The Packers may view Mike Daniels as a player with declining skill, but the analytics suggest the DT could be valuable to the Cleveland Browns in 2019.
The Cleveland Browns are being linked to recently released Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Mike Daniels .
The Browns front office, namely general manager John Dorsey and assistant GM were working for the Packers when Daniel became a Cheesehead back in 2012.
Now that he’s walking the street, the natural thing to do is tie him to the Browns, especially because the Browns tried and failed to land another defensive tackle, Gerald McCoy, earlier in the offseason.
Trevon Coley figures to be one of the first players off the bench, yet it was one of the Browns major offseason goals to replace him in the starting lineup, which they did by acquiring Richardson.
Daniels only played 10 games last season after suffering a season-ending foot injury in Week 11.
Pro Football Focus said Daniels “had a down year last season by his standards” after producing a grade of 71.3. Five of his 10 games resulted in game grades of 60.0 or below.
However, the analytically oriented website made the case, as recently as May, as to why the Packers should keep the seventh-year veteran.
When it comes to getting after opposing quarterbacks, Daniels was still able to flash despite his poor overall grades. He finished with a 78.5 pass-rush grade, which was ninth among interior defenders. His pass-rushing productivity score of 7.3 ranked ranked sixth among qualifying d-lineman.
The big reason the Browns should be interested: Daniels was a beast fourth quarters. He posted a 76.6 pass-rush grade in the final stanza, which was the 12th best mark among qualifying defensive lineman.
Here’s why that final stat matters: The Browns figure to be playing with leads in the fourth quarter, so teams are more likely to be passing and playing catch-up. To have an additional defensive interior player who can give Ogunjobi and Richardson a series or two off may prove to be invaluable.
As pointed out, his run defense wasn’t stellar, but it doesn’t need to be elite. He’s not being brought in to be an every down player. The Browns still employ a healthy analytics department, and if I’m aware of what Daniels is capable of, you better the organization is, too.