40: 4.73 (Campus)
PROS: A good athlete with a tall frame. Can play with his hand off the ground and shows the straight-line speed and burst to be a factor on the edge. Can make plays in pursuit and has a very good motor that doesn't quit on play. Shows ability to hold point of attack when facing tight ends.
CONS: Needs to add bulk to play on the line. Gets engulfed and pushed back at the poitn of attack, and struggles to get leverage vs. the run there. Needs to work on getting off blocks better against linemen. Doesn't have a great first step to consistently challenge the corner, nor the short-area burst to turn it. Needs to improve his hand use and lacks pass rush moves, relying on his quickness. Doesn't break down well in space and needs to do a better job wrapping up when tackling. Doesn't play with great recognition when playing contain on the edge.
OVERVIEW: Daniels is a tweener as a defensive end/linebacker that projects better at the latter on the next level. He was Cincy's top pass rusher this past year with 8.5 scks and 11 tackles for loss, his first and only as a full-time starter. He transferred to Cincinnati in 2007 after being dismissed from Minnesota after being convicted of sexual assault. The year before, he worked as a running back rushing 67 times for 309 yards (4.6 avg) and 5 touchdowns. As a freshamn in '05, he played linebacker.
NFL FORECAST: I think Daniels is best slimming down to play linebacker on the next level. He's just more effective as a stand-up pass rusher than he is with his hand on the ground. If he can get down to the 250-255 range that would be ideal. But he's limited there as well, because he doesn't have the recognition and ability to play in space that you would like a guy to play the run. Mainly he'll be a decent pass rusher off the corner that impresses because of his high motor, but he'll have to play in a scheme where he's limited with his responsibilities vs. the run and in coverage. And because of that, I don't ever see him being a starter, but he could be a decent backup. As an end, he's undersized and would have to bulk up, as well as make significant improvements to his technique. Has has decent quickness, but not enough to be more than a 2-4 sack guy on the next level even if he develops, and most of those will come from his motor and coverage sacks. A team might like his motor enough to give him a shot in the rotation, but he's really just a practice squad body. It's going to be hard for him to stick because of his tweener nature and even if he does he'll be buried on the depth chart.
ATL FORECAST: Daniels could compete at defensive end, and if the Falcons like his motor enough could land a practice squad spot. But he's not going to make the roster because he is not a better prospect than Sidbury, Biermann, or Davis. But even if he did stick on the practice squad as a rookie, I wouldn't expect him to make the significant improvements vs. the run and with his technique to stick the following summer.
VALUE: Daniels is worth a look in camp, but his tweener status would make me very reluctant to draft him.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.