1) Introduction: The selection of Mike Daniels in last year’s draft was a little baffling; where was he exactly supposed to play? He wasn’t tall enough to play defensive end or outside linebacker, and wasn’t big enough to play nose tackle. In the end, Daniels became a defensive end with a pass rushing specialty where his quickness and relatively smaller size allowed him to slip through blocks easier.
- Age: 23
- Born: 05/05/1989, in Blackwood, NJ
- Height: 6’0″
- Weight: 294
- College: Iowa
- Rookie Year: 2012
- NFL Experience: 0 years
3) Expectations coming into the season: Realistically zero. It was a pretty big risk to draft a player who didn’t really “look the part” of a 3-4 defensive player. Obviously he wasn’t going to have much success against the run due to his size, so most bets were that he would bolster the pass rush.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Thrust into a more prominent with the injuries to BJ Raji and CJ Wilson, Daniels played fairly well for a rookie. His best performance was in week 14 against the Detroit Lions where he played just under half of the defensive snaps and recorded a quarterback hurry, a blocked pass, a tackle and one negative offensive play. His lowlight was week 17 against the Vikings where he only saw 5 snaps but managed to get man handled against the run.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: While minimal, Daniels managed to hold his own when he was the starter in the middle of the season. While he may never overcome his physical limitations, Daniels does provide good depth and some pass rush in a DL rotation.
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Daniels played sparingly in both playoff games and failed to grade out well in either game. Overall, not great but not terrible for a 4th round rookie.
Season Report Card:
(C) Level of expectations met during the season
(C) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(D) Contributions to team during the playoffs
Overall Grade: C-——————
Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.