Welcome ladies and gents to another fun and informative edition of the ACF. Hopefully everyone has had a good week so far, and now that we’re wrapping up the weekend, let’s give y’all some knowledge on this week’s featured player! And if anyone doesn’t know, I(Brandon Meyers) have a soft spot for the Fighting Irish and will gladly watch them whenever given the chance. The reason I bring this up is because we’re discussing the University of Notre Dame’s own Edge Rusher Daelin Hayes.
Also, you may be thinking “this isn’t a true Defensive Lineman, what’s he doing? Isn’t DL/OL Brandon’s specialty?” Why yes, they are my specialty and positions that hold near and dear to my heart but you know EDGE is a nice hybrid position for those of you who are still learning the different positions in the great game of American Football. But we’ll have the discussion on all the positions later on, for now let’s focus on the dynamic technician of a pass rusher in Mr. Daelin.
Starting out with the basics & notable facts like we always do, let’s dive right in. Notes & Facts courtesy of the U of ND athletics website.
- H&W: 6’3″/ 266lbs
- Class: Junior
- Hometown: Belleville, MI
- High School: Skyline HS
- Took advantage of new NCAA Redshirt Rule to be able to return for 5th season
- Senior Year (2019):
- Played in the first four games of the season before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury against Virginia.
- Recorded a sack in the season-opener at Louisville.
- Junior Year (2018):
- Appeared in 12 games, missing the Virginia Tech game due to injury.
- Made 31 total tackles, 5.0 for loss, with two sacks and six QB hurries.
- Sophomore Year(2017):
- Played in all 13 games and started 12.
- Helped a Notre Dame defense that improved by at least 20 spots in the FBS rankings in third down conversion percentage, interceptions, rushing defense, scoring defense, passing efficiency defense, sacks, tackles for loss and turnovers gained.
- Fifth on the team, and second among defensive lineman, with 6.5 TFLs.
- Tied for second on the team, and second among defensive lineman, with 3.0 sacks.
- Freshman Year(2016):
- Played in all 12 games.
- Out of HS:
- One of the Top Athletes of the 2016 recruiting class.
- Selected as US Army All-American
- ESPN 300: No. 230 overall player, No. 12 athlete.
- 247Sports: No. 107 overall player, No. 10 outside linebacker.
- Rivals: No. 21 overall player, No. 7 linebacker.
Ok, so now that we got all of that out of the way, let’s move onto looking at the raw stats. Look right below for all those!
When we look at the raw stats alone we see a solid but not stand out OLB/DE that we want to see on the highlight reel but except there in ’17 and ’18. Those alone look like someone we want to draft right there in the mid 1st-early second, but when we look at an average total of the 4 seasons could possible see a somewhere in day 2 or 3. Even though we seen a dip in sacks from ’17-’19, the tackles are there in one form or another before going down with an injury. Injuries can take entire seasons away from us to evaluate stats, film, and full on potential. Going into the 2020 we can hopefully get a new preview, new fresh sets of stats to look at, and maybe see how he’ll translate to the next level outside of what we know now.
Moving onto film evaluation where we work on constructive criticism and legitimate praise. There were three games that I was able to look at and review before his film got purged. It happened to be vs GA(’19), vs Michigan(’18), and vs Vanderbilt(’18). Watching Mr. Hayes playing in each one of these games was very helpful to put this article togethe, and before I reveal what the final thoughts let’s go to the construction.
As an Outside Linebacker he played fairly well with linemen fairly bigger than him but everything we look for in DL play there was some much needed work. When I look at how a DL/DE should play I look for signature moves outside of the spin to get passed the OL that you’re lined up against. He lacked almost any of the club & rip or swim moves, and if he can learn and perfect which one could be his then he’ll have a much easier time getting to the QB. Another is Speed & Strength to knock the Tackles off balance to allow you to move much faster to just sneak past your guy and take down the prize. I didn’t see a lot of off balanced guys across from him. If you’re reading this sir, just know that we’re looking for you to break out this year!
Now let’s step into the praise part of this article. I really liked the few plays that he dropped back into coverage and did a great job covering his assigned guy. Great Job on that Daelin. Moving on. Being lined up against the offensive line, he played fairly well and didn’t let anyone take him to pancake city, a definite quality of a EDGE rusher you want on your team. He used proper footwork, read the linemen like a true technical run stopper, & did what he needed to do to allow him or his teammates come in to make the tackle/sack. You can easily tell that he’s a team player and will do what he’s assigned to get the job done on all film. This will not only help him develop as an individual but as a team player.
I believe we’re at a good point to wrap up, give a final point, and call this a case closed. Daelin Hayes is overall a key rotational player that can & will develop into a key impact starter for the Irish and whatever NFL team he gets drafted too. This guy like I said earlier is a true dynamic technician that can do some major damage in the college level or in the pros if coached and handled right. If anyone does have any concerns, questions, or comments on this or any of my previous ACF articles then please don’t hesitate to reach out via the contact us or my personal twitter(@BTMeyers_). Have a great day or night everyone and come back to DraftRite for more great content! We are your true north for College and NFL Draft info!