From 1970-2010, Jackson State had at least two receivers drafted every decade. But their last WR selected came in 2008 (Jaymar Johnson, sixth round). In fact, he is the Tigers’ last offensive player chosen in the NFL Draft and was their most recent selection until the Detroit Lions took LB James Houston in Round 6 last year. Does WR Dallas Daniels’ scouting report project him to end that drought in the 2023 NFL Draft?
Dallas Daniels NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Wide receiver
- School: Jackson State
- Current Year: Fifth-year senior
- Height/Weight: 5’10 1/4″, 176 pounds
- Length: 29 7/8″
- Hand Size: 9″
After winning a state championship, earning first-team all-conference and all-area honors, and setting Trotwood-Madison High School records in receiving yards and touchdowns, Daniels earned a three-star recruit ranking.
Despite entertaining modest interest, he decided to plunge into the depths of JUCO football to enhance his offers. Going cross-country from Ohio to Arizona, Daniels appeared in 11 games, producing 279 receiving yards. Not satisfied with his performance, he then took his talents to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, catching 26 passes for 298 yards.
That was enough for Western Illinois to extend a DI scholarship. Daniels made an early impact, taking 34 receptions for 368 yards (season-high 111 vs. South Dakota State) and two touchdowns, joining the 2020 MVFC All-Newcomer Team.
In what was his true senior campaign in 2021, Daniels became a key part of the offense, hauling in 44 balls for 524 yards and two scores. Exercising his extra year of eligibility due to COVID, the well-traveled pass catcher made one more collegiate stop, this time landing with Deion Sanders’ Jackson State Tigers.
And as is apparent from his production, Daniels saved his best for last. Serving as one of Sheduer Sanders’ favorite weapons, Daniels generated 692 yards and six TDs on 63 catches (all second on the team).
The Ohio native parlayed his career-best season into a Shrine Bowl invite. And although what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, it’s safe to say Daniels impressed those in attendance.
Dallas Daniels Scouting Report
Prior to his all-star circuit consummation, Daniels garnered high praise from Shrine Bowl Director Eric Galko:
“Dallas Daniels has been — in our mind at least — one of, if not the most impressive receiver in that Jackson State offense … I think he’s a really dynamic, multi-faceted receiver. Really productive. That staff speaks super highly of Dallas as a person as well as a player.”
- Tracks the ball well over the middle of the field and displayed solid ball skills, especially in the red zone, with late and strong hands
- Can high-point passes and come down with tough contested catches
- Balanced, nuanced route runner with the ability to set up and sell routes at all three levels
- Legitimate run-after-catch threat as a creative ball carrier with good vision in space — possible kick/punt return potential but didn’t do it at the collegiate level
- Quick off the line with rapid feet and change-of-direction prowess to generate separation through the route
- Impressive acceleration and deceleration in and out of breaks
- Flashed some effective releases vs. press (swiping hands and darting upfield, stepping back from reaches and instantly stacking corners, etc.)
- Willing and competitive run blocker — plays larger than his size
Areas for Improvement
- Diminutive receiver at 5’10” and 176 pounds with sub-30″ arms, limiting catch radius
- Tested poorly at JSU’s Pro Day: 32.5″ vertical, 9’6″ broad, 4.52 shuttle, and 7.33 three-cone (numbers via Chargers Wire’s Alex Katson)
- Suffers from the occasional dropped pass due to letting balls get into his chest/pads
- Can struggle to separate from longer, more physical DBs on the outside
- Largely used in short-to-intermediate areas of the field (just 24 targets 10+ yards downfield last season) — won’t threaten the top of defenses (4.63 40-yard dash)
Jackson State WR Dallas Daniels Current Draft Projection
Although Daniels seemingly played more athletically than his pro day numbers, it’s also not surprising that he tested in the average-to-poor range. He won’t be a deep threat in the NFL, and at his size, he’ll likely be pigeonholed into the slot. Nevertheless, when it comes to actually playing football, there aren’t many glaring negatives on Daniels’ scouting report.
Daniels is a natural zone-beater, always making himself available for his QB. And with his ability to gain yards after the catch, he can be a thorn in defenses’ sides. Hailing from Sanders’ JSU squad and shining at the Shrine Bowl will boost his stock, but will it be enough to earn a selection in the 2023 NFL Draft?
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
I believe Daniels is worth a late-Day 3 flier, as his tape showcases a player that can be a reliable depth option at WR with some special-teams potential. But as a five-year college player with two spent in JUCO, and with the FCS being his highest level of competition, going undrafted is a real possibility.
However, all Daniels needs is an opportunity, and he’ll make the most of it — just as he’s done throughout his career.
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