Maybe James Daniels' Long-Term Future Is NOT at Left Guard

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Maybe James Daniels’ Long-Term Future Is NOT at Left Guard

Chicago Bears

James Daniels arrives in Chicago after a productive collegiate career at Iowa. Daniels was a three-year contributor who played as a true freshman and was a two-year starter at center beginning with his sophomore season. The Bears used the first of their two second-round picks to pluck Daniels, who will take some snaps at center, but figures to slot in as the team’s starting left guard in 2018.

HOWEVER, Daniels might not be there for long.

In the final installment of the Chicago Bears’ “Meet the Rookies” series, Josh Lucas (who serves as the Bears’ Director of Player Personnel) teased at the possibility of Daniels being destined for a position switch at some point in the future. You’ll have to read between the lines of Lucas’ analysis, but we’ll gladly do that for you.

Lucas cited Daniels’ skill-set as a strength and expressed his belief that it was unusual to see someone as athletically gifted as Daniels playing center, then went on to explain what made him an enticing prospect.

“Guys that have power, guys that like contact, and have athleticism and movement … there’s not a lot of them in every draft,” Lucas explained. “There’s only a few offensive linemen in every draft, and this is a guy that has it and this is one of the main reasons why we were so drawn to this player.”

Lucas also made note that the best and most athletic offensive linemen are placed at tackle when college football teams put together offensive lines. However, that wasn’t the case with Daniels. And while I don’t possess an otherworldly knowledge of Iowa football, I do know that school has long had a reputation for producing talented linemen at every position. There is a distinct possibility that Daniels was blocked by skilled players that kept him in the middle.

It’s also worth noting that Daniels was one of the youngest linemen on the team. As talented as he was coming onto the field, it’s difficult to imagine a seasoned head coach such as Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz trusting an 18-year-old true freshman to protect a quarterback’s blindside or play at right tackle.

During the pre-draft process, we came away impressed with all-world Notre Dame prospect Quenton Nelson. Part of the Nelson-related love fest was the result of some pretty impressive measurements at the combine – measurements that screamed future NFL tackle. That line of thinking could be applied to Daniels, who checked in at 6-4 and 295 pounds with 33 3/4-inch arms and hands that measured 9 1/2 inches.

With Bobby Massie going into the final year of his three-year contract with the Bears, the team could soon have an opening at tackle. So we would be wise to put a pin in the idea of Daniels moving out to tackle at some point down the line.

As for the full “Meet the Rookies” segment on Daniels, you can watch it below:

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.