Jayden Daniels Vikings’, Raiders’ Preferred Trade-Up Target?

Competition for a top-three selection will intensify if one of the Bears’, Commanders’ or Patriots’ selections becomes available. Of those, New England’s appears to be the likeliest to be moved (although it very much remains to be seen if the team is willing to move out of the opportunity to add a potential franchise quarterback at that spot).

Nevertheless, the fourth (Cardinals) and fifth (Chargers) picks are known to be on the market. As a result, QB-needy teams will have options to maneuver closer to the top of the board. Both the Vikings and Raiders have been named as trade-up candidates, and ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports Minnesota and Las Vegas could find themselves in competition with each other to pursue a passer.

Specifically, Graziano adds Jayden Daniels is a likely target for the Vikings and Raiders. The reigning Heisman winner has a visit scheduled with both teams, the latter of which has a well-documented connection with him. Vegas head coach Antonio Pierce worked with Daniels during their time together at Arizona State, and links have subsequently been made to a trade-up effort on the Raiders’ part with the LSU alum as the target. Aidan O’Connell is still positioned to compete for the staring spot in 2024, but Pierce has essentially confirmed a signal-caller will be drafted next month.

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The Vikings, meanwhile, have the draft capital to aggressively move up the board. Currently set to select 11th overall, Minnesota also has No. 23 after pulling off a pick swap with the Texans. The fourth overall pick is a reported potential landing spot, and it would come as little surprise if the Vikings jumped further ahead of teams like the Raiders (who own pick No. 13) but also the Giants (No. 6) to land their preferred developmental passer.

Notably, the most recent reporting on the matter indicated J.J. McCarthy could be the target of a trade-up on Minnesota’s part. In any case, the addition of a Day 1 option to develop behind Sam Darnold – who signed a one-year deal to serve as a short-term Kirk Cousins replacement – would represented the expected outcome in this situation.

McCarthy has seen his stock rise in draft circles recently, but Daniels has long been considered part of the top tier of QB prospects (alongside presumed No. 1 pick Caleb Williams and UNC’s Drake Maye, whose landing spot will be a crucial determining factor in Daniels’ fate). With each passer’s Pro Day now in the books, attention will shift to personal visits and private workouts as the draft draws nearer and teams such as the Vikings and Raiders continue their evaluations.

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