Bears

NFL Draft Profile: Notre Dame WR DaVaris Daniels

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NFL Draft Profile: Notre Dame WR DaVaris Daniels

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of 200 prospects, including what the scouts around the league are saying and video interviews with each player.

DaVaris Daniels (WR), Notre Dame

6’1” | 201 lbs.

2013 stats (Daniels was suspended for 2014 due to academics)

49 receptions, 745 yards, 7 touchdowns

Projection:

4th-7th round

What scouts are saying:

"He's serviceable in most areas. Where he won (in the game I watched) was as a slot or movement receiver pre-snap, which gives him the ability to generate speed pre-snap and face less press. He is a taller receiver for that position and is not afraid to work over the middle. He also gets north and south after the catch, but nothing special about his ability to make people miss." Josh Norris, Rotoworld.com

"Daniels suspension and then dismissal over academic dishonesty will need to be looked into, but the tape shows a receiver who is still learning to run better routes and maximize his size. Daniels lacks plus athleticism or speed and missing an entire year of football puts him behind in his wide receiver studies. His production and size could get him a look but he will likely need time to sharpen his skills as a receiver before he is ready to contribute." Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
 
Fit for the Bears:

Daniels' father, Phillip, played defensive end for the Bears from 2000-2003, so even though he missed the entire 2014 season, he does have a good NFL pedigree. His 2014 suspension was related to academics, though he wouldn't delve into the specifics of the issue, handling it professionally while talking to the media at the NFL Combine and Notre Dame's pro day. There could be an opening for Daniels as a reserve receiver if the Bears take a flier on him in the later rounds of the draft, and given his steady improvement from 2012 to 2013 at Notre Dame, he could very well develop into a dependable player in the NFL. But, given his suspension, he's still an unknown having not played since December 2013.

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Jalen Hurts underwhelms in first Senior Bowl practice

Jalen Hurts underwhelms in first Senior Bowl practice

Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, a prospect pegged as a potential option for the Bears in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft, struggled in his first Senior Bowl practice of the week, failing to throw with consistency or accuracy when targeting his South squad receivers.

This isn't an uncommon occurrence for quarterbacks participating in the Senior Bowl. It could take a few practices to develop rhythm and timing with a completely new set of pass-catchers, but there was a marked difference in Hurts' ball placement compared to fellow South team quarterback, Oregon's Justin Herbert.

RELATED: Who will the Bears be watching at the 2020 Senior Bowl?

Herbert is projected to be a top-10 pick, and while his footwork in bag drills didn't look anything remotely close to that high of a grade, his arm talent was (for the most part) on display throughout the practice.

The Bears' biggest draft needs center around tight end and offensive line, and there were a few obvious standouts from those position groups.

LSU tight end Stephen Sullivan was the most fluid and explosive route-runner on the South team which includes the likes of Jared Pinkney (Vanderbilt) and Harrison Bryant (FAU). His wide receiver background was evident; he created easy separation and flashed the kind of downfield speed that will be an asset in the NFL. 

Pinkney, on the other hand, really struggled. He looked heavy-footed and forced his quarterback to make tight-window throws. It wasn't a great start for him.

One of the really interesting names to monitor over the next few days is Ben Bartch, the Saint John's offensive lineman who's making one of the biggest jumps in competition among all of this year's Senior Bowl participants. You wouldn't know it by how he performed on Tuesday, however. He was quick out of his stance, showed strong hands and a powerful base. He's going to be a riser from this game.

The best player on the field, bar none, was South Carolina defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw. He has a chance to jump into the top-10 with a strong week of practice, and if his first session was any indication of how this week is going to go, his stock is going to skyrocket. He was unblockable, including several reps where he bullied potential Bears target John Simpson (guard, Clemson) in one-on-ones. 

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NFL Draft: Bears met with top tight end prospects at 2020 Senior Bowl

NFL Draft: Bears met with top tight end prospects at 2020 Senior Bowl

The Chicago Bears ended the 2019 regular season with tight end as one of the team's biggest offseason needs, and they're wasting little time gathering intel on potential upgrades at the 2020 Senior Bowl.

Brycen Hopkins (Purdue) and Jared Pinkney (Vanderbilt) both confirmed they spent time with Bears scouts in Mobile, with Pinkney saying he spent more than 30 minutes with one of Chicago's talent evaluators.

RELATED: Who Bears scouts are watching at the 2020 Senior Bowl

Hopkins has a chance to separate himself as the top tight end in the class with a strong showing this week. He's the most gifted athlete of the bunch and would provide the Bears with the kind of receiving threat the offense has been sorely lacking.

Pinkney, on the other hand, is less dynamic in the open field and projects more as a traditional in-line player with limited route-running ability. Still, in 2018 Pinkney was considered one of the better offensive weapons at the position when he totaled 774 yards and seven touchdowns.