ARIZONA STATE FOOTBALL

Jayden Daniels talks potential Arizona State reunion with Raiders’ Antonio Pierce, landing spots

Mar 1, 2024, 10:29 AM | Updated: 12:38 pm

Quarterbacks run this 2024 NFL Draft, with the characters behind likely No. 1 pick Caleb Williams having everything to do with what happens down the line of the selection order. LSU’s Heisman winner Jayden Daniels and North Carolina’s Drake Maye are widely projected as fellow top-three draft picks with the Bears, Commanders and Patriots owning the first trio of selections.

There is room for chaos to ensue before the Arizona Cardinals are on the board, and tying Arizona things together, there is the potential for trade-ups to shake up the draft ahead of the No. 4 pick.

Former Arizona State associate head coach, recruiting coordinator and defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce coached Daniels in Tempe and is now the Las Vegas Raiders’ head coach on the search for a franchise quarterback.

“AP is a great guy, he’s the right guy for the job,” Daniels told CBS Sports at the NFL Scouting Combine on Friday. “If … I hear my name called on draft day, if I hear my phone ring and it’s AP, I don’t know what I’ll do. We’ll see.

“Right now, I’m just blessed. I’ll take it day by day, I’ll let everybody (else) handle that. That’s what they’re for. I’m focused on being the best player, best version of myself.”

The quarterback threw for 3,812 yards on a 72% completion rate to win the Heisman at LSU.

Daniels threw 40 touchdowns to four interceptions in 2023 and added 1,134 rushing yards with 10 more scores.

Jayden Daniels addresses Arizona State stop, potential NFL Draft landing spots

He spent the last two seasons with the Tigers after a three-year run at Arizona State, where he played for former head coach Herm Edwards and Pierce before transferring. Daniels said he’s talked about his NFL process with former Sun Devils Brandon Aiyuk of the 49ers and Rachaad White from the Buccaneers.

“I walked my journey. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I wouldn’t trade how I got here, how long I took, anything like that,” he told reporters at the combine podium. “When I transferred I just wanted to go out and have the opportunity to compete against the best. In the SEC, you play the best competition, the best football.”

Daniels said Friday that he’s met with a handful of teams seeking franchise quarterbacks: the Bears, Commanders, Patriots, Falcons, Broncos, Saints, Raiders and Giants.

If Williams is truly off the board at No. 1 and the Bears move on from Justin Fields at quarterback, then Washington under former Cardinals coach and new offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury could have their pick of Daniels, Maye or others. They are searching for answers with Sam Howell coming off an underwhelming season.

New England is still searching for its Tom Brady replacement after failed runs with Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe. The Patriots, according to MassLive.com’s Karen Guregian, aim to draft a quarterback third overall and sign a veteran starter to slow-play whichever rookie they land.

“Wherever God puts me at, wherever I hear my name drafted is the best situation for me,” Daniels said. “I’m going to get there, I’m going to go to work, put my head down and work.”

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