One thing the Irish lacked last season was a true number one receiver. Despite going 12-1 the Irish never had a wide out with the ability to tally 80 plus receptions and cause opposing defenses nightmares. However, the Irish do possess one player with the abilities necessary to shred defenses from the wide receiver position as the likes of Michael Floyd and Golden Tate did in the past, that being DaVaris Daniels.
Daniels is the prototypical wide receiver, standing 6’2’’ and weighing 190 pounds, these measurables lend themselves to versatility at the position. Daniels possesses the ability dominate corners one on one using his rare combination of size and speed, his skill set allows him to do it all, catch the jump ball one-on-one, work over the middle of the field, beat coverage deep, excel in space, and block well.
The Illinois native totalled 31 receptions for 490 yards while playing in 11 games as a redshirt freshman last season. Daniels battled some inconsistency issues, which resulted in sharing playing time with veterans such as John Goodman and Daniel Smith. With Daniels getting ready to start his second season as a regular contributor his inconsistency issues will subside as he fills a bigger role.
The young receiver showed what he is capable of when given the opportunity in the national championship game, as he lead the Irish with 115 yards receiving while coming off a broken collarbone against a ferocious Alabama defense. With that effort Daniels announced his presence as the most talented receiver on the roster, and will be the focus of the Irish passing attack in the coming season.
With All-American tight-end Tyler Eifert leaving for the NFL it’s apparent the Irish need someone to fill the void of what he meant for the Irish offense as well as his production. Daniels has what it takes to do so as he can be a go to target in the red zone as well as on third down, providing a security blanket for Everett Golson as Eifert did.
If Daniels can produce it could mean Brian Kelly would have his most talented and balanced offense in his time at Notre Dame. Golson will be a second year starter as a lethal dual threat quarterback, to go along with great depth and skill at the running back position, three returning starters at offensive line, superior speed and talent at slot receiver, solid tight-ends, and Daniels and T.J. Jones as an elite one two punch at receiver.
Essentially production from Daniels can open up the playbook for the offense and create balance between run and pass as well causing matchup problems for any defense with so much talent to defend against, which is bad news for opponents of the Irish.