Has the 2020 offseason changed the stock for Chicago Bears offensive lineman James Daniels?
The perception around James Daniels is not strong currently. After starting his career at left guard, the Chicago Bears attempted to move him back to center, where he spent his college career. The move was expected to be natural for him and Cody Whitehair, who has played guard before as well.
Whitehair can play anywhere, although snapping is an issue for him. Still, Whitehair moving to guard did not see a drop in play from him. The drop-in play came from James Daniels. It looked as though Daniels was thinking more than playing and was getting run over at times. It caused confusion and too many weak links in a row with Rashaad Coward at left guard next to him.
So, the Bears moved Whitehair back to center, who once again did not have an issue. Daniels did play better down the stretch, though.
Still, after a rookie season that brought promise, year two was a dose of reality. What does year three have in store?
What some fans miss with Daniels is that he will not turn 23 until after the start of his third NFL season. He is still remarkably young for his experience level int the NFL. That was one of the perks of drafting him.
To put that into perspective, of the top 10 guards drafted in the 2020 NFL draft, Daniels is younger than six of them. He is about the average age of a rookie this season.
So, he had two years where there were some ups and some downs. Still, he is just now about to take off and is a few years away from his prime seasons as well.
There is still far too much optimism around Daniels to be disappointed by a disjointed season that involved a position switch.