2017 NFL DRAFT
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Owen Daniels

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 253 | College: Wisconsin
 
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Overview

Daniels has played in a variety of roles for the Badgers. He competed on special teams and at quarterback earlier in his career before shifting to wide receiver, wingback and tight end as a sophomore. He is best when playing in motion, as he has some of the quickest feet among collegiate tight ends.

Daniels was a Prep Football Report and Prep Stars All-America selection at Central High School and rated one of the nation's top 100 prep players. He was a two-time team captain who also excelled in the classroom, earning Academic All-State honors as a senior. He was a member of the National Honor Society and graduated with a 3.93 grade point average.

Daniels was limited to two games during his senior year due to a knee injury. He completed 30 of 35 passes for 562 yards and seven touchdowns, connecting on all 11 passes thrown in the season opener. As a junior, Daniels passed for 1,750 yards on 100-of-168 passing (59.5 percent) with 17 touchdowns and only one interception. He was the starting center on the basketball team and had a personal best 22-foot long jump on the track team.

After redshirting in 2001 at Wisconsin, Daniels saw action in seven games during 2002, appearing mostly on special teams. He also appeared at quarterback in three games, hitting 2 of 6 passes for 9 yards and two interceptions while gaining 18 yards on four carries. He shifted to the receiving unit in 2003, playing flanker, wingback and tight end. For the year, Daniels ranked fourth on the team with 15 receptions for 193 yards (12.9 avg) and a pair of touchdowns.

Daniels started at flanker vs. Arizona and as the second tight end vs. Minnesota while appearing in 12 games in 2004. He was second on the squad with 25 catches for 391 yards (15.6 avg) and two touchdowns. Daniels also recorded five tackles (3 solos) on special teams. He started eight games in 2005 while sharing tight end duties with Jason Pociask. In 12 games, he caught 22 passes for 268 yards (12.2 avg) and four touchdowns, adding 21 yards on two kickoff returns and five solo tackles.

In 44 games, Daniels started 10 times. He caught 62 passes for 852 yards (13.7 avg) and eight touchdowns. He completed 2 of 6 passes for 9 yards, rushed four times for 18 yards, returned two kickoffs for 21 yards and registered 11 tackles (9 solos).

Analysis

Positives: Team-oriented player who is compliant and shows very good work habits, putting in the extra hours after practice to learn tight end techniques … Aggressive short area pass catcher who works through traffic with good urgency … Very smart and instinctive, making quick reads … Shows the loose hips and change of direction agility to maneuver through a crowd and quickly spots the seam when attacking the zone … Does not have an explosive initial step, but builds to top acceleration quickly and is effective at using his hands to defeat the press … Short area receiver who does a nice job of turning back on the ball when the quarterback is pressured … Maintains concentration going up for the jump balls and will extend, turn and look the ball in over his shoulders with good efficiency … Will not hesitate to leave his feet and go vertical to get to off-target throws and does a decent job of keeping his feet in bounds when working along the sidelines … Best when used in motion, as he has a knack for slipping through traffic and settling into the soft spot of the Cover-two defense.

Negatives: Has adequate size, but looks a bit on the lean side (could use more bulk, but has struggled to maintain weight in the past) … Lacks the sudden burst needed to beat cornerbacks when split out … Secures the ball well after the catch, but unless he is given a free lane, he will generally be taken down from the initial hit due to marginal leg drive to

break tackles … Limited as an in-line blocker due to size and strength issues … Quick to locate the linebackers in the second level, but does not explode behind his blocks, preferring to finesse rather than maul.

Daniels has an adequate frame that looks almost lean, but has the growth potential to add 10-15 pounds with no loss in quickness. He has the shoulder, arm and leg definition to carry that additional bulk. Daniels shows very good body control, flexibility and change of direction skills to be effective while in motion. Despite his timed speed, he lacks the sudden burst or explosiveness out of his breaks to line up wide on deep routes.

He runs with a normal stride and has good hand extension to catch away from the frame. Daniels is a competitive pass catcher who uses his body adequately to shield the ball from the defenders. He maintains concentration on the ball in flight when working his way through a crowd and shows good weight room strength, but because of a lack of ideal bulk and size, he might be better suited for H-Back at the pro level.

