Clemson linebacker Dorian O'Daniel reacts to joining Chiefs
Clemson linebacker Dorian O’Daniel was shutting down his NFL Draft watch party, which included his friend and former high school teammate Kendall Fuller, a Chiefs cornerback who came to the team in the Alex Smith trade with Washington. Then the phone rang.
The buddies are teammates once again. With Fuller celebrating the news in the background, O’Daniel spoke to reporters about the thrill of being selected by the Chiefs.
“I thought, ‘This can’t be happening.’” O’Daniel said.
It was. The Chiefs, who didn’t have a first-round selection, closed out the second day of the draft and didn’t hide its priority, drafting three defensive players.
When it came to the last selection of the evening, No. 100 overall, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach put in the call to O’Daniel, but it was Fuller who answered.
“I thought I had the wrong number,” Veach said. “Kendall was kind of screaming, hooting and hollering. I had no idea. It was pretty cool deal.”
O’Daniel was a Butkus Award finalist as the nation’s top college linebacker after racking up some impressive numbers with the Tigers this season: He had 104 tackles, 11 1/2 tackles for loss, five sacks and two interceptions.
In a four-year career, O’Daniel finished as the school’s career leader in special-teams tackles.
Veach sees O’Daniel as an outside linebacker in dime packages and a member on all special teams. Veach said the Chiefs had O’Daniel as the top special-teams player in the draft.
“He’ll be in the linebacker room and he’ll be on the field on all passing downs,” Veach said. “We think he can develop into a (inside) linebacker.”