Jayden Daniels getting Lamar Jackson comparisons is disrespectful to Ravens star

Daniels is good but not on Jackson's level yet

Florida v LSU
Florida v LSU / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

Everyone around the league is searching for someone who can emulate what Baltimore Ravens MVP Lamar Jackson can do as both an accurate thrower and a game-breaking runner. Some seem to believe that 2024 NFL Draft prospect and former LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels can be a convincing facsimile.

While USC's Caleb Williams and North Carolina's Drake Maye will likely be the first two picks in this draft, Daniels has cemented himself as QB3, with the New England Patriots projected by many to take him. After Lamar took a ton of slings and arrows from the draft community as a prospect that caused him to slip, Daniels has benefitted and shot up the draft boards.

This has led to some hyperbolic conversations surrounding Daniels (a fine prospect in his own right) that could blow reasonable expectations out of the water. ESPN's Matt Miller (subscription required) started the unreasonable hype train, making a very controversial comparison between Daniels to Jackson.

Daniels is a first-round player, much like Jackson, but this comparison ignores all the challenges Jackson faced at Louisville while seemingly signing the LSU product up for a similar career in the pros. Maybe we should leave the Lamar comparisons to the side for a little bit? Just a thought.

ESPN comparing Jayden Daniels to Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is foolish

Jackson had to do everything for Louisville, as he only once had one RB who topped 100 carries beside him and did not play with two first-round locks at wide receiver in Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr. Jackson won a Heisman with his best targets being Cole Hikutini (2 NFL catches) and Dez Fitzpatrick (waived after preseason as a rookie fourth-round pick).

The coaching gap between Brian Kelly and Bobby Petrino is cavernous. While Daniels is a solid runner, and perhaps a more accurate passer than Jackson was in college, the unique playmaking ability that Lamar had at the collegiate level isn't present in Daniels.

Daniels and Jackson aren't necessarily identical prospects just because they're both tremendous runners and scramblers who can throw accurately without world-class arm strength. Between this and all of those trying to make Caleb Williams seem like the second coming of Patrick Mahomes, the Draft community might need to relax for a few seconds when discussing these quarterbacks.

Perhaps if Daniels wins a few MVPs by the time he's 27 with minimal amazing wide receivers around him, winning all but one combined vote in the process, the comparisons may end up valid and not disrespectful.