DT DANIEL McCULLERS, TENNESSEE

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6’8” – 351 lbs. – 5.50e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2010: Junior College
2011: Junior College
2012: 39 – 5.5 – 1.0, 2 QBH, 1 FF, 1 PD, 1 BK

OVERVIEW:

Spent his first two seasons at Georgia Military College, then won the starting job at Tennessee in training camp during his first season, 2012, starting seven of the twelve games he appeared in.

POSITIVES:

•    Mammoth who absolutely dwarfs every other player on the field on a consistent basis.
•    Capable of handling double-teams, and draws them fairly frequently given his size.
•    Strong enough to extend and drive blockers back, reestablishing the line of scrimmage.
•    Anchors well against power, doesn’t seem fazed by opposing attempts at run blocking.
•    May not be a true 3-4 nose tackle but should be able to fit someone in a two-gap scheme.
•    Won’t win with speed but can create some pressure on the quarterback with his bull rush.
•    Does a good job of getting his hands up when he’s not able to reach the quarterback.
•    Was able to get his weight under control; coaches have praised his effort and work ethic.

NEGATIVES:

•    Reportedly weighed 395 pounds in junior college, creating weight/conditioning concerns.
•    Could very well be as tall as his listed height, and has problems with leverage as a result.
•    Has played primarily in a four-man front in college, not much odd-front film exists.
•    Height/leverage issues may prevent him from being the true 3-4 nose tackle some expect.
•    Plodding mover who won’t be confused with a one-gap penetrator any time soon.
•    Rather than firing out of his stance, often stands upright immediately after the snap.
•    Generally doesn’t react very quickly to the ball being snapped, one of the last off the line.
•    Doesn’t have very active hands or feet, struggling to quickly shed blocks as a result.
•    Was forced to spend two seasons in community college to become academically eligible.

SUMMARY:

McCullers comes with concerns about his weight, intelligence, and leverage, and he certainly won’t appeal to teams seeking a one-gap tackle, but he possesses rare size and a rare anchor, allowing him to easily hold his ground against single (and occasionally even double-team) blocks. Because McCullers is so tall, and because not much film exists of him in odd defensive fronts, it will require some projection to imagine him manning the nose tackle position in a 3-4 defense, although it’s also possible that he could work his way into a two-gap front as an oversized five-technique defensive end. The world theory should allow him to work his way into the third or fourth round despite the question marks which surround him. RD 3

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