Name: Alex Daniels
Position: Defensive End
Weight: 260 pounds
As a senior at Brookhaven High School (Columbus, OH) in 2004, Daniels was rated a 4-star prospect and the 10th best safety in the nation according to Scout.com. Daniels committed to Minnesota as a linebacker but after one season, was quickly moved to running back. In 2006, Daniels was the Golden Gophers' second leading rusher, gaining 309 yards and five rushing touchdowns. In 2007, Daniels was dismissed from the team after an incident involving alcohol and allegations of sexual assault—he was never charged in the case. Daniels transferred to home state Cincinnati, and after sitting out the 2007 season due to NCAA transfer rules, he made the switch from linebacker to the defensive line, where his speed and athleticism proved to be a tremendous asset for the Bearcats' defense. Daniels played in all 27 games of his two-year career at Cincinnati, but his production was overshadowed by the Bearcats' outstanding offense. In his senior year, Daniels recorded 56 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and led the team with 8.5 sacks.
Daniels is an intriguing pickup for the Raiders. He is a guy who definitely flew under the radar at Cincinnati despite a pretty productive career. The Raiders list him at 6'4", but that's probably being a bit generous—he measured in at 6'2" 1/4 at Cincinnati's Pro Day. Daniels did not receive an invite to the NFL Combine, but his Pro Day numbers put him among the best defensive end prospects: his 4.73 in the 40, 31 repetitions in the bench press, 36 1/2" in the vertical, 10'9" in the broad jump, and 4.51 in the 20-yard shuttle would all have been in the top ten among defensive linemen.
Daniels is listed as a defensive end where his speed off the edge is evident. He has some experience at defensive tackle, but does not have the bulk to play inside at the professional level. Daniels might be an option at outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme and it's something that Head Coach Tom Cable hasn't completely dismissed this season.
Daniels has gotten away with his athleticism and strength, but has some work to do mechanically and must add some more moves to his repertoire.
Daniels might find it tough to find a spot on the roster with all the additions the Raiders have made to the defensive line. Kamerion Wimbley is slated to start at strongside linebacker, but definitely has the ability to play with his hand on the ground. Quentin Groves has gotten a look at weakside linebacker, but he's listed as a defensive end. The Raiders have said that they intend to use second round pick Lamarr Houston at defensive end. Matt Shaughnessy is being given the first opportunity at right defensive end. For Daniels, his greatest competition in trying to make the Raiders' roster might be veteran backup Jay Richardson.
UDFA Rookie Profile: DE Alex Daniels
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