Former Clemson linebacker Dorian O’Daniel was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs with the 100th overall pick in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft on Friday night. It was the final pick of the third round.
The 6-foot-1, 220-pound O’Daniel wowed scouts and general managers at the NFL Scouting Combine in March, when he posted a time of 6.64 seconds in the three-cone drill — easily the best time recorded by a linebacker this year and tied for the second-best time by a linebacker at the combine since at least 2006. He also topped all linebackers in the 20-yard shuttle with a time of 4.07 seconds.
O’Daniel showed off his versatility at the combine. Though undersized for an NFL linebacker, O’Daniel showed he is capable of stopping the run, blitzing off the edge and covering running backs, tight ends and wide receivers in the slot.
“He was basically an outside linebacker-safety hybrid,” NFL draft analyst Todd McShay said during ESPN’s coverage of the 2018 NFL Draft. “He put up ridiculous times in the short shuttle and the three-cone drill. This guy can move.”
O’Daniel was one of five finalists for the Butkus Award and a first-team All-American by Sports Illustrated as a senior in 2017. The second-team All-ACC selection led Clemson with 104 tackles last season, including 11.5 for loss and five sacks. He also broke up three passes, recovered two fumbles and had two interceptions which he returned for touchdowns.
The native of Olney, Md., finished his Clemson career with 227 stops, 28 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, 12 quarterback pressures, three interceptions, five pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 1,465 snaps over 56 games (27 starts). He is currently tied for first in Clemson history in special teams tackles (47) and second in games.
“He was a major factor on special teams,” NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper said during ESPN’s coverage of the draft. “He’s the all-time leader in special teams tackles (at Clemson).
“That’s going to keep you around a long time in the NFL.”
O’Daniel was the first Clemson player selected in the 2018 NFL draft. He joins two former Tigers on the Chiefs’ roster, wide receiver Sammy Watkins and defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins.