During free agency, the Chargers decided not to re-sign fullback Derek Watt. The move also happened to coincide with the team allowing his longtime teammate and running back Melvin Gordon to sign elsewhere, too.
So if the Chargers intend to utilize a fullback once again in their offense, they’ve got to find a new one. But it looks like they’ve already been doing their research as it was recently reported they’ve met with one out of FCS South Dakota State named Mikey Daniel, per Justin Mel of The Draft Wire.
South Dakota State FB Mikey Daniel held pre-draft meetings over FaceTime earlier this week w/ the #Falcons & #Chargers.— Justin M (@JustinM_NFL) April 15, 2020
Daniel was a four-year letter winner for SDSU and was especially efficient as a short-yardage back. After rushing for just 81 yards ands a touchdown as a freshman, Daniel scored a career-high 11 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2017 while rushing for 482 yards on 101 carries.
The following year he hit double-digit scores again when he rushed for 10 touchdowns and a career-high 630 yards on the ground. He also caught 10 passes for another 54 yards and an additional score. In his final year with the Jacks, he took 113 carries for 535 yards and another seven touchdowns, including a career-high in rushing yards with 125 against intra-state rival South Dakota in the season finale.
Our sister site, the Colts blog Stampede Blue, did a wonderful interview piece with Daniel in early February and it gave us a lot of valuable insight to the type of player he wants to be in the NFL.
For starters, after playing running back for four years in college, Daniel made the decision himself to transition to fullback at the next level to increase his chances of making it in the pros. At 6’0 and 235 pounds, he already has a similar build and skill set to CJ Ham of the Minnesota Vikings, minus a good chunk of receiving usage at the collegiate level.
Daniel told Stampede Blue’s Zach Hicks that he’s “always been a physical guy so making that transition (to fullback) hasn’t been too hard for me.” When asked about his interest in special teams, Daniel confessed he was “chomping at the bit to do it.” This mindset obviously bodes extremely well for him as ST is the way to any coach’s heart. After losing Watt, who was himself a major special teams contributor, a player like Daniel would fit right in to this roster.
Run through your week like Mikey Daniel runs through defenders. #GoJacks #MondayMotivation pic.twitter.com/mmpk3PV6ek— SDSU Football (@GoJacksFB) June 18, 2018
At his pro day, Daniel posted a 4.62 in the forty, did 27 reps on the bench press, jumped 37 inches in the vertical with 10’ in the broad, and went 4.09 in the short shuttle. Those are all really good numbers for a running back, but especially good for an expected fullback.
@MikeyDaniel2 40 yard attempt #2 today at #IMGProDay 4.62. Also posted 27 Reps at 225, 10’0” Broad Jump, 37” Vertical, 4.09 Short Shuttle, & 7.07 3 Cone. Coming in at 5’11 & 235 - Mikey Daniel, FB of SDSU. Full Videos soon to come ⛷ @IMGAcademy #SlideU pic.twitter.com/ttUXkayuIq— Mo Wells (@MoKnows___) March 17, 2020
In my opinion, this is the type of player that fits today’s NFL and if Lynn wants to continue adapting his offense to what “the move” is right now, this is the type of player you want to go after, Hopefully the Chargers have this guy pinned at the top of their board for late day three/UDFA targets.