Mike Daniels Fitting in Nicely with the Giants Along the Packers Defensive Line

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Mike Daniels tries to chase down RGIII

While Packers first-round pick Datone Jones got the hype, Johnny Jolly grabbed the headlines and B.J. Raji wondered aloud about a new contract, Mike Daniels kept plugging away.

The undersized fourth-round pick out of Iowa made the team out of training camp and has been the most disruptive Packers pass rusher on the defensive line this season.

Despite playing only 74 of a possible 198 snaps Daniels leads the defensive line in QB hurries (3) and is one of only two defensive lineman to record a sack. He also has four solo stops — the same as B.J. Raji and Ryan Pickett, who have played 115 and 95 snaps, respectively.

Daniels won’t overwhelm anyone with his size and strength, but he makes up for it with explosiveness, athleticism, and a motor that runs on high all the time. He’s kind of the DuJuan Harris of the defensive line — a rolling ball of butcher knives that is all over you before you know it.

Take a look at this video of Daniels sacking Andy Dalton.

Daniels didn’t dominate the offensive lineman and make a highlight-reel sack, but he stood his ground and used his quickness and burst to disengage and make a play once Dalton tried to escape the pocket.

Do Raji, Pickett or Jolly have the athleticism to make a play like that? Maybe. But Daniels for sure has it, and he’s an excellent complement to the slower behemoths that make up the rest of the Packers defensive line.

As Jones goes through the same struggles that most rookie defensive lineman go through, Daniels has stepped up and provided the pass rush and versatility that many thought Jones would provide out of the game.

Now that Daniels has put several exceptional plays on film, we’ll see if he can keep it up as more teams become aware of his ability.

Raji, Pickett and Jolly provide a nice base along the Packers defensive line. Daniels is an excellent change of pace that can provide some much-needed pass rush up front. Will Daniels become more than just a nice change of pace? You could argue that he already has.

We’ll see if he can sustain it.

Editors Note: We interviewed Mike Daniels a few weeks ago on Packers Talk Radio Network. If you missed that, you can listen in here or download it from the Packers Talk Radio Network on Itunes.


Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .


12 thoughts on “Mike Daniels Fitting in Nicely with the Giants Along the Packers Defensive Line

  1. Nice article. Pack needs more push. Like to see Raji quit waiting for the play to come to him and start moving people.

    1. Be patient w/ Jones. Rookie defensive linemen rarely come out and make a major impact right away.

  2. Daniels was one of my favorite picks from that draft. He continues to do everything he did at Iowa. Just make plays with leverage and quickness. The emergence of Daniels and jolly have made this d line look a lot different than last year. It helps that Daniels and jolly are high energy guys that seem to gig the group a little swagger. Is jolly the teams best dl right now? A lot of people pointed to losing Jenkins as the downturn of this D. It looks like jolly had just as big of an impact if not more. If jones and especially perry can make some plaque in the second half of the season this D could look a lot different down the stretch.

    1. If jones and especially perry can make some plaque in the second half of the season this D could look a lot different down the stretch.

      Does that mean they must get in the teeth of the opponent ??

  3. Really like Daniels and im so glad Jolly is back. I’ve been reviewing our games on TVO and I isolate on Jones every time he’s in. No impact at all, yet. Maybe its the ankle, maybe its just inexperience. I hope he and Perry can step up down the stretch, we need it, especially when Clay is out. Glad to see Barnett back, I hope that he stays healthy the rest of the year.

  4. Hmmmmmm…..


    That’s my guy right there. Glad to see people starting to recognize the talent.

  5. Don’t think I’ve seen the D-line in such good shape, Daniels and Jolly have contributed more than what I hoped they would, and Pickett and Raji have played very well. Wilson is stout also. Need to make something of it this year, or new guys will have to step up. Think they’re going to lose a couple to free agency.

  6. Thanks for stating the completely obvious! Like we couldn’t tell Pickett, Jolly and Raji were the run stuffers and guys like Daniels, Neal, Worthy and Jones were drafted for different roles.

  7. Unfortunately this soothes me very little. That defense has played up to par. Hopefully that changes Sunday.

  8. I guess my impression of a “good” capers d-line = ability to penetrate some, disrupt some, clog things up. But more so to free up others to make plays. The sacks won’t be as high in number. I think the d-line has been ok, would like to see more from some of the other defenders.

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