2023 NFL draft: Utah offensive lineman Braeden Daniels selected by Washington Commanders
Braeden Daniels earned praise at the University of Utah for his ability to protect the quarterback from multiple positions. Now, he’s taking his talents to the NFL.
Daniels was selected by the Washington Commanders in the fourth round (No. 118 overall pick) of the 2023 NFL draft on Saturday.
Daniels came to Utah from northeast Texas, where he grew up playing basketball, baseball and soccer in addition to football.
His eclectic sports background contributed to his position flexibility on the football field. He played left and right tackle as a senior in high school and then both tackle and guard for Utah’s offense.
In the leadup to the 2023 NFL draft, league experts praised the 6-foot-3, 294-pound offensive lineman for his versatility and strength, noting that he should become an asset for an NFL team as he continues to develop.
What draft experts said about Braeden Daniels
“Daniels is an impactful down blocker with the quickness to handle zone-blocking duties. Firing out and sustaining drive blocks, however, will require much better patience and footwork to keep from whiffing or falling off blocks. Small hands prevent him from latching in as a run blocker or in pass protection, but flurrying hands and a tenacious mirror help him stay in front of rushers.” — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com.
“Daniels will require development time to refine his footwork and consistency to match up with NFL rushers, but he has the athletic twitch and versatility to boost an offensive line depth chart in the NFL. His experience at multiple positions is a plus and he grades as a swing tackle/guard with down-the-road starting upside.” — Dane Brugler, The Athletic.
“With the improvements we’ve seen in his hand usage over the years — if that continues in the NFL, he has high-end potential.” — Michael Renner for Pro Football Focus.
What experts said about the selection
“Could play OT or be an athletic guard at the next level. Loves quick-setting and getting DLs in a hurry after the snap. Athletic specimen. Recovery skill is there. Has to get much stronger and does lean into a lot of his blocks, which hurts his balance. Early though.” — Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports.
“There were guard-tackle questions with Daniels, who is undersized but athletically gifted. Washington could try him at either spot, and he could be a nice fit in Eric Bieniemy’s offensive system at either.” — Eric Edholm, NFL.com.
Utah tackles and guards taken in the NFL draft in the past 20 years
Year — Player, Round, Pick No., Team
2019 — Jackson Barton, Round 7, No. 240, Indianapolis Colts.
2017 — Sam Tevi, Round 6, No. 190, Los Angeles Chargers.
2017 — Isaac Asiata, Round 5, No. 164, Miami Dolphins.
2017 — Garett Bolles, Round 1, No. 20, Denver Broncos.
2015 — Jeremiah Poutasi, Round 3, No. 66, Tennessee Titans.
2012 — Tony Bergstrom, Round 3, No. 95, Oakland Raiders.
2011 — Caleb Schlauderaff, Round 6, No. 179, Green Bay Packers.
2010 — Zane Beadles, Round 2, No. 45, Denver Broncos.
2005 — Chris Kemoeatu, Round 6, No. 204, Pittsburgh Steelers.
2003 — Jordan Gross, Round 1, No. 8, Carolina Panthers.
2002 — Ed Ta’amu, Round 4, No. 132, Minnesota Vikings.