After redshirting in 2007, he saw limited action as a reserve end/tackle in 2008, recording six tackles, one tackle for loss and a sack. He was a backup defensive tackle in 2009 as a sophomore, finishing with 10 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.
Daniels earned a starting job in 2010 as a junior with eight starts, recording 40 tackles, 11.0 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks, earning All-Big Ten Honorable Mention honors.
He had his most productive season in 2011 as a senior (13 starts), finishing with 67 tackles and a team-best 13.5 tackles for loss and 9.0 sacks, earning Second Team All-Big Ten honors.
Daniels is an undersized interior player, but plays with the quickness and motor to be productive at the next level ? a lot to love about his first step burst and explosion. He was the spark plug of the defense at Iowa and was productive against both the pass and run, leading the team in both sacks and tackles for loss as a senior.
Daniels lacks the length, core strength and overall size that teams look for and he won't be a great fit in every defensive front, but he's a player who will fit in a rotation somewhere and has enough physical skill to contribute ~ very similar prospect as Colts defensive tackle Drake Nevis and looks like a solid top-125 pick.
Strengths: A coordinated athlete with a lightning quick first step and natural explosion ~ routinely the first defensive lineman off the ball. Built low to the ground and is most effective when he keeps his pad level low and battles. Has active hands to slip blocks and a high motor to never give up on the play ~ plays hard and hungry on every snap.
Agile and nimble footwork with smooth body control ~ very light on his feet. Fights through the whistle and is always chirping and going at full-go ~ love his effort and determination. Extremely tough, battling through an ankle sprain most of 2011. A leader and hard worker off the field, adding over 50-pounds since enrolling as a 230-pound freshman.
Consistently productive over his career (27 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks).
Weaknesses: Undersized and lacks elite bulk and girth for an interior defensive lineman ~ doesn't have NFL measureables or length. Lacks a stout anchor and can be redirected off the snap with underwhelming base strength. Tends to play too upright at times and needs to be more consistent with his leverage to maximize his potential.
Has short arms and has room to improve his pass rush technique. Struggles to disengage with inconsistent hand use and power ~ too often gets lost in a crowd. Needs to wrap and finish, too often settling to just hit the ballcarrier.
Battled a leg injury for most of the past season so his medical will be important. Will be scheme-specific at the next level because of his lack of size and strength ~ won't be a fit for everyone.
NFL Comparison: Drake Nevis."
-- Dane Brugler
Is really shifty in tight areas, exhibits the ability to routinely side step blocks while keeping his footing through contact and accelerating quickly toward the ball carrier. Never seems to be knocked off balance inside, simply plays with a great motor and good change of direction skills.
Looks like a pinball the way he slips defenders, keeps his footing and continues to work his way toward the ball carrier inside. Is violent/sudden with his hands, does a nice job keeping himself clean inside using his arm over.
Lacks ideal power on the bull rush, but generates leverage with his hands/pad level and works hard on his counter. Is really sudden when asked to disengage and work his way into the backfield. Showcases natural coordination stunting from the inside, displays good lateral explosion and generates a pop into contact.
Obviously lacks the type of girth to consistently hold up at the point of attack at the next level when run at. Is a real tweener -like many of the past Iowa defensive tackle prospects- and looks limited to more of a one-gap scheme only.
Possesses the burst, leverage and quickness to find and stop plays before they start, but has to win with that first step. Is a guy who needs to continue to add some weight and prove he can handle the additional girth without losing his explosion.
Impression: A typical overachieving Iowa DT who is going to make a lot of plays inside this year as a senior. He works hard, plays low and is violent to shed. Has a chance if he adds some weight and keeps his athleticism to make a roster in the right system and work his way into a rotation."
Displays terrific balance and movement skills that enable him play in gaps, range for tackles or even zone-drop.
Has quick, active hands and energetic feet with flexible hips to work an edge.
Size limits his appeal and is not stout against the run, but possesses prototypical three-technique speed, twitch and disruptive ability.
Is a tireless worker with leadership traits who is passionate about football and provides teams comfort knowing exactly what they’re getting."
Awkward size though at barely 6-1 and 280 pounds and unlikely to get much bigger; has good functional strength, but lacks the bulk to always hold the point of attack; had 40 tackles in 2010 including 4 sacks and 7 other tackles for loss."