How does Jayden Daniels compare to Caleb Williams and Drake Maye? | The Exempt List

Yahoo Sports NFL writer Charles McDonald is joined by Nate Tice to discuss the similarities and differences among three standout quarterbacks in this year's draft class. Hear the full conversation on “The Exempt List with Charles McDonald” - part of the “Zero Blitz” podcast - and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Video Transcript


CHARLES MCDONALD: Where are you on Jayden Daniels, especially in relation to Caleb Williams or Drake Maye?

NATE TICE: Going into this process, I thought he was maybe closer. And there's just such a huge tier difference between Maye and Williams and Daniels. I think Maye and Williams are prizes. I think both legit top-five graded guys to me. And then I think Daniels is a tier, maybe even a tier and a half below that. I currently have a late first, early second on him. And it's more of an early second now after I've studied him.

First off is the size. Anything under 210, much less 205 which he might weigh in at, is very concerning. And he's maxed out, it looks like too. Just this frame and everything, it doesn't look like a frame that looks like it's still growing. He's already older. He's 23.

I think other things, too, is that he always chooses to scramble in which I-- it's like, yeah, if you run a 4.4, go for it. But he's not very creative. He is one, two, three, I'm throwing the ball or I'm scrambling right away, as opposed to maybe extending a play in that middle area of extending a play and then throwing. He doesn't run to throw. He runs to run. But he's 203 pounds, 202 pounds. You can't take that beating at the next level if that's how you're going to win.

Just leaves some concern because this is where he's at. I also don't think he has overwhelming arm strength. It's more above average. And I think he's pretty accurate though. I will give him that. Actually, he reminds me a lot of a guy like Justin Fields or Jalen Hurts when they came out. But again, those guys are 30 pounds heavier.

Having said that, he does a lot of nice things. I know I'm bringing up a lot of negatives. But this is just the difference between him and the maybe a guy like Caleb or Drake Maye, who I think checks a lot more boxes and checks them at a higher level.

CHARLES MCDONALD: You talked about creativity as a runner. And I know that it's like a meme with him when people are discussing his play about how reckless he can be and how much he's running into people and being reckless in traffic. You can survive some of those hits in college. But if you're going to be someone who's trying to run over NFL defensive tackles and NFL linebackers, I don't really think that that's going to go well for him. Cam Newton was that kind of runner at times, but he was 260 pounds.


CHARLES MCDONALD: He was bigger than the guys who would tackle him. It's not the exact same for Jayden.

NATE TICE: Yeah, it's way more underwhelming than I thought. Throwing-wise, I just-- there wasn't those wow throws. Solid in that area, and I think that is what's nice. It's just-- again, it's just not that overwhelming juice with the arm. Again, that throw creativity. I don't see him throwing guys open. But having said that, his accuracy is good.

And when he works underneath, and works to the sideline, he does-- he can ball place and throw away from those types of guys. I just don't see those movement throws. And when I watch guys at the next level, that's what they're doing. Just like it's not as clean as maybe I sometimes want to be. It's not bad. Again, it's above average. But again, it's just not as clean, especially if you watch these other guys.