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Perhaps surprisingly, Mike Daniels is projected to have an even bigger impact in his rookie season in the NFL than Jerel Worthy who was drafted two rounds ahead of Daniels.
At least that's the word from PredictionMachine.com which sees Daniels having a few more tackles (28.9) and sacks (4.6) than Worthy.
Projections from PredictionMachine.com are based on a mathematical formula that takes into account college statistics as well as other variables. But it's clear that players who are productive over the course of an entire college career are predicted to put up better numbers than the one-year wonders, which factors into the high expectations for the first-year defensive lineman.
Daniels was very productive during his time at Iowa putting up career statistics of 89 tackles, 27 for a loss and 15.5 sacks.
The above-listed projections assume, of course, a player is healthy enough to stay on the field. And for Daniels, that's something he still has to prove.
After undergoing shoulder surgery on his labrum following the 2011 season at Iowa, Daniels couldn't play in a postseason all-star game, couldn't work out at the NFL Combine and didn't practice with the Packers at all during their offseason program.
But in an interview that was published Tuesday on the Packers official website, Daniels appeared to be chomping at the bit to get back on the field.
“It’s rough. If you tell a fish not to swim, it’s going to be kind of hard,” Daniels is quoted as saying. “Being a football player, it’s hard to sit around and watch everybody else out there getting better, practicing. So I have to find other ways to improve myself.”
There's still approximately three weeks to go until the Packers begin training camp in late July, which gives Daniels a little bit more time to rehab and recuperate.
At 6'1" and only 290 pounds, Daniels is seen as small for an NFL defensive linemen, but it's his quickness that has Green Bay excited about his future.
He probably won't be asked to play in their base 3-4 defense very often, but Daniels can certainly carve out a niche with the Packers as long as he can help push the pocket.