James Daniels, C
School: Iowa| Conference: BIG 10
College Experience: Junior | Age: 20?
Height / Weight: 6-3 / 306 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Late 1st or 2nd Round
NFL Comparison: Travis Frederick
James Daniels in just the latest high profile lineman to come out of Iowa and be a potential first-round pick. Like a lot of Iowa lineman, he is going to enter the NFL with an above average ability regarding his technique. You can see it on film and Daniels was lauded at the combine for his movement and fluidity skills by Mike Mayock. His footwork and movement ability are among the best in this class. Time after time Daniels won his matchups with relative ease. His technique is already refined and at an NFL starter caliber level. He controls his opponent through the rep and rarely gives ground. His upper and lower half working in harmony. His hand placement is textbook and he maintains leverage and can move his opponent from their mark. He is an excellent anchor as well and an excellent pull option on the run. He is a smart player an plays with a lot of awareness and nuances that don't show up on the stat sheet but help his team. He's great at recognizing blitzes and picking them up with his initial quickness he also will help out his teammates. I wish he was like 5 lbs heavier, a tad stronger, and more aggressive and mean on the field but those are nitpicking his game. James Daniels is already a starting caliber center in the NFL. His brother LeShun Daniels is currently a running back for the Redskins.
- Good size for the position with excellent athleticism and movement skills.
- Technically proficient in just about every area. He should hit the ground running for a team and be able to start day 1.
- Excellent awareness and ability on the move. Quickness allows him to pick up stunts and blitzes. Fluidity and mirror ability allows him to stay glued to and in control of his opponent. Plays with excellent leverage and balance. Has the speed and athleticism to pull and get to the second level.
- Consistent, dependable and reliable. You don't have to worry about errant snaps or if he's going to get to his assignment on time.
- Footwork and drive are special he can open up some holes.
- Didn’t see much ‘vinegar’ on film. He is no doubt effective but I like a ruthless lineman.
- His technique is his great equalizer but he could probably stand to get a bit stronger and gain a few lbs.
Let’s see his work:
James Daniels video— NFL Draft and 49ers (@JL_Chapman) February 18, 2018
Beyond athletic center that can cut off defenders with ease and has no issues driving off the ball either. Will need to gain some weight but fits every scheme and will go in top 40picks@49ersHive @FPC_NFL @EatSleepFF @HostChuckB #JamesDaniels #IOWA #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/vWpb8H6WsY
Impressive combo block by Iowa C James Daniels (#78) and ORG Sean Welsh (#79) here to spring RB James Butler (#20) for the touchdown against Nebraska. #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/k50pp0zAsF— Kevin Brown (@nfldraftnik) February 17, 2018
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
Daniels is getting a bit more attention now that top center prospect Billy Price is in the process of recovering from the pectoral injury he got at the combine. Daniels will be able to hit the ground running for the team that drafts him. While his movement skills ought to make Center needy teams who use a zone blocking scheme jump for joy I think he would be a good fit in just about every blocking scheme. The weaknesses that I saw were pretty trivial but I think the most outstanding of them is the need to improve his play strength. It seems these Iowa guys come out not lacking technique but lacking size and strength, especially at the interior positions. Daniels only needs to make marginal improvements there before I would say he ticks all the boxes on paper. If Daniels was BPA on the Redskins board in a trade down situation I would welcome him in a heartbeat and gladly slide Chase Roullier over to left guard. A ready-made player like Daniels is not one you pass on lightly. He’s another 10-year guy with the potential to be a multi-time pro bowler at his position. I have no idea how important LG is to the team as far as the draft is concerned and I don't know if they would consider moving Roullier to LG if they could upgrade the center position. At the time of this writing, the Redskins have no clear option at the LG position. Given Roulliers experience at LG in college, it wouldn’t be out of the question if I were on the coaching staff. His technical proficiency and ability to remain stout as well as move opponents would bode well for the team on all downs.