Former Nebraska football player Darrion Daniels is doing his best to show the NFL he’s ready to play at the next level. In an attempt to convince pro front offices he’s worth taking a flier on in the upcoming draft, he’s getting ready to participate in this year’s Senior Bowl.
Ahead of the game, which pits some of the best four-year players in college football against one another, scouts who have attended practices said Daniels was more than holding his own.
The website SteelersDepot has a rundown of all the players who stood out in the first couple of practices and the former Nebraska defensive tackle stood out. One of the first things writer Alex Kozora noticed was how Daniels apparently managed to hit his goal weight. During the initial weigh-in, officials announced “322” and Daniels reportedly smiled as he walked off, happily flexing to some of his teammates as he went.
Weight isn’t the only thing that has those in attendance impressed. In a Twitter post, Connor Livesay of Blogging the Boys listed the star college football defender as a standout on Day 2 of practices.
Livesay didn’t elaborate on what made Daniels stand out to him but other analysts at the practices have talked about the way he moved. Christian Page of Cover1.net tweeted that he watched the defensive tackle run through bag drills and showed some sweet feet while doing it.
— Matt Foster (@MattFosterKETV) January 21, 2020
Finally, CBS Sports NFL draft expert Chris Trapasso had the most glowing review of Daniels. The writer said the lineman looked like a “space devouring nose.” He added Daniels got across the line of scrimmage quickly.
Nebraska’s Darrion Daniels having a strong afternoon too. Looks like a space-devouring nose but his twitch has gotten him across the line and into the backfield on a few occasions.
— Chris Trapasso (@ChrisTrapasso) January 22, 2020
There are a few more days of practice remaining before the Senior Bowl on Saturday. But if Daniels can continue impressing scouts, it could mean finishing an interesting college career on a high note.
The defensive tackle started his NCAA football career with Oklahoma State but when he was eligible to move on as a grad transfer, he decided to play alongside his brother Damon on the Nebraska Cornhuskers. While the Huskers struggled to a 5-7 final record, Daniels had the best season of his playing career.
After racking up a grand total of 33 tackles in 2017 and 2018 combined, Daniels amassed 34 tackles in 2019, easily a career-high. He also topped his single season-high best number of sacks with 1.5 after previously only getting as much as one sack in any one season exactly one time. If he was indeed able to use the Nebraska football program to take the next step, his Senior Bowl practices seem to have hinted he could be playing on Sundays this fall.