Packers defensive end Mike Daniels. Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Episode 2: Getting to know Mike Daniels

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This second entry in a five-part series introduces fans to perhaps a lesser-known Green Bay Packer, starting out similarly to the first of the series that introduced you to Micah Hyde.

Daniels was a two-way high school football player that saw him play both the running back and defensive tackle positions at Highland Regional High School in New Jersey. While Mike Daniels accumulated 27 sacks from his sophomore campaign until the time he graduated, he also rushed for 2,203 yards and 25 touchdowns.

Daniels was twice named a team captain in high school. His senior year saw his college stock rise somewhat, as he recorded 12 sacks. Still, only two schools came a knocking on the door of Daniels’ home, both Iowa and Temple.

Mike Daniels ready to be a Packer

Oct 22, 2011; Iowa City, IA, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes defensive lineman Mike Daniels (93) against the Indiana Hoosiers at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Byron Hetzler-US PRESSWIRE

Listed at 6-foot 1-inch, weighing 230 pounds, Mike Daniels was listed as a two-star prospect by rivals.com.

Running a 4.6/40 and squatting 600 pounds ultimately made him a Hawkeye at the University of Iowa. As a freshman Daniels was redshirted but went on to play in all 13 games of his sophomore season.

Daniels again played in all 13 games as a junior, starting in 8 while hauling in an All-Big 10 honorable mention along the way. Daniels’ senior year saw him raise his draft status.

Again, he not only played in all 13 games but started in all 13 games as well. Leading the Iowa team known for tough defense in tackles for loss as well as sacks.

His senior accolades included a second team All-Big 10 nod. NFL Draft scouts made statements about Mike Daniels such as he was quick off the ball and his small frame would be good to work between blockers. They also said Daniels had good instincts and understood offensive schemes well enough to beat them.

“The thing that jumps out at me is the way he plays the game” -Dom Capers

This was good enough for the Packers and draft guru Ted Thompson to select Mike Daniels in the 4th round with the 132nd overall pick. Dom Capers was quoted as saying, “The thing that jumps out at me is the way he plays the game.”

During his rookie year with the Green Bay Packers, Daniels played in 14 games while recording two sacks. The highlight of his inaugural year as a member of the Pack was a 43-yard fumble recovery scoop and score off of a Matt Stafford miscue.

In the 2013 season Mike Daniels managed to drag down the opposing quarterback 6.5 times. He also added 1 more sack in the postseason against a team from the west for which I am running out of acronyms.

Daniels is on the verge of a breakout season and the offseason of the Packers has shaped up perfectly for him to have just that.

Green Bay Packers defensive end Mike Daniels sacks Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) in the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field. The Eagles won 27-13. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Green Bay Packers defensive end Mike Daniels sacks Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) in the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field. The Eagles won 27-13. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports photograph

With the addition of Julius Peppers, the opposing offensive line will ultimately have to pay a superior amount of attention to both Peppers and Clay Matthews.

A returning Casey Hayward and newcomer Ha Ha Clinton-Dix should tie up receivers and make quarterbacks hang on to the ball for that timely last second.

All of this could ultimately contribute to Mike Daniels stealing the show for the Green Bay Packers’ defense in the 2014 season.

Furthermore, and a subject you will hear me beat to death, but Daniels is a durable hard-nosed player that straps it on every game.

Mike Daniels – is a name that could be a popular term in Titletown, very-very soon.

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