Daniels has been a tremendously productive safety for Duke as a starter over the past three years, finishing 2011 with 126 tackles, 14 passes defensed, and two interception after posting 93/7/1 in 2010 and 83/5/0 in 2009, never missing a game and twice being named to the Academic All-ACC team.
Duke credits Daniels with a 4.43-second 40-yard dash.
He projects best as a traditional strong safety with plenty of assignments in the box as well as deep zone, but not a lot of man. Daniels also offers potential as a defensive leader and signal caller, as well as a gunner.
His combination of production, durability, intelligence and character is sure to interest NFL teams. However, issues with his ability to turn, cut and change directions limit upside.
Strengths: Superior anticipation and football IQ, can sniff out where the ball is and rocket towards it. Strong, sure tackler. Puts shoulder to chest and tackles through the ballcarrier. Heads up in coverage, good zone instincts and ball skills. Has speed, takes good angles and closes fast with burst. Hard worker, smart, durable, top intangibles.
Weaknesses: Narrow boned, high hipped build. Was a track star, and doesn't turn or change directions well. Projects to struggle with NFL man coverage assignments. Can have difficulty disengaging from blocks. Marginal hands, very few career picks for number of passes defensed.
NFL Comparison: Gerald Sensabaugh, Dallas Cowboys."
Takes solid angles in pursuit and displays the ability to create turnovers. Is tight hipped, however, and struggles to break down on ball carriers in space and will get caught lunging into contact.
Lacks the kind of size to routinely take on blocks inside and anchor. Can be easily sealed away from the action and despite his impressive motor he needs to run around blocks taking himself out of his fair share of plays.
Struggles in the pass game when asked to cover a lot of ground. Lacks the ability to get much depth in his drop, looks tight hipped when asked to open and re-direct and is forced to consistently collect himself before closing on the football.
Possesses solid straight-line speed, but plays much slower because of his inability to fluidly open up and generate a burst. Struggles with balance when tracking the football as well. Again, lacks balance and tends to drift significantly away from the football when trying to set his feet and to make a play.
Doesn't have the ability to change direction and cover in the deep half. Does a much better job maintaining his balance when asked to sit into his drop and just drive on throws under him. Stays more compact and is cleaner getting out of his breaks. However, he still pops upright and lacks the initial burst to make a play on the ball.
Impression: He's a good tackler and has a natural pop to his game. However, he lacks the size to be a real effective in-the-box safety. Plays slow in the deep half because of his inability to quickly recover and, despite his decent straight-line speed, isn't a guy you can trust in coverage in any area of the game."
However, is a liability in man coverage given his stiff hips and monotone movement and is not ideally suited to excel on special teams."
Not all that big but an aggressive tackler who had 93 tackles last fall including 6 for loss; also picked off a pass and broke up 6 others; runs well with a projected 40 time in the 4.50-4.55 range;
Smart player with good instincts who breaks well on the ball, but will get caught out of position on occasion anticipating play; missed two games in 2008 with a minor knee injury."