Davaris Daniels – Notre Dame’s #1 Wide Receiver?

Davaris Daniels - Notre Dame's #1 WR?
Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver DaVaris Daniels (10) catches a pass defended by Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix (6) during the first half of the 2013 BCS Championship game at Sun Life Stadium. (Photo: Matt Cashore / USA TODAY Sports)

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.

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  1. I also think Daniels has the potential to become an outstanding WR.

    As has been previously mentioned, after being barely utilized, then injured, his resume is short,
    but his potential is long.

    I wonder if GA III, with his speed, Frosh WR experience and running ability, might not be a natural to replace Theo at the slot receiver/RB position – with Davonte Neal, now that both Theo and Robby Toma are gone.

    With TJ, DD, Brown, and GA III running routes with whomever ends up as TE, Golson will have
    more than dependable receivers to spread the field with some elite speed to stretch the field
    with Brown and G. Atkinson.

  2. Daniels will be really solid. I loved what I saw out of him in last year’s Blue and Gold game. He was also having a great game against Purdue (remember when Golson under-threw him for what would have been a looooong td?)

    Once he got hurt in that Purdue game he missed some time and then obviously broke his collarbone later in the year. If he stays healthy, he definitely has the skills to be a 70 or 80 reception guy with around 1,000 receiving. No sense in comparing him to Tate or Floyd. He is a very different type of player… doesn’t mean that he won’t excel during his time at ND.

    Go Irish!

  3. First off Eifert is a TE so no need to compare a WR to a TE. Second thing is Floyd and DaVaris are two different type of WR’s. DaVaris is way more athletic and as far as hands go, I don’t see no reason to say that DaVaris hands are not just as good as both Eifert’s and Floyd’s. What I saw in the national championship game told me a lot. The kid can play!!! I disagree with the article about the inconsistent part because DaVaris was not really targeted until the title game and you saw what happened then. Give this kid the ball and he will do big things. Stop waisting your time talking about something you don’t know yet. Go Irish!!!

  4. Daniels has A LOT, and I mean A LOT of work to do if he ever expects to come close to as good as Tyler Eifert or MIchael Floyd. We may never have a receiver/tight end come through ND ever again that possesses the kind of skills that Tyler Eifert had. At 6’6″ with the speed, athleticism, and the best pair of hands I’ve ever seen come through ND, it’s almost impossible to think anyone will ever be as good as Eifert. I’ve never seen a receiver high point the ball the way Eifert has. Unbelievable and just giving him his props he deserves.

    But this is about now and what we have at receiver coming into this year. Daniels shows some promise, but I don’t think he will ever be a Floyd like receiver. I haven’t seen him high point any balls in jump ball situations over a DB. His speed is ok, but not blazing and he isn’t really that big. Sure he is 6’2″ but at 190 pounds, that is what DBs weigh so it will be tough for him to outphysical a DB the way Floyd used to. I think TJ Jones has great hands and runs really good routes. I think he is our most consistent receiver. Unfortunately, he lacks the size to be a gamebreaker. I remember throwing up jump balls to him in a couple games this year and he just doesn’t stand a chance as he lacks the ball skills in the air to high point it the way Golden Tate used to, as they would be comparable based on their size.

    I think we have a good group of a little better than average receivers, but nobody is a gamebreaker by any means…let’s just be honest. Brown possesses the gamebreaker speed, but what awful hands so far. Hopefully that changes this year. I see the most upside in him at this point with the kind of speed he has, but it’s basically been a ‘go’ every time his number was called last year. Can he run routes?? We’ll see…

    And finally at the TE spot…Niklas is a freakin beast, but we will see if he can catch in any way Eifert did. We already know he can block, more so in the run game, but let’s hope he steps up using his size and becomes the next great receiving TE that ND seems to keep producing as the guy before him graduates.

    1. Ken McAfee was as good as Eifert, IMO. But it has indeed been a long time since he was around. His hands might have even been better than Eifert’s. I remember some pretty spectacular one-had catches. He isn’t too well-remembered in the pros; after a couple of seasons he wound up leaving football and becoming a dentist.

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