He gets off the line with a clean release, alert to coverages and movement to slip past the jam and get into his patterns. He does not flash snap quickness to gain initial advantage, but uses his hands well to keep from being pressed and rerouted. He does not have the second gear needed to explode past defenders when lining wide, but gets back into his route with good urgency.

Daniels is a good route-runner who knows when to come out of his breaks. He shows the body control and timing to consistently get open when working underneath. He can run the option route well, but is more effective when asked to find the seam in the Cover-2 defense. He can get open quickly in the short area, but despite his timed speed, he does not have the burst to separate when going deep. Daniels knows when to adjust in attempts to uncover and has very good ball reaction, getting his body into good position to make the catch.

Daniels is a good hands catcher with the reach to get to the high throws and shows good ball security before heading upfield. He shows good courage when asserting himself in traffic and will not hesitate to compete for jump balls. His smooth stride after the catch helps him reach top acceleration, but he lacks the bulk and lower body strength to break tackles when attacked by linemen and linebackers.

Daniels has good weight room figures, but that strength does not translate to the field when asked to block in-line. He does not show explosion coming off the snap and needs to refine his technique when sliding his feet and using his hands in attempts to sustain. He has the second level quickness to locate defenders and make the cut block, though. He just seems more comfortable in the open, where he can change direction and sustain.

For teams using a West Coast or spread offense, he could bring good value as a change-of-pace back, but I doubt if his frame will ever develop into tight end proportions. If he can generate more bulk and strength, he could be a nice late second day draft find.

Career Notes

Few players in the era of head coach Barry Alvarez have had to play the variety of positions that Daniels has during a career … Began his Badgers career on special teams and at quarterback … Moved to flanker and then tight end as a sophomore and also saw action at split end and as a wingback … Played in 43 games during his career, 36 of them as a receiver … Caught 62 passes for 852 yards (13.7 avg) and eight touchdowns.

2005 Season

Shared tight end duties with Jason Pociask … Played in 12 games, starting vs. Temple, North Carolina, Indiana, Minnesota, Purdue, Illinois, Iowa and Auburn … Suffered an ankle sprain vs. Indiana, missing the Northwestern game … Finished fourth on the team with 22 catches for 268 yards (12.2 avg) and four touchdowns … Registered five solo tackles and gained 21 yards on a pair of kickoff returns (10.5 avg).

2005 Game Analysis

Bowling Green … Had one reception for a 2-yard loss, but also gained 10 yards on a kickoff return and tackled Charles Sharon on a 14-yard punt return in the first quarter.

Temple … Caught a career-high six passes for 88 yards and three touchdowns … Grabbed a 6-yard scoring strike from QB John Stocco in the first quarter and that duo again hooked up in the second quarter on an 11-yard touchdown catch, followed by a 15-yard score that capped a 14-play, 87-yard drive.

North Carolina … Added a 17-yard reception and stopped Brandon Tate on a 17-yard punt return in the second quarter.

Michigan … Made three catches for 37 yards … All three set up field goals by Taylor Mehlhaff; a 15-yarder to set up a 35-yard kick in the second quarter, an 11-yarder in the third quarter to set up a 43-yard field goal and another 11-yarder that led to a 27-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

Indiana … Suffered a badly sprained ankle on the game's first play and did not return.

Northwestern … Did not play (ankle).

Minnesota … Returned to action with a 12-yard catch.

Purdue … Followed with 14 yards on a pair of receptions and took down Lance Melvin on a third quarter 11-yard punt return.

Illinois … Held to a 6-yard reception.

Penn State … Gained 26 yards on two catches and 11 yards on a kickoff return.

Iowa … Added a 16-yard reception and made a sensational tackle when he crashed into Jovon Johnson to prevent any gain on a third quarter punt return.

Hawaii … Caught one pass for 8 yards.

Auburn Capital One Bowl) … Closed out his career with three catches for 46 yards, scoring on a 12-yard pass from John Stocco in the second quarter that capped a 12-play, 86-yard drive … Also tackled Robert Dunn on a 10-yard punt return in the third quarter.

