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ESPN/V. McClure - Falcons might be interested in Iowa OC/OG in 1st round?


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http://www.espn.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/31854/iowa-lineman-talks-playing-guard-with-falcons-coach-gm

Iowa lineman gives Falcons coach, GM all the right answers

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    Vaughn McClureESPN Staff Writer

INDIANAPOLIS -- Former Iowa offensive lineman James Daniels smiled and chuckled as he glanced at a picture of Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn seated next to general manager Thomas Dimitroff.

"Yes, they were there," Daniels said, referring to his formal meeting with the Falcons this week. "Yeah, I liked them. They were good people. They asked me questions about playing guard."   

It's no secret that bolstering the offensive guard spot alongside Pro Bowl center Alex Mack is one of the Falcons' top priorities this offseason to help keep Matt Ryan upright and enjoy better success in the run, particularly in short-yardage situations. They feel comfortable enough to proceed with veteran left guard Andy Levitre, although Levitre is a candidate for a pay cut with his health and durability being an issue. But the right guard spot certainly needs a facelift, with Wes Schweitzernot suited for a starting role.

Daniels, who played center for the Hawkeyes this past season, would be the best draft prospect capable of coming in and making an immediate impact in the Falcons' system, based on talk at the combine. However, league executives expect Daniels to be off the draft board before the Falcons select with the 26th overall pick.

He only helped his status with an impressive on-field workout during Friday's drills, where he showed great balance, footwork and overall technique. Daniels, who measured at 6-foot-3, 295 pounds and plans to gain 12 more pounds with the help of peanut butter and jelly and protein shakes, recorded 21 bench-press reps.

The Falcons are doing extensive homework on Daniels just in case he's still available at No. 26, since guards typically aren't a first-round priority. The organization typically doesn't waste formal interviews on players they don't have a serious interest in. The fact that Daniels sat in front of both Quinn and Dimitroff within his first five interviews was rather telling.

If Daniels' sitdown with the Falcons was anything like his media session at the combine, there's no doubt he left a strong impression.

 
 

Iowa offensive lineman James Daniels said he already spent time sitting down with the Falcons. Can play any scheme.

 

Daniels comes across as an extremely intelligent and highly motivated player with plenty of confidence. He discussed playing multiple line spots in college and made sure to add, "I can do it all." He made mention of the tradition at Iowa of waving to kids across the street at the Iowa Children's Hospital and how much it moved him. He talked about his intentions to pursue a master's in public health.

Daniels is from a family of athletes, with his father, LeShun Daniels Sr., a former Ohio State and Minnesota Vikings offensive guard, and his brother, LeShun Jr., a running back with the Washington Redskins. His mother, Alicia, was a long-jumper at Ohio State.

At Iowa, Daniels played all offensive-line positions.

"He's got a lot of natural ability," said Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz. "James came to us as a young guy and played as a true freshman. He enrolled early and started his first game for us when he was 17 years old. He just continued to improve every week after that. He started two games at guard for us as a freshman. But frankly, after his first year, he was our best center. It wasn't even close. So there was no need to play him at guard or practice him at guard."

Daniels said he's very comfortable making that transition in the NFL, if needed. And he would feel comfortable in the Falcons' outside zone blocking scheme.

"So Iowa, we're primarily a zone offense," Daniels said. "We just run a lot of lead zone, inside, outside. But scheme-wise, it doesn't really matter. I'm comfortable with any type of scheme."

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2 minutes ago, HASHBROWN3 said:

I am totally game.  Love this guy.  Love Wynn as well.  I think this dude will test incredibly well at the combine bigtime!

They already did the bench, 40, vert, and broad jump

He was good in the actual drills.

As for the testing, he didn't run the 40.

He only put up 21 reps on the bench, which is not a dealbreaker necessarily, but still kinda weak for an O-lineman (I mean the freakin' punter from Tennessee put up 23 reps)

His 30.5" vert tied for 6th best amongst O-linemen

His 108" broad jump put him at 10th best

7.29 sec in the 3-cone was 2nd best

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7 minutes ago, HASHBROWN3 said:

I am totally game.  Love this guy.  Love Wynn as well.  I think this dude will test incredibly well at the combine bigtime!

He looked great at the combine moving his feet laterally - Mike Mayock praised him for 5 minutes.  No doubt he is likely the best zone blocker in this draft so he fits our scheme great - just hope he can bulldoze people as well inside the redzone - we need more movement there.

Will be hard to know until after the DT's roll through who we are most interested but clearly the Falcons are interested in this guy and he is a candidate for us to draft - very surprised at the comments here though about not expecting Daniels to be available at #26.

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2 minutes ago, kiwifalcon said:

To be honest I didn't see him as a first round pick.

yeah, I was not overly impressed w/ his tape but we need to go back and study him more.......what I know is this, the Falcons have not missed on a 1st round pick since 2009 and 2010 - and both those guys were injury riddled.    

So, whoever we take in 1st round, pretty good shot that he will be a good player.

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2 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

yeah, I was not overly impressed w/ his tape but we need to go back and study him more.......what I know is this, the Falcons have not missed on a 1st round pick since 2009 and 2010 - and both those guys were injury riddled.    

So, whoever we take in 1st round, pretty good shot that he will be a good player.

He's a natural mover on tape and looks athletic but power blocker from what I've been seen I haven't seen that from him.

Also mentioned in another thread that I thought he missed a few targets on the move I didn't like that at all.

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1 minute ago, g-dawg said:

yeah, I was not overly impressed w/ his tape but we need to go back and study him more.......what I know is this, the Falcons have not missed on a 1st round pick since 2009 and 2010 - and both those guys were injury riddled.    

So, whoever we take in 1st round, pretty good shot that he will be a good player.

I trust the front office and much like you I have to look at him more but if he already had an Interview by those two it had to say something..so if he' at 26 and they like him why not 

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11 minutes ago, RoddyWhite84 said:

I trust the front office and much like you I have to look at him more but if he already had an Interview by those two it had to say something..so if he' at 26 and they like him why not 

my only concern - and there is nothing that can be done about it - is the Falcons still have not showed the ability to pick offensive linemen.  Frankly I think we just "lucked" into Ryan Schraeder(UDFA) and Jake Matthews was a top 10 pick and has been decent but not great - Lewan has been a little better.  Obviously we got Alex Mack in free agency that was a great move but he was already a perennial pro-bowler.   I thought we would get a lot better drafting Offensive Linemen w/ Scott Pioli but I haven't seen it yet.  We signed UFA Jonathan Asamoah but he never really got going w/ the Falcons and then was hurt.

Regardless, there are good offensive linemen in every draft and we just have to find them.  If it is James Daniels, I will cheer for him and hope the pick bares fruit.    As much as I like Wynn - at the end of the day, I don't really care who we draft as long as they get the job done.

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24 minutes ago, k-train said:

They already did the bench, 40, vert, and broad jump

He was good in the actual drills.

As for the testing, he didn't run the 40.

He only put up 21 reps on the bench, which is not a dealbreaker necessarily, but still kinda weak for an O-lineman (I mean the freakin' punter from Tennessee put up 23 reps)

His 30.5" vert tied for 6th best amongst O-linemen

His 108" broad jump put him at 10th best

7.29 sec in the 3-cone was 2nd best

Daniels is a technician.  Not a power guy and not some freak athlete.   Most of the jumps/runs are not as important as the drills.

I hope Falcons would only seriously consider Daniels with a trade-down or 2nd round.  I have a hard time believing his draft stock is as high as McClure is indicating.   I mean, how many NFL teams even run the zone scheme?  30%?   Man-power scheme teams are not even gonna look at this guy, right?

 

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Just now, g-dawg said:

Daniels is a technician.  Not a power guy and not some freak athlete.   Most of the jumps/runs are not as important as the drills.

I hope Falcons would only seriously consider Daniels with a trade-down or 2nd round.  I have a hard time believing his draft stock is as high as McClure is indicating.   I mean, how many NFL teams even run the zone scheme?  30%?   Man-power scheme teams are not even gonna look at this guy, right?

 

I think his going in the 1st would almost certainly be dictated by a run on o-linemen, or him being such an absolute fit they didn't want to risk potentially missing out on him in the 2nd. There are a lot of teams in need of o-line help, so it's not totally out of the question I guess.

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6 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

Daniels is a technician.  Not a power guy and not some freak athlete.   Most of the jumps/runs are not as important as the drills.

I hope Falcons would only seriously consider Daniels with a trade-down or 2nd round.  I have a hard time believing his draft stock is as high as McClure is indicating.   I mean, how many NFL teams even run the zone scheme?  30%?   Man-power scheme teams are not even gonna look at this guy, right?

 

 

I thought the Falcons were going to use more power blocking this coming season? Didn't someone post something about it a few weeks ago on this board?

 

Or am I mistaken?

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Just now, DawnOfThemBirds said:

 

I thought the Falcons were going to use more power blocking this coming season? Didn't someone post something about it a few weeks ago on this board?

 

Or am I mistaken?

that is what we were told - if so, then James Daniels would not fit that mold - not at all.

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6 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

Blech...if this is the Offensive Lineman - then I want to take D-Tackle in the 1st.

 

It is a very good chance that Daniels may not end up being the guy.

 

Remember last year that many reports came out that the Falcons loved this guy and that guy. It was reports that the Falcons wanted Charles Harris badly going into the draft. Only to move up and get Takk, which many took people by surprise.

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10 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

watch this and tell me how impressed you are.   Color me unimpressed.  Don't see any power/punch in his game at all.  On the ground a lot and I don't see him stoning interior passrush.

 

Tell you what he's getting movement in the run game and when Wisconsin did come with the blitz he took his man to the deck.If you have a look at the first few snaps the pocket looks pretty clean.He gets hands inside for the most part.Not a first rounder but he's a good player looking at that game stuff.

The only thing I could fault is he's got to find those 2nd level guys better on the move.Outside of that he'd be a solid pick.

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Just now, DawnOfThemBirds said:

 

It is a very good chance that Daniels may not end up being the guy.

 

Remember last year that many reports came out that the Falcons loved this guy and that guy. It was reports that the Falcons wanted Charles Harris badly going into the draft. Only to move up and get Takk, which many took people by surprise.

Charles Harris was already gone - so we may never know on that one if we really liked Harris more.

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1 minute ago, kiwifalcon said:

Tell you what he's getting movement in the run game and when Wisconsin did come with the blitz he took his man to the deck.If you have a look at the first few snaps the pocket looks pretty clean.He gets hands inside for the most part.Not a first rounder but he's a good player looking at that game stuff.

definitely not a 1st rounder.  The guy has no power/punch either.   He only wins when he is taking an angle on someone in the run game - when manned up on someone, he gives a little too much ground for my taste to create a nice pocket to step into - and that is against college players that likely won't play in the NFL.

I have wanted an OG in 1st(as you know) but I only want one who is very close to a perfect pick - a guy that can stone passrushers, get movement in run game and play zone and power - that is Wynn - it ain't Daniels who is strictly a zone blocker and he won't be near as good in pass pro nor short yardage.  Dude is not strong - and that shows up on this Wisconsin tape.

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1 minute ago, g-dawg said:

Charles Harris was already gone - so we may never know on that one if we really liked Harris more.

 

Yeah true.

 

But they still traded up to snag Takk from a few teams. I think he was the Falcons guy all along and Charles Harris was a smokescreen. It was reported before the draft that the Cowboys wanted Harris as well, only to find out that Jerry was very pissed that the Falcons jumped him to take Takk.

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