Home » LSU’s Jayden Daniels picked No. 2 in NFL Draft

LSU’s Jayden Daniels picked No. 2 in NFL Draft

by Russell Hedges

LSU Athletic Communications; featured photo by Robert Summerlin

DETROIT – It only took 20 minutes into the NFL Draft for LSU’s Jayden Daniels to hear his named called as the quarterback was selected No. 2 overall by the Washington Commanders. 

Daniels joins Joe Burrow (2020), JaMarcus Russell (2007) and Bert Jones (1973) as LSU quarterbacks selected either No. 1 or 2 in the NFL Draft. Burrow (Bengals) and Russell (Raiders) were No. 1 picks, while Jones was the second overall selection by the Baltimore Colts.

Daniels, the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner, becomes highest-drafted player for LSU coach Brian Kelly in his 33-year collegiate career. Daniels also became LSU’s 50th first round pick, which ranks No. 9 among all college programs.

In two years with the Tigers, Daniels guided LSU to 20 wins and a berth in the SEC Championship Game in 2022. As a fifth-year senior in 2023, he led the nation in several categories including total offense (412.2), points responsible for per game (25.2), rushing yards by a quarterback (1,134) and yards per play (10.71). His nation’s best passer rating of 208.0 ranks the highest in FBS history.  

“I’m ready to get to work,” Daniels said moments after getting selected. “(Washington) is going to get everything out of me – a competitor, a hard worker. I can’t wait to get there and meet my new teammates.”

In 12 games in 2023, Daniels threw 40 TD passes and ran for another 10 scores becoming only the fifth player in SEC history to account for 50 touchdowns in a single-season. He capped his final season with the Tigers completing 236-of-327 passes for 3,812 yards. He joined Johnny Manziel as the only players in SEC history to pass for 3,500 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

In a November win over Florida in Tiger Stadium, Daniels became the first player in FBS history to rush for 200 yards and pass for 350 yards in a game. In doing so, he also set the SEC mark for total offense with 606 yards (372 passing, 234 rushing) in the 52-35 win over the Gators.

The following week in a win over Georgia State, Daniels accounted for eight touchdowns (6 passing, 2 rushing), tying the previous mark set by Burrow against Oklahoma during the 2019 CFP Semifinals. 

In his final game at LSU, Daniels led the Tigers to a 42-30 win over Texas A&M. In that game, Daniels threw four TD passes and rushed for 120 yards as LSU overcame a double-digit second half deficit, outscoring the Aggies, 28-6 over the final 26 minutes of the contest.

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