. Though Daniels and Williams are both not throwing on Saturday, the two took the chance to meet with teams throughout the interview process.

Coming out of that process, ESPN’s Louis Riddick hammered on Daniels’ potential and what he deemed as a near-flawless performance during 2023. Riddick pointed to Daniels’ extreme efficiency, elite throwing mechanics and dual-threat capabilities as what stands out.

“The one thing people really want to knock this young man on is some of his decision-making when it comes to taking big hits, and he took some absolute haymakers this year,” Riddick admitted. “Outside of that, you cannot find many flaws with the way this guy played this year. You just can’t.”

As for the gap between Williams and Daniels, Riddick said some in the NFL believe LSU’s star is the better quarterback available. Of course, that doesn’t mean the Chicago Bears will take the chance on Daniels, but it’s possible Daniels can develop into the better pro of the two.

“His game translates perfectly to the NFL, and I’m telling you this: … There are people who think this guy is the best quarterback in the draft,” said Riddick. “That doesn’t mean he’s going to go No. 1, but I right now have them neck-and-neck… He may wind up the best pro. We’ll see, but him and Caleb, to me, are one and one.”

Williams continues to lead the NFL Draft odds as the likely No. 1 pick. Fans can stay up to date with the latest odds via SDS’s Louisiana sports betting apps.

Riddick is not alone

While Williams remains the likely No. 1 overall pick, Riddick is not alone in his belief that Daniels has closed the gap as potentially the best QB available. Dan Orlovsky recently went in depth with his belief that Daniels should be the No. 1 overall pick.

His belief dates back to October, and he believes it is Daniels’ individual performance against Florida that helps set LSU’s QB apart.

Ultimately, Daniels might be the best playmaker available in the draft, but there could be some benefit to not becoming the No. 1 pick by the Bears. Chicago has shown its historical struggles to develop the position, and winding up elsewhere could benefit Daniels in the long run.

For now, it’s an interesting debate between Daniels and Williams, and their NFL careers will undoubtedly be tracked closely, no matter where the two wind up.