Round 6: Clemson LB Dorian O’Daniel – 6-1, 215 – 4.61 – Senior
Previous pick: Central Michigan DE Joe Ostman
Day 3 picks must be contributors on special teams and that’s exactly what O’Daniel can do. He had an astounding 48 tackles on special teams for the Tigers and has a knack for slipping past blockers and finding the football.
With special teams ace linebacker Adarius Glanton not being tendered an offer by Tampa Bay due to the fact that he is still recovering from a broken leg suffered late in the season against Atlanta, the Bucs need depth at linebacker and O’Daniel has the speed and athletic traits to fit right in. O’Daniel was one of the fastest linebackers at the NFL Scouting Combine where he posted a 4.61 time in the 40-yard dash to go along with 21 reps on the bench press, a 6.64 time in the three-cone drill and a 4.07 time in the 20-yard shuttle.
O’Daniel has the frame and the work ethic to add 10 pounds at the next level to play linebacker and will need to as he is currently undersized. But keep in mind that Kwon Alexander is just 6-foot-1, 227 pounds and Lavonte David is 6-foot-1, 233 pounds and Glanton is 6-foot-1, 230 pounds. The Bucs prefer speed over size at the linebacker position.
O’Daniel’s Clemson Career Defensive Stats
2017: 88 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, 5 PBUs, 2 INTs, 2 TDs, 2 FR
2016: 54 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 1 INT, 1 PBU, 1 FF
2015: 36 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 1 PBU
2014: 27 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack
O’Daniel was a Senior Bowl selection, but a rib injury in practice forced him to miss the game. He only had one year as a full-time starter at Clemson, but made it count with 88 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, five pass breakups and two interceptions – both of which were pick-sixes. The first came against former Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson in a win at Louisville, and the second was the game-clincher in a win at Virginia Tech.
O’Daniel is adept at coverage and as a pass rusher where he racked up 8.5 sacks as a blitzer for the Tigers. O’Daniel can play outside linebacker in 4-3 scheme or as a blitzer off the edge in a 3-4 scheme as well, and that position versatility appeals to Tampa Bay.