"If it's the second round, I'm coming back," he said.
That's the round that McDaniel said he's seeing most people project him be taken in.
"But I feel I'm better than the second round," he insisted.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said it's a decision that is totally up to McDaniel, who would graduate in August if he was to return.
"He's probably a second, third, fourth-round type of guy right now," Swinney said. "I think he could tremendously benefit from another year.
"All you can do is give them the right information, counseling, but they have to make that decision on their own."
After Sunday's game, McDaniel said the chances of him returning to Clemson lean in what would be a favorable decision for Tiger fans.
"(Graduating) is one of my main focuses. As of now, I'm still kind of leaning towards coming back," he said.
McDaniel finished second in the nation and first in the ACC with eight interceptions this season. And with names like Eric Berry and Taylor Mays high on NFL draft boards, McDaniel believes he should be considered at the same level as those two.
"I know I'm a good player, and I feel like I'm better than the second round," McDaniel said.
Since the beginning of bowl practice almost two weeks ago, talk swirled around Kentucky's "WildCobb" formation and whether Clemson would be able to contain it.
"We practiced all week for that. Coach (Kevin) Steele had their wildcat package in and out," McDaniel said. "Like I said, as long as we did our job, there wasn't anywhere for them to go. Everybody went out there and did their job. We stopped it."
Whether he's back to contribute to stopping the Tigers' opponents next season remains to be seen.
"I hope that DeAndre comes back…I'm really proud of him. He's mature and grown up in so many ways," Swinney said. "He's not a finished product yet. With another year, he could really be something special.
"He had a great year and really put himself on the radar."