Daniel Scott, S, California | NFL Draft Scouting Report

After six years in college, California safety Daniel Scott is ready to enter the 2023 NFL Draft. What does his scouting report say about his ability?

Our rookie scouting reports combine film and analytics to provide the best possible predictions for player performance. With the 2023 NFL Draft right around the corner, let’s take a look at the scouting report for California safety Daniel Scott.

Daniel Scott NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: Safety
  • School: Stanford
  • Year: Sixth-year Senior

Scott was a three-star recruit out of St. Francis High School in La Cañada Flintridge, California. Rather than traverse the nation exploring offers, Scott elected to stay close to home, enrolling at California.

As a freshman in 2017, Scott didn’t play at all, redshirting the year. He was active for 10 games as a redshirt freshman in 2018 but appeared in just three of them, playing a total of 16 snaps.

Scott’s paying time increased in 2019, appearing in eight games. He still played just 135 snaps, accruing 16 total tackles, as well as one interception and one pass defended.

2020 marked Scott’s fourth year at Cal, and it was the COVID-shortened season. He played just four games but was on the field for more snaps (169) than his previous three years combined. Scott recorded 20 total tackles and one pass defended.

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Since he redshirted his freshman year, Scott was eligible to play college football for a fifth season. He chose to return to Cal in an effort to better showcase his abilities.

It was a good decision, as Scott had his best year yet, registering 82 total tackles, three interceptions, five passes defended, and one forced fumble in 12 games. He even tossed in his only career sack in 2021.

At this point, Scott’s college career should’ve been over. However, due to the COVID year, he had the option to return to school for an extra season. Scott decided to run it back one more time.

As a sixth-year senior, Scott again played in 12 games. He recorded 85 tackles, three interceptions, seven passes defended, and three forced fumbles.

Overall, Scott finished his college career with 137 solo tackles, 70 assisted tackles, seven tackles for loss, one sack, seven interceptions, and 14 passes defended.

Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report for Daniel Scott

Strengths: Instinctive and hard-charging safety whose draft stock has been shooting north since September. Keeps the action in front of him, quickly diagnoses plays, and takes proper angles to the action.

Remains disciplined with assignments, quickly tracks the pass in the air, and can drive to the ball out of his plant. Efficient and works well with cornerbacks. Physical, fires upfield to defend the run, and squares into ball handlers.

Weaknesses: Lacks lateral speed. Doesn’t display great range. Struggles in man coverage.

Overall: Entering the season, Scott was graded as a street free agent in the scouting community. He had a terrific senior campaign and then followed up with solid performances at the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine. He’s a zone safety who should also add value on special teams. Even in the worst-case scenario, I project Scott as a seventh defensive back on a roster.

Daniel Scott Combine Measurements and Results

  • Height: 6’1″
  • Weight: 208 pounds
  • Arm Length: 30 1/4″
  • Hand Size: 10″
  • Bench Press: 22
  • 40-Yard Dash: 4.45 seconds

California S Daniel Scott Current Draft Projection

On Tony Pauline’s Big Board, Scott ranked 142nd overall and is projected to go in the fourth or fifth round. With a 3.49 grade, he is Pauline’s SAF10 in this class.

Scott may have spent six years in college, but he really only played in two of them — three if you count his four games in 2020, which, to be fair, he was playing heavy snaps in for the first time in his career.

It took a while for Scott to get going, but once he did, he demonstrated NFL-level ability. There’s enough with Scott for NFL teams to want to take the shot on developing him. It also helps that many of his flaws are coachable.

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With that said, college production is the most predictive indicator of NFL success. Scott’s performance over his final 28 games points to a guy that can play at the next level. His lack of early production will hurt his draft stock, but not enough that NFL teams will be completely turned off. What he did over his final three seasons was good enough.

Fortunately, Scott is a pretty good athlete. He has good speed for his size and could turn into an asset in coverage.

It’s not exactly common for six-year college athletes to have successful NFL careers. Being a Day 3 pick doesn’t help, but if Scott can find his way into the fourth round, it would go a long way toward helping him secure a roster spot.

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