Can Tony McDaniel Help the Seattle Seahawks' Defensive Line?

By Jon Dodson
Tony McDaniel Sack
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Today the Seattle Seahawks have scheduled former Miami Dolphins defensive tackle, Tony McDaniel for a visit. The 6’7″ 305lb run stopper has mostly been used as a backup throughout his career and would most likely be used to back up Alan Branch. The Seahawks may also want to get a defensive tackle now in case they can’t get one in the upcoming draft, or if Branch wasn’t to re-sign with the Seahawks.

With the loss of Jason Jones to the Detroit Lions, the Seahawks need to find another defensive tackle that can help them with stopping the run and pressure the quarterback up the middle. McDaniel has the potential to do both of those for the Seahawks.

McDaniel is a big defensive tackle that has spent his career with both the Dolphins and the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was signed by the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2006. While McDaniel has only started in five games in his seven year career, he has been successful as a backup in both Jacksonville and Miami. McDaniel isn’t going to put up Pro Bowl type numbers, but he does have the ability to make an impact on defense. In his seven seasons he has accumulated 8.5 sacks and 88 tackles.

McDaniel has upside, but signing him would come with some risk. During his time with the Dolphins, he spent most of the 2012 season battling a knee injury. A knee injury for a defensive lineman as big as McDaniel can severely affect their play throughout their career. If his knee doesn’t check out, I don’t believe Pete Carroll will bring him in.

Tony McDaniel Dolphins
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

McDaniel also has a criminal record. In 2005, during his time at the University of Tennessee, McDaniel assaulted another student. He was originally charged with felony aggravated assault but later plead guilty to misdemeanor assault. This wasn’t his only incident. Again in 2010, McDaniel was charged with domestic battery against his girlfriend. He again had the charges reduced and received a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. Carroll has been known to bring in troubled players and turn them into productive players, so McDaniel’s criminal record may not come into play when Carroll makes his decision.

The Seahawks need to address their inside pass rush issues. They do still have the draft as well to address this issue, so they shouldn’t rush to sign McDaniel if he isn’t the right fit or if his knee doesn’t check out. But with the loss of one of their top defensive tackles in Jones this off-season, and with the uncertainty on whether Branch will re-sign or not, McDaniel may be well worth the risk.

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