Jayden Daniels Insists His Elbow Is “Perfectly Fine” Despite Viral Photo Strongly Suggesting Otherwise

Jayden Daniels

It’s so funny what happens right before the NFL Draft. Without fail, every single year, any number of silly anecdotes are widely debated as the top prospects get picked apart. When it comes to LSU Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels, who’s the favorite to be drafted second behind Caleb Williams, a still frame of his right throwing elbow has been the subject of scrutiny of late.

Forget all the funny folk with egg X/Twitter profile pics. Let’s listen to Dr. David Chao break it down, since he has 17 years of experience in the NFL as a head team physician.

The thing with perceived medical red flags is, all 32 teams are going to have 32 slightly varying opinions on how comfortable they feel clearing a player. Look no further than Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who confirmed his clean medicals at the Combine and still managed a 4.5-ish 40-yard dash despite two ACL tears in his past.

But Penix’s issues are, like, actually real. The Jayden Daniels elbow freak show seems to me like more of a case of weird lighting, odd camera angle and bizarrely perfect timing that adds up to unfounded concern. In case Dr. Chao’s analysis doesn’t suffice, here’s Daniels himself putting to rest any notion of a problem with that golden right arm of his.

Reactions to Daniels’ elbow have been admittedly hilarious, yet at a certain point, it just becomes another unnecessary subplot to the pre-draft proceedings. Nevertheless, it was probably a smart move on his part to put out a clarifying statement before he goes on all those team visits.

Again, it’s looking like he’ll go No. 2 overall to the Washington Commanders, although all the buzz around Michigan QB JJ McCarthy could mean we’re on for a shock on draft night.

To be honest, the McCarthy to Washington buzz makes some sense to me. His experience in a pro-style offense and status as a “winner” in college meshes with the new Commanders regime. Think about it. They included ex-Warriors GM Bob Myers on their coaching search, and landed on a proven, winning coach in Dan Quinn. New GM Adam Peters spent seven years in the 49ers’ front office. They won a whole lot of games with Jimmy Garoppolo and Brock Purdy. McCarthy fits a similar “game manager” type of mold, except with a much stronger arm than either of those guys.

Daniels can be a little reckless with his body when he takes off to run. Another strong candidate to go second overall, Drake Maye, makes a lot of splash plays and has major upside, but is a straight-up mess when it comes to footwork and fundamentals. C0mparisons to Justin Herbert and Josh Allen are, frankly, offensive to Herbert and Allen, and are unfair to Maye. Asking him to carry a franchise from Day 1 is a tall order. Between those drawbacks from Daniels and Maye, along with Penix’s injury history, I feel like McCarthy emerging as the second pick isn’t as outrageous as it sounds on first pass.

One thing that definitively will not hinder Daniels ‘draft stock whatsoever is his throwing elbow, though. The young man can sling it. Daniels completed 72.2% of his passes last season for 3,812 yards, 40 TDs and only four INTs. He also ran for over 1,100 yards and 10 more TDs. In the SEC, no less. Roll the reel!

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock