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Daniels Offers Versatility to Play LT and Guard | Washington Commanders


By Adam Aniba


Washington clearly needed to make offseason upgrades along the offensive line, but surprisingly didn't selected a tackle until round 4.


Left tackle Charles Leno is the presumptive starter, but Utah OT/G Braeden Daniels will be in the mix.


Many evaluators believe Daniels is better suited to play guard on the next level. Head Coach Ron Rivera made it clear post-draft, that the Utes offensive lineman will be given every chance to show he can play left tackle for Washington.


Either way, the Commanders landed a high ceiling offensive lineman that offers position flexibility.


Braeden Daniels

6'4" 310 lbs | OT/G | UTAH

Round 4 #118 Overall

Background

Daniels grew up in Carrollton, TX and played football as well as participated on the Track & Field team (Shot Put event) for Hebron HS.


His play at offensive tackle/guard helped guide Hebron to the Area and Bi-District Championships in 2016 and was named 1st-Team All-District in 2016.

The Hebron offensive lineman was a 3 -star recruit who garnered attention from Tulsa, Texas State, Tulane, S.Mississippi, Houston, Boise State, San Diego State, Utah State, Utah and Illinois. Daniels initially committed to Illinois for the '17 season, but later decommitted and committed to Utah.


In '18 Daniels redshirted as a freshman playing in 2 games, but only

13 total plays (10 plays vs. Weber State).


In 2019 he started all 14 games at guard, while making the PAC-12 All-Academic Honor Roll.

In the COVID shortened 2020 season, Daniels was active in all 5 games (1 start) and saw time at guard and right tackle.


The following season the Utes lineam started in all 14 games with 3 starts at LG and 11 at RT. His play led to Daniels being named to the All-Pac-12 2nd-Team.


The '22 season would be his best. The Utes lineman started all 14 games for the first time, all at left tackle. He helped pave the way for a Utes run game that averaged 217.6 yards per game, which ranked 11th in the FBS and 2nd in the Pac-12. Daniels also was part of a unit that averaged only 1.07 sacks per game.


Daniels was named to the Pac-12 All-Conference 1st-Team last season and was viewed by many scouts as one of the top offensive lineman in the division.


PROS

  • Versatility to play every position along the offensive line

  • Athletic and moves well in space

  • Displays the ability to quickly recover if out of position

  • Impressive field awareness and displays the ability to quickly diagnose stunts/blitzes

  • Understands how to effectively utilize blocking angles

CONS

  • Lacks technique and play strength to play left tackle immediately

  • Struggled vs speed rushers who were able to bend the edge

  • Hand strength/technique is only marginal and will need refinement

  • Plays too upright at times, which allows pass rushers to get under his pads

  • Choppy footwork, less of an issue at guard


Projection

Daniels played in 49 career games with 43 starts while at UTah (18 at LG, 14 at LT, 11 & RT). The Utes lineman offers Washington the flexibility to play where he's needed.


Although Washington will try Daniels at LT, his small hands (9 3/8") and technique deficiencies on the edge, should eventually lead to a permanent move to the interior.


His ability to get out in space as a guard, is what Washington's o-line has been missing from their interior lineman.


Rivera's rebuilt offensive line will feature competition at multiple spots. As it stands, second year OT/G Chris Paul and Saahdiq Charles will battle it out for the starting LG job. Daniels could also emerge as another LG candidate, regardless he offers tremendous upside and much needed depth along the offensive line.


*Games Watched- 9/3/33 vs Florida, 10/15 vs USC, 11/19 vs Oregon, 11/26 vs Colorado, 12/2 vs USC, 1/2 vs PSU

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