NFL Draft Rumors: ‘Worst-Kept Secret’ That Jayden Daniels and Raiders Have Mutual Interest

Despite being a consensus top draft choice, Jayden Daniels' reported interest in the Las Vegas Raiders isn't some smokescreen.

Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jayden Daniels is expected by many to be one of the top quarterbacks of the 2024 NFL Draft, and he’s a favorite to be a top-three overall pick.

Despite his potential future with either the Washington Commanders or the New England Patriots, Daniels has interest in another team — one that seemingly won’t be in striking distance for him, at least right now.

And the latest rumors suggest that the interest is mutual.

Jayden Daniels, Raiders Have ‘Mutual Interest’

CBS NFL Reporter Jonathan Jones called Daniels’ perceived interest in the Las Vegas Raiders — and the Raiders’ interest in Daniels — the “worst-kept secret” in NFL circles right now.

“Antonio Pierce was with Daniels at Arizona State, and sources say Pierce would love to have Daniels in Las Vegas,” Jones wrote. “But there’s no transfer portal [in the NFL]. As one GM said recently, in the NFL, ‘The rabbit has the gun.'”

MORE: Top QBs in the 2024 NFL Draft

The latest tidbit came from the very real fact that Daniels may not make it within striking distance of the Raiders.

The Commanders have reportedly denied all potential calls with teams for the second overall pick and appear settled in their quarterback evaluation.

Daniels, to his credit and as reported by Jones, has stated his desire to play for whatever team drafts him.

In five seasons of college football for both Arizona State and LSU, Daniels passed for over 12,000 yards with 89 touchdowns.Daniels’ final season with the Tigers saw the dual-threat quarterback total 50 offensive touchdowns and win the Heisman Trophy to boot.

Simply put, there’s a reason why there’s interest between the Raiders and Daniels’ camp.

Raiders Depth Chart

On paper, a glance at the Raiders’ roster tells of a team talented enough to compete in a difficult AFC West but a quarterback away from actually doing so.

If the season began today, second-year quarterback Aidan O’Connell would be the starting quarterback, with recently signed Gardner Minshew penciled in as the immediate backup.

While Minshew and O’Connell have both shown a level of competency during their careers, it’s hard to envision either quarterback leading the Raiders to the Super Bowl any time soon.

At the very least, that’s what makes Las Vegas’ interest in the quarterback position sensible.

The harder part will be how the Raiders can find a way to trade up for Daniels, or if they are comfortable with the second tier of rookie quarterbacks like Michael Penix or Bo Nix.

Vegas currently owns the 13th overall pick in the 2024 Draft and two picks inside the top 50. While they own both of their first and second-round picks in 2025, more will be needed to facilitate a potential trade into the top five.

That’s even if Daniels falls past the Commanders at No. 2 overall.

Should Washington be spooked by Daniels’ perceived interest elsewhere, they could ultimately decide on North Carolina star Drake Maye, allowing the Raiders to try to trade up with the Patriots for the third overall pick.

Despite it being unlikely any of that happens, Daniels’ and the Raiders’ mutual interest is another intriguing piece to the draft puzzle this year.

KEEP READING: Full Las Vegas Raiders Depth Chart

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