2004 Season

All-Big Ten Conference honorable mention … Played in 12 games, starting at flanker vs. Arizona and as a second tight end vs. Minnesota … Despite playing mostly in a reserve role, Daniels finished second on the team with 25 receptions for 391 yards (15.6 avg) and a pair of touchdowns … Also recorded five tackles (3 solos) on special teams.

2004 Game Analysis

Central Florida … Began the season in fine fashion, as his first catch for the year was good for a 52-yard touchdown on a fourth quarter pass from QB John Stocco.

Nevada-Las Vegas … Added a pair of receptions for 40 yards, with a long of 22 yards.

Arizona … Made two catches for 12 yards.

Penn State … Followed with a 14-yard reception that set up a Mike Allen 38-yard field goal in the second quarter.

Illinois … Gained 43 yards on a pair of catches, including a 21-yarder to set up a 7-yard touchdown run by tailback Anthony Davis in the third quarter … Also tackled E.B. Halsey on a third quarter 21-yard punt return.

Ohio State … Caught four passes for a season-high 72 yards … His 31-yard reception set up John Stocco's 8-yard scoring strike to Darrin Charles in the second quarter and his 23-yarder set up Mike Allen's 26-yard field goal in the third quarter.

Purdue … Caught two passes for 36 yards and made a pair of tackles … In the fourth quarter, Daniels stopped George Hall after the defender intercepted a John Stocco pass and returned it 44 yards, and followed by taking down Jake Cunningham on a 6-yard punt return.

Northwestern … Caught a 4-yard scoring pass from John Stocco in the second quarter and assisted in stopping Mark Philmore on a 10-yard punt return with 0:50 left before halftime.

Minnesota … Totaled 39 yards on four receptions.

Michigan State … Followed with four catches for 36 yards.

Georgia (Outback Bowl) … Caught two passes for 43 yards.

2003 Season

Played in 13 games as a reserve split end, tight end and wingback … Despite not starting any games, he ranked fourth on the team with 15 receptions for 193 yards (12.9 avg) and a pair of touchdowns … Also recorded a solo tackle.

2003 Game Analysis

West Virginia … Began the year with 41 yards on three catches.

Penn State … Totaled 25 yards on a pair of catches.

Northwestern … Had two receptions for 15 yards.

Minnesota … Caught three passes for 70 yards and touchdowns of 26 and 27 yards from QB Jim Sorgi.

Auburn (Music City Bowl) … Added a 14-yard catch.

2002 Season

Academic All-Big 10 Conference choice … Appeared in seven games on special teams and three games as a reserve quarterback … Completed 2 of 6 passes (33.3 percent) for 9 yards and a pair of interceptions … Also gained 18 yards on four carries including a long of 13 yards, and completed his only pass attempt for 7 yards vs. Iowa, but also threw an interception … Had another pass picked off in the Illinois game.

2001 Season

Redshirted as a freshman.

Injury Report

2000: Only played in two games during his high school senior year after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

2002: Suffered left knee torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in a December scrimmage.

2005: Suffered a high ankle sprain on the first play of the Indiana game, sitting out the rest of that game and the following week vs. Northwestern.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.69 in the 40-yard dash … 380-pound bench press … 500-pound squat … 315-pound power clean … 30.5-inch vertical jump … 32 1/8-inch arm length … 9 -inch hands … Right-handed … 32/43 Wonderlic score.

High School

Attended Naperville (Ill.) Central High School, playing football for head coach Joe Bunge …

Prep Football Report and Prep Stars All-American selection … Rated one of the nation's top 100 prep players … Two-time team captain who also excelled in the classroom, earning Academic All-State honors as a senior … Member of the National Honor Society and graduated with a 3.93 grade point average … Limited to two games during his senior year due to a knee injury … Completed 30 of 35 passes for 562 yards and seven touchdowns, connecting on all 11 passes thrown in the season opener … As a junior, Daniels passed for 1,750 yards on 100-of-168 passing (59.5 percent) with 17 touchdowns and only one interception … Starting center on the basketball team and had a personal best 22-foot long jump on the track team.

Personal

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences major, earning Academic All-Big 10 Conference honors in 2002 … Son of Bridget and Jerry Daniels … Born 11/09/82 … Resides in Naperville, Illinois.

 
 
 

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