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 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.
Click below to view Tampa Bay’s seventh-round pick in 2018, which is a compensatory draft pick.
Scott Reynolds is in his 27th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive coordinator/defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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