Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Mike Daniels played at a high level again in 2017, and it finally earned him a spot at the Pro Bowl.
Let’s take a look back at Daniels’ 2017 season, a year that he missed two games due to injury, something we don’t see often.
Season in review
It was another strong season for Daniels, who ended the year in his first Pro Bowl.
Daniels tied his career-high for tackles with 49. His five sacks was good for third-most in his six years with the Packers.
Daniels’ snap counts were down slightly this year, which is unsurprising as he played in two fewer games. According to Pro Football Reference, Daniels played 629 defensive snaps in 2017, down from 663 in 2016.
Daniels also joined fellow defensive lineman Kenny Clark on Pro Football Focus’ Top 101 players of 2017 rankings. The 28-year-old came in at No. 89 on the list. Clark was also the Packers’ only defensive lineman to play more snaps (684) than Daniels this year.
Arguably Daniels’ best game of the season came all the way back in Week 1 against Seattle. That afternoon he posted 1.5 sacks and forced a fumble, leading to a Ty Montgomery touchdown, the Packers’ first points of the season.
Looking ahead to 2018 season
As long as Daniels is healthy, the Packers have one of the league’s top defensive linemen. Daniels has stayed relatively injury-free throughout his career, missing just four games in six years. He sat out of two contests as a rookie in 2012, and didn’t miss another game until 2017.
Daniels is entering the third year of his contract. He has two remaining. His cap hit in 2018 will be $9.84 million, according to Spotrac.
The Packers need to find more playmakers on the defensive side of the ball this offseason, but in Daniels they have a player they can rely on to deliver week in week out. Alongside Clark, new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has an exciting duo along the defensive line.
New general manager Brian Gutekunst may look to add more depth to the defensive line this offseason, but he can focus on other priorities first.