The Cleveland Browns go into their first pre-season game with a ton of roster questions. The team has loaded up talent all over the field, with the possible exception to the wide receiving corp. We continue our Man of Mystery series, which started with Isaiah Crowell and Pierre Desir, with undrafted defensive tackle Jacobbi McDaniel.
Man of Mystery Series: Isaiah Crowell Pierre Desir
McDaniel is an intriguing prospect who is fighting to make the Browns on a deep defensive line. With the creativity of Mike Pettine, as well as injury and contract concerns on the line, McDaniel has a chance to make the 53 man roster. If he doesn’t he likely won’t make it to the team’s Practice Squad due to being picked for another team’s roster.
A little background information on McDaniel from his representatives:
He is a three sport athlete who was originally drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2009 MLB draft, but decided to pursue football at FSU instead. Jacobbi is also a huge community figure in his native Madison county, serving as Grand Marshall for one of their local celebrations. During his hard work with the Seminoles, he maintained a 3.5 GPA and graduated with his degree in criminology.
McDaniel is the type of hardworking, blue collar player that Browns fans should fall in love with. Jacobbi is highly interactive on Twitter and puts full effort in on every play. McDaniel may not always make the spectacular play every time but at the nose or defensive end positions he will be able to anchor the line and push the pocket. Turning down a chance to play in MLB instead to follow his dreams of playing football shows his passion. His GPA in college, in what can be a difficult degree program, at a solid academic school like FSU speaks to his work ethic and intelligence.
So far in practice he has been impactful, often he has been seen lining up with the first team defense. Some of this may be due to Phil Taylor’s injury but McDaniel has made the most of it. Though in the Browns first depth chart McDaniel was listed 3rd string NT, many rookies were down on the list. His impact in the scrimmage was huge, including huge props from Barkevious Mingo:
McDaniel still will need to show during the pre-season to make the squad, yet given his character don’t expect him to drop his head. He will continue to work hard, press and keep smiling. We expect that if McDaniel makes the Browns he will be a fan favorite very early, possibly replacing Rubin’s hard working, never stop, motor type as early as next year. Those are the type of players that we tend to be drawn to.
Take a look at some of his highlights, mostly him making plays right around the line of scrimmage:
What do you think of this undrafted player?