UPDATE: ESPN’S Vaughn McClure confirms that the Falcons had a formal meeting with James Daniels.
Iowa lineman gives Falcons coach, GM all the right answers https://t.co/xZAGpTFQsf— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) March 2, 2018
The 2018 NFL Combine is officially in full swing. Thursday marked the first day of open media availability for the players in Groups 1-3 (PK, ST, OL, RB). We’ll be getting lots of important information throughout the day, but ESPN’s Vaughn McClure already picked up an interesting tidbit during an interview with Iowa C/G James Daniels:
Iowa offensive lineman James Daniels said he already spent time sitting down with the Falcons. Can play any scheme. pic.twitter.com/IMcZ5cWgLQ— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) March 1, 2018
It’s not immediately clear what “time sitting down with the Falcons” means, but the statement at least confirms that Atlanta has some interest in Daniels. That makes sense, as Daniels is an athletic interior offensive line prospect that looks like a natural fit in the zone blocking scheme. He also had a great weigh-in, coming in at just under 6’3, 306, which means he’s big enough to play both center and guard.
I’ve already watched a bit of James Daniels, and will be doing a full scouting report on him next week. In the meantime, here’s what I wrote about Daniels in our OL prospect preview:
Daniels is a phenomenal athlete at the center position who started every game over the last two seasons at Iowa. At 6’4, 295 he’s a little on the lighter side—but for a zone-blocking scheme, he should be just fine. He’s played guard in the past and should be able to transition back there without too much trouble, but there are questions about how well he can hold up against NFL size and strength.
Daniels’ draft value is currently hovering in the early Day 2 range—but with his good weigh-in and an impressive performance in the athletic testing, he could easily vault himself into consideration in the late first round. He could be a potential choice for Atlanta at 26, and would be a logical fit in the Falcons offense.
What do you think about the possibility of James Daniels ending up in Atlanta? Do you think he’s worth the Falcons’ first round pick?