High School and College Career
From Hebron High School, Braeden Daniels was a 3-star prospect and decided to join the University of Utah.
As a freshman in 2018, Daniels played in only 2 games and participated in a total of 13 snaps for the Utes.
The following year, as a sophomore in 2019, Daniels played in 14 games and completed a total of 870 snaps. Playing primarily at left guard, he allowed 20 QB hurries, 2 QB hits, and 3 sacks.
In 2020, Daniels’ junior year, he only saw action in 3 games and played 134 snaps as a left guard.
Moving into his senior year in 2021, Daniels played in 14 games and completed a total of 959 snaps. He allowed 13 QB hurries, 2 QB hits, and one sack during the season, playing at the right tackle position.
In 2022, Daniels returned as a fifth-year senior and played in 13 games while completing a total of 879 snaps for the Utes. Playing at left tackle, he allowed 10 QB hurries, no QB hits, and no sacks.
Braeden Daniels Scouting Report Introduction
Daniels has played left guard, right tackle, and left tackle positions. Although he could potentially function as a tackle in the NFL, his performance suggests that he is better suited to play on the inside at guard.
One of Daniels’ strengths is that he is assignment-driven and executes his plays with good timing. He demonstrates excellent coordination and control with very few instances of over-extending. He maximizes angles effectively for the run game and creates substantial movements. As a pass blocker, he keeps his feet engaged, operates from a balanced base, and maintains a square position. Daniels easily adapts to new positions, as shown by his seamless shift to right tackle in 2021 after just two weeks of practice, and his subsequent playing at left tackle for the entire 2022 season.
Furthermore, Daniels is an excellent blocker in space where he showcases his skills and athleticism to maintain control while blocking. However, a significant area of concern for Daniels is his weight and functional strength. He is an aggressive player but lacks the power and mass to generate consistent displacement in the running game. As a pass blocker, his anchor could use some improvement as he often works overtime to absorb incoming power. Additionally, Daniels needs to improve his hand usage, as he occasionally shows a lack of consistency in using his hands independently. Although he has ordinary latch strength, he struggles to sustain blocks and maintain his hand fits. Daniels’ moderate length also doesn’t compensate for his inconsistent hand usage in the tackle position. His best moments in pass protection come from quickly getting his hands on his opponents, contributing to the belief that guard is his best-suited position in the NFL.
Overall, Daniels’ versatility is a significant asset to any NFL team, and he is undoubtedly a quality reserve player. However, with some improvement in strength and hand usage, he could develop into a starter for a zone-rushing scheme.
One of the first things to note about Daniels is his footwork and technique. He has shown impressive balance and agility in his pass protection sets, with a keen eye for hand placement, allowing him to gain an advantage over opposing rushers. Additionally, he isn’t afraid to take the fight to his opponents, frequently punching multiple times in order to finish a play.
Another area where Daniels excels is in his ability to read and respond to various defensive schemes. For example, he quickly picks up on edge blitzes and can easily adjust his angles and footwork to stay in front of his opponent. If he gets beaten initially, he can recover and reset his anchor, preventing the defender from getting a clear path to the quarterback.
Despite his agility and quickness, Daniels can also hold his ground against larger defenders in the middle of the line. He uses his athleticism to help out on nose tackles before picking up twists or late blitzers, and is not afraid to give up his body in order to protect the quarterback. He also does a good job of mirroring interior rushers who try to beat him with speed or quickness.
Daniels is also effective when asked to pull or move to the second level of the defense. He shows impressive agility, speed, and range in these situations, and can get out in front of his ball carriers to clear a path for them. He is also flexible and balanced enough to land blocks in open space, and has a good sense of how to adjust his approach depending on his opponent’s position.
One of his weaknesses is that he often gets too high in his sets which sacrifices some of his power. This can be coached out of him, but its up to teams to determine whether or not they deem him “coachable” and if he has the discipline to make this adjustment within the pressure of a game.
Another weakness of Daniels is his lack of physical dominance on the field. This is further highlighted by his average overall strength. Daniels may struggle to hold his own against more physically imposing opponents without the necessary strength. Getting him lower could allow him to tap into previously wasted strength, but how much will need to be seen.
Daniels’ ability to perform in the run game is limited. This is due to his underpowered build, especially when he needs to move in open space.
Braeden Daniels is the 175th prospect on our draft big board.