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Could Dorian O’Daniel Be Su’a Cravens Replacement?

Hogs Haven takes a look at 2018 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

NCAA Football: ACC Championship-Clemson vs Miami Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Dorian O’Daniel, LB
School: Clemson | Conference: ACC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 23
Height / Weight: 6-0 / 223 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 2nd Round
NFL Comparison: Su’a Cravens

College Statistics

Player Overview

Dorian O’Daniel was a 4-star prospect out of Olney, Maryland. He received a bevy of offers from top football programs all over the country but decided to take his talents to Clemson. O’Daniel got playing time right away and has improved each year of his college career. He is an outside linebacker who Clemson had covering the flat, slot, dropping back into deep zone coverage, blitzing, and playing the run. He’s only played one position but O’Daniel could be quite versatile. O’Daniel plays with excellent speed, flexibility, and fluidity. He also shows good awareness and ability to play in space as well as create pressure. O’Daniel certainly can be a 4-3 OLB at the next level but he could also be an exciting hybrid playing in the mold of Deone Buchanon, Su’a Cravens, and Shaq Thompson. At times he is overaggressive in his angles and pursuit speed and can overshoot an opponent. As he has never played safety like the aforementioned players his actual coverage skills particularly in man coverage can be greatly improved. O’Daniel is a day 1 starter at outside linebacker and has plenty of upside and the skills to play inside or nickel.


  • Excellent build, speed, athleticism for the position.
  • Excellent fluidity and flexibility. Instincts and read and react ability is there. He can make plays a lot of guys make in space miss. Works off second level blocks. His change of direction ability is up there with the best prospects in the class at the position if not others.
  • Versatile player that was used in a lot of different roles at Clemson. He can rush the passer, create pressure in the backfield, cover running backs and tight ends and even slot receivers.
  • Has a really good motor and can close on targets in a hurry with intentions to deliver a good hit. Tackling technique is solid and his tackle production is really impressive for an OLB.
  • His special teams ability has been noted by coaches and scouts as being very impressive. He has a nose for the football and will do what is asked of him.


  • If not drafted by a 4-3 team what is his position?
  • Coverage skills need work. He gives up separation in man coverage and was burned a couple times.
  • Gets caught up linemen when asked to rush off the edge. Doesn't have the length or strength to take on tackles if he doesn't win with his speed or quickness.

Let’s see his work:

More Dorian O’Daniel videos

How He Would Fit On The Redskins

If Walter is correct in his reports then the Redskins may indeed have some interest in O’Daniel. The easy transition for him would be to remain a 4-3 outside linebacker but he could be used in a variety of ways in a 3-4 or nickel alignment. O’Daniel played behind one of the best defensive lines in the country which may have three first-round picks come next year. They kept him clean and no doubt helped him make his living in the backfield at times. Still, O’Daniels quickness, speed, and fluidity are among the best in the class and he should offer value as a pass rusher, run defender, in coverage, and on special teams. The Redskins may want to use a player like O’Daniel the way they were planning using Cravens. Have him work inside first then possibly move out to nickel and cover among other things. A player like O’Daniels gives defenses tremendous flexibility. What he is not is an outside linebacker in a 3-4. He does not have the size length or strength to play there. He also isn't a safety. But he does have the skills to cover tight ends slot opponents and the backfield. He has some technique issues to work out specifically in coverage but he should be able to hit the ground immediately for a 4-3 team and be worked in gradually with a team like the Redskins.