We've heard the rumors swirl for a bit now, and now they've been confirmed: Iowa center James Daniels is forgoing his senior year to test the waters of the NFL Draft.
Daniels started 25 games on the offensive line over the past three years, mostly at center (he started at left guard twice as a true freshman). He's garnered all big-ten honors and helped block for a prolific running attack in his time.
He's also rated as the second-best center in the NFL draft according to Todd McShay, behind only Ohio State's Billy Price. Daniels will be joining teammate Josh Jackson in declaring for the draft as a junior.
It's hard then to see Daniels' stock improve at all by staying in Iowa City an extra year (especially if he's already lined up to get his degree). Centers rarely go in the first round, and the best ones usually only get picked up in the second and third rounds, which is where he's projected to go now. For example, Ohio State's Pat Elflein was taken with the 70th pick in last year's draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He got a $936,840 signing bonus to go along with a four-year contract worth $3.34 million. That kind of money is tough to say no to.
Best of luck to James Daniels. Go and get paid. We look forward to watching you play on Sundays.