On March 17, 2018 the Clemson Tigers held their Pro Day. According to Tony Pauline, the big winner of the day was linebacker Dorian O’Daniel.
O’Daniel has played in a whopping 50 games, registered 205 total tackles, 28 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, 3 interceptions, 2 of which were returned for touchdowns, 7 pass deflections, 2 fumble recoveries and 1 fumble forced. He was an absolute stat box filler!
He is a linebacker that has been on my radar for some time now because he is athletic, much like Matt Milano of the Bills.
He has the athleticism to line up wide and still make a play in the run game
This is a pretty play. Hurts is reading the force defender. That defender O’Daniel, takes an angle to the QB so he pitches it. But look at the QB power run built into it with the pulling guard. If defender takes the RB, Hurts has a power run. O’Daniel is athletic as hell. Wow pic.twitter.com/5znYPthqlQ
— Cover 1 (@Cover_1_) January 20, 2018
The discipline to stay true to his assignment then make a play
1st down-Clemson knows whats coming. Joseph (#34) keeps contain to the bottom and it bottles up Jackson. O’Daniel (#6) finishes the play. pic.twitter.com/rmtUXeMmAA
— Cover 1 (@Cover_1_) January 21, 2018
He has the speed and change of direction ability to cover slot receivers in man coverage or play the hook/curl/flats in zone coverage.
— Cover 1 (@Cover_1_) March 17, 2018
But what worried me was his weight. He showed up to Mobile and weighed in at 213 pounds which was about 10 pounds lighter than his playing weight. When asked about it he stated that his trainer had put him on a vegetarian diet to lose weight.
He may still be a little light, but it was good to see him put the weight back on for the combine and then test well. Give him a couple months in an NFL weight room and he will be right where teams need him to be.
The fact that he stood out at his Pro Day while doing linebacker AND defensive back drills, solidifies him as a swiss army knife type linebacker the Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott LOVES. Throw in his top notch special teams abilities and it was no surprise that the team met with him later during his Pro Day workout.
With the Bills looking to get younger and more athletic at the linebacker position, keep a close eye on O’Daniels’ stock leading up to the draft.
“He looked terrific in both, and in some cases he looked better than the Tigers defensive backs who took part in the workout.” -Tony Pauline