After Shaky Visit in DC, is Jayden Daniels Trying to Force His Way to Vikings?

Minnesota Vikings, Jayden Daniels

Some fans may be restless, while others can’t get enough of all the Minnesota Vikings rumors leading up to the 2024 NFL Draft. Luckily, you won’t have to wait much longer to learn who the future franchise QB of the Vikings will be, with Thursday rapidly approaching.

Until then, all we can do is continue providing you with the latest Vikings draft rumors worth following, especially involving quarterbacks. We know Caleb Williams is off the board, and that the Vikings seem comfortable selecting any of the other top-three talents, between Jayden Daniels (LSU), Drake Maye (UNC), and J.J. McCarthy (Michigan).

But come on, even the Vikings’ leadership group, led by Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell, are human, right? Even if we’ll never learn who is atop the Vikings’ draft board, they must have a quarterback they prefer over the other options, and it appears they could have a more viable pather to the elite LSU talent than previously expected.

Jayden Daniels to Washington suddenly shaky

Minnesota Vikings, Jayden Daniels
Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio openly pondered whether the Washington Commanders are truly locked into selecting LSU’s Jayden Daniels with the second overall pick. Since then, it’s become a more and more popular question after ambiguous actions have been made by both parties in recent days.

The drama at No. 2 started heating up when Daniels’ agent, Ron Butler, started informing every NFL insider willing to pick up their phone that his client was set to meet with the Vikings, just one day after Washington brought in a quartet of top prospects (Daniels, McCarthy, Maye, Penix) simultaneously, during their top-30 visits this week.

“It didn’t seem to go over too well with his agent who sounded off on social media that he didn’t seem particularly pleased with the process. Daniels thought it would be a visit for just him, but WAS essentially opened up the process.”

Adam Schefter – ESPN

Related: Patriots ‘Open for Business’ at No. 3, but Vikings are Only Team Interested

The narrative being pushed by Daniels’ own camp recently is that he didn’t appreciate being forced to compete with the those other QBs, this late in the draft process. He sees how the Bears have locked in on Caleb Williams and Jayden wants that same type of treatment in DC.

All of this Daniels (agent)-led subterfuge, has led to serious questions being raised around the league over whether or not Daniels still wants to play for the Commanders.

“The situation is prompting speculation in league circles that Daniels might not want to play for the Commanders. If that’s the case, would the Commanders still take him at No. 2?”

PFT’s Mike Florio on Jayden Daniels

See, now that’s fascinating. While Daniels likely wouldn’t want to pass up on the paycheck he’d receive as the No. 2 overall pick, it’s not ridiculous to think he’d simply prefer to play for a different team. And if Daniels slips past No. 2, guess who has (by far) the most capital to move up and get him?

Could Jayden Daniels be forcing his way to Minnesota Vikings?

It’s not like all of this DC drama is going on, as the Vikings sit silently on the sideline. When Daniels’ agent got upset with the Commanders, he made sure everyone knew about Jayden’s meeting with the Vikings, not other teams.

If Daniels really doesn’t want to play in Washington anymore, it’s very possible a behind-the-scenes battle is taking place to ‘force’ his way to a more cushy landing spot in Minnesota. Don’t rule it out. The relationship between the Vikings and Daniels has been an interesting one from the start.

And when there’s this much money, fame and pride on the line, nothing can be ruled out. Plus, it wouldn’t be the first time. As we wrote about recently, both Eli Manning (2004) and John Elway (1983) successfully forced their way to other teams and it worked out in both cases.

Related: Vikings Trying to Complete Trade-Up Before Draft Night

And of all the QB hungry teams, Minnesota has the most to offer, by far. Not only do they boast the best receiver in the NFL, in fellow LSU alum Justin Jefferson, but the Vikings’ offensive roster also boasts a top tight end in T.J. Hockenson and one of the most talented sophomore wideouts in the league, Jordan Addison.

The offensive line also has a strong foundation too, with Christian Darrisaw and Brian O’Neill at the two tackle spots (both under contract until at least 2025). And all that is before we get into the Kevin O’Connell and Josh McCown factor.

These are two highly respected offensive minds, thanks to their past experience as former NFL quarterbacks. That duo is expected to provide invaluable insight to whichever QB prospect holds the purple and gold jersey next Thursday night.

Related: Confirmed: Justin Jefferson is a No-Show at First Vikings Offseason Workout

We know there are still a few days to go before the first round kicks off, but things are definitely getting more interesting as the Vikings continue their chase for their next face of the franchise to partner with employee No. 18.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: