Unpacking Future Packers: No. 83, California DB Daniel Scott

The Unpacking Future Packers Countdown is a countdown of 100 prospects that could be selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 2023 NFL draft.

With the 228th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers selected Tariq Carpenter. The Georgia Tech defensive back was a prospect that entered the NFL Draft with plenty of experience playing on special teams during his collegiate career.

That special teams experience helped the seventh-round pick make an impact during his rookie season, as he played 120 special teams snaps and really stood out down the stretch for the Packers.

A player that Brian Gutekunst could target on day three of the 2023 NFL Draft that has plenty of special teams experience is Daniel Scott. The California safety checks in at No. 83 in the Unpacking Future Packers countdown. 

Scott finished his career as a Golden Bear with 661 career snaps on special teams and recorded 11 tackles. He was named the team’s Most Valuable Special Teams Player in 2019. It’s part of his game that could make him an attractive day-three target for the Packers and it could allow him to make an immediate impact during his first year in the league. 

“He’s got good wheels, a good frame, and good anticipation skills,” Jim McGill, the editor for said. “A good special teams player always mitigates the risk when drafting a guy because of his versatility.”

After playing primarily on special teams early in his career, Scott became a full-time starter in 2021 and responded with 82 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, one sack, three interceptions, and one touchdown. This past season, Scott recorded 85 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and three interceptions. 

“Scott was 11th in the league in tackles as a junior and ninth as a senior and was tied for third in the league in interceptions with three as a junior and tied for fourth in the league with three as a senior,” McGill said. “He’s a well-rounded, reliable member of the secondary playing at a consistently fairly elite level.”

Scott doesn’t pop when you turn on the film. He’s a little like former Green Bay defensive back Micah Hyde during his time at 1265 Lombardi Avenue. He doesn’t do any one thing at an elite level, he’s just a solid, all-around player with a high football IQ, that’s never out of position. 

“Scott’s intelligence and preparation give him intangible edges that combined with his prototype NFL body make him a consistently strong player,” McGill said. “He played and learned behind two NFL safeties in Ashtyn Davis and Jaylinn Hawkins and lived with them and studied film with them for two years before they went to the league and they all lived and breathed football.”

Scott offers versatility in the secondary. He can play down in the box and has the size to cover tight ends. He has experience playing in the slot, or he can play free safety. 

He has the quickness to cover a lot of real estate to play deep safety. As a nickel corner, Scott has quick feet and adequate short-area quickness.

Scott processes things quickly and shows good route recognition. He has plus-ball skills and is able to jump routes to make plays on the ball. 

“Scott has a natural ability reading routes and he’s a big film guy so he’s going to know his opponent’s tendencies heading into every game,” McGill said. “He’s rarely out of position or straight-up beaten on routes.”

At 6-0, 210 pounds, Scott is well-built for the position. Scott isn’t a tone-setter in run support and doesn’t fly downhill with bad intentions, but he’s not afraid to get his nose dirty. He needs to clean up his technique (36 missed tackles in the past two seasons). 

“He has a nice frame for run support and isn’t afraid to stick his nose in there,” McGill said. “At this stage of his career, I wouldn’t call him an enforcer but he’s more than capable in the run game.”

Fit with the Packers

Darnell Savage, Carpenter, and James Wiggins are the only safeties under contract for the Packers. Gutekunst will have to address the position via free agency or the NFL Draft. 

With the Packers being strapped for cash, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to sign a big name in free agency. 

Savage is in the final year of his rookie deal. It’s reasonable to expect Gutekunst to spend multiple picks on the safety position in the upcoming draft. 

With his special teams experience and high football IQ, Scott would make for an attractive day-three pick for the Packers.

“If someone doesn’t draft Scott, they’re missing out on a player who definitely has a future in the league,” McGill said. “He’s the consummate team player and intelligent, mature guy.”

The Packers need bodies at safety and they need to continue to improve on special teams. Scott could make an immediate impact on special teams while vying for playing time in the secondary. He may never turn into a full-time starter, but there is value in adding core special teams players on the third day of the draft.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire