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Dawgs in the Draft: What you need to know about former Bulldog DJ Daniel

A number of Georgia Bulldogs will hear their name called on draft night, as the 2021 NFL Draft is set to begin on April 29. In the run-up to the draft, DawgNation will profile each potential draftee as a part of our Dawgs in the Draft series. Today’s entry will focus on DJ Daniel

DJ Daniel was injured throughout the 2020 season

Kirby Smart shared early on that DJ Daniel was off his game on account of an ankle injury, but no one knew until after the season the severity of the injury and that Daniel was never better than 80 percent.

Daniel was healthy enough to run a 4.46-second time in the 40 at UGA Pro Day, and NFL scouts are no doubt impressed with a win span that features 33.375-inch arms, the better to play press coverage and high point the ball.

“Just being back healthy, feeling great, feeling like my old self,” Daniel said after Pro Day, his first and only media appearance of 2020. “Just getting back to my rhythm, how I normally and how I know I can compete.”

DJ Daniel started in place of Tyson Campbell in 2019

Daniel transferred in to UGA from Georgia Military College and quickly established himself among the SEC’s top defensive backs, starting the last 11 games of the season even after teammate and fellow 2021 NFL Draft candidate Tyson Campbell returned from a foot injury.

Indeed, it was Daniel making the game-clinching PBU in a white-knuckle 23-17 win over Notre Dame at Sanford Stadium. Daniel also had five tackles including one behind the line of scrimmage in his first start for the Bulldogs after Campbell was injured the week before.

DJ Daniel was voted the cornerback MVP by his peers at the Senior Bowl

Daniel made the most of his opportunity to impress at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., in January. Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy, a former NFL scout with the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks, invited Daniels based off his 2019 tape.

“He’s really good at the line of scrimmage,” Nagy said. “He’s patient, he’s physical, and he’s good with his hands.”

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