Name: Dennis Daley
SCHOOL: South Carolina
POSITION: Offensive Tackle
JERSEY: No. 74
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 312 lbs
Pass Protection – Good luck bull rushing. Rushing with power down the middle is playing right into his hands. Frames bull rushers well and gets his hands inside while dropping his hips to stop power. Base is perfect, rarely knocked off balance. Capable of stopping speed rushers, but feet need to be more consistent. Rarely oversets, but can be slow to react to inside moves when he is hit with them.
POA Run Blocking – Love his intensity and moments of eruption into contact. Flashes of ability to shock defenders with his burst and power off the snap. Can also get a little overextended off the snap, leaning into contact and losing some of the leg drive that creates movement. Diverse blocking schemes at South Carolina highlighted his well-rounded skill set. Functions well as an inside zone blocker, provided the opponent isn’t too twitched up. Devastating on down blocks, but doesn’t create the same movement on drive blocks.
Functional Strength – Power won’t be an issue, but doesn’t always have the pad level and technique to maximize it functionally. Thickly built with a pro-ready frame and physicality. Consistently widens his gap on seal blocks with the rotational strength to long arm force defenders up the field.
Pass Pro Footwork – One of the biggest concerns with Daley’s game is his inability to find consistent set points against various types of rushers/techniques. Undersets speed rushers and was beaten up the arc frequently by Josh Allen. Stops his feet to land a punch, allowing more savvy rushers to slow-play and then burst around him. A false step in his post foot creeps into his game on 45-degree sets. Has flashed the ability to fire out of his stance and establish a half-man relationship, but does not do so nearly consistently enough.
Strike Timing/Placement – Will occasionally get over-extended and fire his hands early, allowing edge defenders to swat his hands and corner. When he frames a rusher well, lands a thunderous punch with good grip strength. Does an excellent job finding the edge rusher’s hip in recovery mode and pushing him deeper than the pocket. In the run game, hands can get a bit wide at times, but shows the ability to find leverage points and create movement with strong hands.
Leverage – Biggest issues with leverage come in the run game, when he pops up off the snap too often as a vertical blocker. Power is negated by issues keeping his pads low, allowing defenders to shed his block easier. Has shown flashes of playing lower, just has to make it more consistent. Even without great technique, is rarely manhandled or tossed around.
Space Blocking – Would overwhelm second level blockers more often with better pad level. Not asked to release into space or pull much in South Carolina’s offense. When he did pull, stayed under control and found his target. More short-area explosive than an ideal downfield option, but seems to have enough traits to be capable.
Competitive Toughness – Fights to maintain contact and shows incredible second effort when needed. Physical and relentless in his play demeanor. Not a big-time finisher, but looks to maximize every rep.
Mental Processing – Strong mental processor with good understanding of spacing in relationship to his fellow guard. Recognizes late pressure and will pass off players to pick up loopers on games. Doesn’t panic and knows his assignments. Based on tape, seems impressive from the neck up.
Athleticism/Size – Excellent size and solid movement skills. Flashes of explosive movement and overall fluidity are clear. Should test solid, but functional mover on tape, which is enough for me. How long are his arms? NFL teams will want to see that result.
BEST TRAIT – Functional Strength/Mental Processing
WORST TRAIT – Pass Pro Footwork
RED FLAGS – None
After spending two years at the JUCO level, South Carolina offensive tackle Dennis Daley jumped into the SEC and has played at a high level for most of the past two seasons. Sure, he’ll have his concerns against true speed/bend/quick-twitch rushers due to some footwork concerns in pass protection, but Daley has the strength, impressive strikes and technique to be a starter in the NFL.
Ideally he cleans up his set points and improves his pad level before being plugged into a starting lineup, but I think Daley is an underrated prospect who could find success at tackle or at guard in the NFL. Shutting down Clelin Ferrell and D’Andre Walker was impressive, but Josh Allen and speedier Vanderbilt rushers gave him fits, so the Senior Bowl will loom large for his hopes of staying at tackle.