Torrance "Tank" Daniels OLB 6'4 248 Harding University
By: Robert Davis
There may not be a more versatile defender at the college level than Tank Daniels over the past four seasons. In his four seasons with the Division II Bison, Daniels has played with his hand down at end, at linebacker, and has spent most of his time as a safety. As a freshman, Daniels had 30 tackles, 4.5 for loss, 2.5 sacks, and an interception. He had his best overall season as a sophomore, finishing with 69 tackles, 13.5 for loss, seven sacks, two picks, and four forced fumbles. Daniels continued his standout play in 2004, posting 64/6/3.5 and a career high four picks on the season. He concluded his career with a career high 74 tackles, 10 for loss, 4.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles. The four year starter was twice named All-American, forced 10 fumbles during his career, and averaged 26 yards per interception return.
The first thing that stands out with Daniels is his versatility. He was an All-American as a hybrid safety/linebacker, but was technically labeled a safety. His says says OLB, with perhaps the ability to play with his hand down on third downs, like he did in college. Daniels has very good size, and combines that with very good athleticism. He flies to the ball and delivers big hits on his opponents. He has the speed to close on plays, the power to be a force in the running game, and the athleticism to turn and cover.
Obviously Daniels dominated at a lower level, so it creates concern about how well his talent translates. It will take time to adjust to the speed of the game and the intelligence of the players. Can he make the leap is the big question. Also, with him moving around a lot of defense, he hasn't mastered one position and will need work at linebacker once in camp.
Daniels is a very intriguing prospect. He has the talent to play in the NFL, and dominated at a small school, which players need to do at that level if they hope to play in the NFL. The concerns about the level, and how quickly he can pick things up are legitimate questions though. With those concerns, he will not hear his name called until late, if at all, but could be a player that surprises once in training camp.
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