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Matt Daniels to St. Louis Rams: Scouting Report and Analysis

DURHAM, NC - OCTOBER 29:  Safety Matt Daniels #40 of the Duke Blue Devils knocks a pass loose from tight end Chris Drager #33 of the Virginia Tech Hokies October 29, 2011 at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, North Carolina. The Hokies won 14-10.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
John JenkinsContributor IIINovember 1, 2016

The St. Louis Rams have signed Matt Daniels as an undrafted free agent. Daniels was a defensive captain on the Duke University football team and finished third in the ACC Defensive Player of the Year voting.  CBSSports.com ranked Daniels as the ninth-best safety in the 2012 NFL draft.

For a scouting report, CBS Sports' Brad Noell had this to say about Daniels:

Strengths: Superior anticipation and football IQ, can sniff out where the ball is and rocket towards it. Strong, sure tackler. Puts shoulder to chest and tackles through the ball carrier. Heads up in coverage, good zone instincts and ball skills. Has speed, takes good angles and closes fast with burst. Hard worker, smart, durable, top intangibles.

Weaknesses: Narrow boned, high hipped build. Was a track star, and doesn't turn or change directions well. Projects to struggle with NFL man coverage assignments. Can have difficulty disengaging from blocks. Marginal hands, very few career picks for number of passes defensed.

NFL Comparison: Gerald Sensabaugh, Dallas Cowboys

Daniels showed impressive speed at the Duke University pro day, where he turned in a 4.48-second 40 time. His intelligence, leadership skills and raw ability should make him a solid addition for the Rams. It is unlikely that the Duke product will make an impact as a starter, though—at least initially. That said, the fact that Daniels was not drafted is a bit of a surprise. 

Prediction: He will be a contributor on special teams and a top reserve. In time, if coached properly and given the right situation, Daniels may crack the starting lineup.

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