Clemson Football: Dorian O’Daniel 2018 NFL Draft Profile

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 11: Dorian O'Daniel
GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 11: Dorian O'Daniel /

Over the next few weeks, Rubbing The Rock will be analyzing each Clemson football player in the 2018 NFL Draft class. Today we’ll be taking a look at Dorian O’Daniel.

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Dorian O’Daniel (LB) Olney, Maryland:

O’Daniel was an intriguing prospect coming out of Maryland power, Good Counsel high school. Standing 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, O’Daniel showed major division one talent at both linebacker and running back.

His athleticism and versatility turned him into an All-American linebacker for the Tigers in 2017. Let’s take a look at his potential in the NFL.


O’Daniel is one of those few prospects whose biggest strength is his lack of glaring weaknesses. He’s a guy who can do just about anything on the defensive side of the ball, from tackling to covering in space.

The Clemson football program hasn’t had many defenders like O’Daniel. He’s built like a linebacker, has the coverage skills of a corner back and can flat out run with the best of them.

With his tenacity and flexibility, O’Daniel will be an immediate help to any organization. He will be an impact player on special teams from day one and has the potential to be an every-down starter on defense.


The one area that O’Daniel is lacking in is size. At 6-foot-1, 220 pounds, O’Daniel is far from small, however, he’s doesn’t have the staggering length of guys like, Leighton Vander Esch and Tremaine Edmunds.

Still, there is no doubt the kind of football player that O’Daniel is. I don’t see his size posing any issues in the NFL.


O’Daniel will almost certainly be a mid-round pick. There may be more freakishly athletic linebackers that come off of the board earlier, however, there aren’t many with O’Daniel’s specific skill set.

NFL offenses are more wide-open than ever, which calls for more athletic defenses. Linebackers don’t need to be heavy-hitting mammoths any more, they must be fast enough to play in space. You’d be hard-pressed to find any linebackers that cover as well as O’Daniel in this draft class.

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I expect O’Daniel to have a productive career in the NFL. His future defensive coordinator will be able to keep enough size on the field to stop the run, while also having enough defenders to cover multiple wide receiver sets.