Jayden Daniels entered the 2024 NFL Draft process in a quarterback pecking order that was dominated by Caleb Williams and Drake Maye. After his performance at LSU’s Pro Day, the pecking order continues to shift, and it’s possible Daniels moves his way into QB1 on draft night.

Heading into the 2024 season, the idea of Daniels going No. 1 overall or becoming the top QB selected was unthinkable. Williams, the Heisman Trophy winner in 2022, is viewed by many to have potential on the level of Patrick Mahomes, and Maye has been QB2 throughout that time span.

Oddsmakers have not shifted their outlook to this point, at least when it comes to Williams. ESPN Bet still has USC’s star at -5000 to be the No. 1 overall pick, but Daniels has climbed into the second spot on those odds at +1200. Fans can track all the odds and line movement heading into April with SDS’s Louisiana mobile sports betting links and apps.

Though oddsmakers still favor Williams, it ultimately will come down to the evaluations of the Chicago Bears. As for Daniels, ESPN’s Louis Riddick continues to be high on LSU’s star and is ready to proclaim the reigning Heisman winner as the best QB available.

“When you get up close with Jayden Daniels, which is critical… You see that this is a guy who is almost 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds,” said Riddick while saying Daniels is well put together in his lower body. Riddick also compared Daniels’ pro day to CJ Stroud’s last year.

Stroud would become the No. 2 pick in the draft but had the best season of any rookie QB in 2023. He led a swift turnaround with the Houston Texans, including an appearance in the playoffs.

“I thought that this guy should be QB No. 1… After looking at him in person, there is no doubt in my mind,” said Riddick in regard to Daniels.

What other analysts are saying about Daniels

On Friday, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. updated his list of top prospects in the draft. He moved Daniels up his list but only to the No. 2 slot, still coming in line behind Williams.

Kiper’s analysis on the top prospects is insightful, but it’s possible Mike Greenberg said it best. He explained Williams had not yet taken his visit or physical with the Chicago Bears, a key point in the process:

“I think there are tea leaves to be read that suggest that there is still a twist or a turn to be taken here,” predicted Greenberg. “… There has been this smoke around Caleb Williams preferring not to go to Chicago for a while. It has never turned into a fire, and he has said the right things. But, until he shows up there, there are still some boxes to be checked before the Bears can take (Williams) 1-1.

“You’re telling me right now it is 12-to-1 that Jayden Daniels would be the first pick in the draft and that’s not team-specific? I think that’s an interesting bet, I don’t think it’s impossible that happens.”

Greenberg went on to explain consensus on the idea truly doesn’t matter as it ultimately boils down to what the Chicago Bears believe. That’s why he’s trying to read the signs involving Daniels and Williams in the pre-draft process.

We’ll soon find out if the smoke around Daniels’ draft stock is for real, but he’s undoubtedly lining up to be a key early pick after his development in Baton Rouge.