The NFL just invited Washington Huskies Tight End Darrell Daniels to their ranks. Here’s why the Indianapolis Colts will love him
The University of Washington Huskies are an NFL player assembly line under head coach Chris Petersen. The team simply does not look to the stars: either in recruits or in production on the field. What Coach Petersen insists upon is contribution.
Tight end Darrell Daniels delivered that contribution. While not considered a primary receiver, he did haul in 17 receptions for 307 yards and 3 TDs.
Daniels was a tight end with a wide receiver background. As such, he was typically a third option on a passing offense with speedster WR John Ross. In that setting, not many reads slide to a second or third option.
More from The Husky Haul
- Pro Husky Shaq Thompson out for season with leg injury
- Washington Huskies begin conference play against Cal in Week 4
- Jack Westover is a breakout star for the Washington Huskies
- Washington football: Negatives and Positives in win over Michigan State
- Huskies offense slices through the Spartans in 41-7 win
What the Indianapolis Colts will love about Darrell Daniels
On one hand, the Washington Huskies teach strong football fundamentals to all of their players. And as such, Darrell Daniels becomes an immediate talent for the Colts special teams. On the other hand, he is a pass catching tight end, the type who can pressure the defense as a third or fourth option , and can use his 6-foot-3 height and 34.5 inch arm lengths to “out-big” the defender.
He has good hands. While he hasn’t seen many balls hurled his way, he makes the best of the ones that do. He also has good speed, particularly for a tight end. He ran a 4.55 time in the 40 yard dash.
Keep in mind that he arrived as an undrafted free agent. That means he required neither a draft pick nor a significant NFL salary. He has all the right raw tools. Even should he not make the 53 man roster, he will be perfect on the practice squad for a year while he continues to develop the NFL skills befitting a young man of his size and speed.
What the Indianapolis Colts will need to work on with Darrell Daniels
No NFL rookie is foolproof. And so, Darrell Daniels arrives to the NFL with a great deal of raw potential. Now, it will be up to the coaching staff of the Indianapolis Colts to unlock that potential.
Even so, Daniels needs to learn blocking skills. It’s nearly a mandate in the NFL now that everyone on the field knows how to block. He also needs to learn how to improve his route running. Speed alone worked in the NCAA, now he will need to mesh that speed with head bobs, stutter steps and juking to separate himself from the defender.
Ultimately, he must present a more formidable appearance. In essence, he must convert from a ballerina to an ice hockey player. Fortunately, he will have time enough to do it.
Why this pick is such a good fit
In the end, this is an excellent fit. Any receiver pairing up with quarterback Andrew Luck is a good fit. Darrell Daniels is a receiver first, and the Colts drafted no receivers despite eight picks. The team focused almost exclusively on defense.
In summary, that in itself translates into a good fit with the Colts. But the upside of Daniels is magnified in the framework of catching passes from Luck.