He’s a believer
Daniel hopes to soon start NFL career.
Former Missouri standout Chase Daniel has been tutoring Tiger quarterbacks this spring, but he’s counting on his professional playing career to get under way this weekend or soon after if he’s either drafted or signs as a free agent.
By Dave Matter
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
*—Converted to wide receiver
“You could hire him right now to coach quarterbacks because he’s good enough to do it,” Missouri Coach Gary Pinkel said of his former player. “He’s a sharp guy and really, really helps us.”
But Missouri’s career leader in every significant passing category, including yards (12,515) and touchdowns (101), also felt right at home five days earlier in Irving, Texas, where he zipped passes at Valley Ranch, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
On April 13, Daniel was one of several local products invited to participate in the franchise’s annual Dallas Day, a chance for NFL draft hopefuls who aren’t considered elite prospects to work out for the Cowboys’ brass.
With 11 picks in this weekend’s draft, the Cowboys are expected to target a quarterback they can develop behind starter Tony Romo and veteran backup Jon Kitna. Daniel, who grew up in Irving before moving to Southlake, a Dallas suburb, would love the opportunity to wear the famous Cowboys star on his next helmet.
“It was a lot of fun, just being there and getting the chance to show them what I can do,” Daniel said. “I just went there and competed the best I can.”
Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson put Daniel and other quarterbacks through a series of passing drills and quizzed them on their understanding of basic offensive concepts.
The Dallas tryout was the latest step in a three-month job interview process that Daniel hopes will make him just the sixth Missouri quarterback to be selected in the NFL draft. Widely considered a second-day prospect — the first two rounds are held Saturday, the final five on Sunday — Daniel seemed to help his stock with productive outings at February’s NFL scouting combine and last month’s pro day at MU.
Fighting off the stigma of playing in a college spread offense, the 6-foot Daniel is ranked the draft’s No. 19 quarterback by Scouts, Inc., a scouting firm that provides draft analysis for ESPN. The last four NFL drafts have averaged 12 quarterbacks selected, peaking with 14 in 2005.
Should he go undrafted, Daniel figures to field free-agent offers, a scenario that seems likely for fellow MU quarterback Chase Patton, too. Patton said the Kansas City Chiefs recently asked for a phone number they could call to reach him this weekend, at the least an indication the club is interested in inviting Patton to training camp. (Don’t forget, four years ago in New England, new Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli was responsible for drafting USC’s Matt Cassel, who like Patton was a career backup quarterback in college.)
“I haven’t been on trips around the country like J-Mac has,” Patton said, referring to MU receiver and likely first-round pick Jeremy Maclin. “But I feel pretty good that I’ll have an opportunity somewhere.”
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