OC James Daniels, Iowa

6’3” – 306 lbs. – 5.25

Profile: 

  • Started two of fourteen games at left guard as a true freshman, then eleven and twelve at center in each of the two subsequent seasons, respectively. Declared for the draft early and is just twenty years old.

 Positives: 

  • Has a solid build for a pro lineman on the inside; very thick, with a bubble butt. Scheme- and position-versatile prospect who has played both center and guard and should have no trouble in either an inline or zone blocking scheme. Very athletic blocker who was often asked to pull and has the explosiveness and short-area quickness to get to the edge and lead the way for ballcarriers. Capable of crossing an opponent’s face and hooking them. Climbs to the second level with ease. Has a good work rate and tries to stick with his man through the whistle. Plus balance; doesn’t lunge or overextend himself and rarely ends up on the ground. Keeps his feet churning after contact. Powerful hands to turn defenders out of the hole. Handles power easily in pass protection. Gets good extension in pass protection and can play from his seat. Very advanced for his age.

Negatives:

  • Thicker than he is tall or long. Doesn’t generate a ton of push in the run game. Can struggle to square up opponents. Overruns the spot at times when attempting to secure blocks on the move, whether at the second level or in space generally. Gets more upright the further he gets from his starting position. Could be a little bit more aggressive in terms of seeking out opponents to block in pass protection; too many pass snaps where he doesn’t engage opponents. Temperament leaves a little bit to be desired; gives plenty of effort but isn’t a particularly nasty player and doesn’t always finish his blocks. Drew nine penalties over the past two seasons. Underwent knee surgery prior to the 2016 season, then missed two games that year with a knee injury and one game as a senior, so medical flags could affect draft stock.

Summary:

  • Polished, scheme-versatile prospect who comes from a program with an excellent reputation for producing NFL offensive linemen, preparing them for the types of concepts and blocking assignments they’ll be asked to handle at the pro level. Has an impressive combination of bulk and athleticism which should allow him to start sooner rather than later at either guard or center, but may be a slightly better fit for the latter. Appears on track to go in either the first or second round.
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