Steelers Select DL Daniel McCullers in the Sixth Round

DANIEL McCULLERSDefensive LinemanUniversity of Tennessee Volunteers6-7, 352Raleigh, North CarolinaGeorgia Military CollegeSoutheast Raleigh High School6th Round – 215th Overall


Photos of Sixth-Round Draft Pick defensive lineman Daniel McCullers from the University of Tennessee.

For his complete college career, McCullers recorded 136 tackles (88 solos) with 6.5 sacks for minus 21 yards, 26.0 stops for losses of 52 yards and six quarterback pressures… Added two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, two pass deflections and a pair of blocked kicks…
Tennessee Career Statistics…McCullers started 19-of-22 games for the Volunteers – seven at nose guard and 12 at left defensive tackle…Finished with 72 tackles (41 solos) that included 1.5 sacks, 10 stops behind the line of scrimmage, six QB pressures, a fumble recovery, one forced fumble, two pass breakups and two blocked kicks…Georgia Military College Statistics…*During his first two seasons, McCullers started 14-of-18 games at nose guard, delivering 64 tackles (47 solos), five sacks for minus-19 yards, 16 stops for losses of 37 yards and a forced fumble.

McCullers received All-Southeastern Conference third-team honors from The NFL Draft Report…Shifted to left defensive tackle, starting all 12 games, responding well to the new coaching staff, as he posted 33 tackles (21 solos), assisting on a sack while making 4.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage…Credited with four quarterback pressures…Also recovered a fumble, deflected a pass and blocked one kick…Collected six tackles that included a career-high 2.5 stops-for-loss in an upset win over South Carolina…Had a key fourth-down pressure and three tackles at Oregon…Recovered a fumble at Florida and was in on six tackles (3 solos) and a pressure vs. South Alabama…Both of his tackles vs. Georgia came behind the line of scrimmage…Posted two third-down pressures, batted down a goal-line pass and produced four tackles at Alabama…Blocked a kick vs. Auburn, followed by a four-tackle performance vs. Vanderbilt…Played the season at 351 pounds.

McCullers started seven of the 12 games he appeared in, lining up at nose guard as a 377-pound junior…Finished ninth on the team with a career-high 39 tackles (20 solos) that included one sack, 5.5 stops for minus seven yards, two quarterback pressures and a forced fumble…Also blocked a kick and deflected a pass…Started the season with just four tackles in his first four appearances, but posted 35 tackles when he was inserted into the starting lineup…His first sack as a Volunteer came in the season finale vs. Kentucky… Posted six tackles, including 1.5 behind the line of scrimmage, where he forced a fumble vs. Missouri…Equaled his season-high with eight tackles along with a stop-for-loss at South Carolina…Had three tackles vs. Alabama and four stops with a QB hurry at Mississippi State…His best game in 2012 saw McCullers register eight tackles and a stop behind the line of scrimmage while also blocking an extra point try at Georgia…One of his three tackles vs. Florida was good for a loss.

As a sophomore at Georgia Military College, McCullers received a four-star rating from Rivals.com, as that recruiting service regarded him as the best defensive tackle and sixth-best overall junior college player in the country…247Sports.com rated him the second-best recruit in the state of Georgia and the seventh-best defensive tackle in the country… Started all 10 games at nose guard, producing 37 tackles (27 solos) with two sacks for minus 4 yards and nine stops for losses of 14 yards while leading a Bulldog defense that held opponents to just 261 total yards per game, which ranked 14th in the nation.

McCullers enrolled at Georgia Military College, playing football for head coach Bert Williams…Started four of the eight games he played in, delivering 27 tackles (20 solos) with three sacks for minus 15 yards among his seven stops for losses of 21 yards…Also caused one fumble.

McCullers attended Southeast Raleigh (Garner, N.C.) High School, playing football for head coach Daniel Finn…The three-time all-conference selection helped lead the team to a 10-3 record as a senior in 2009...Also earned second team all-state honors in his final prep season after recording 29 tackles and five sacks...Posted a strong junior campaign in 2008 with 55 tackles and four sacks.

McCullers is majoring in Arts & Sciences…Don of Donnie McCullers…Born 8/11/92… Resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Defensive Line/Assistant Head Coach John Mitchell RE 6th Round Pick Daniel McCullers

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John Mitchell: **I haven't come in here this many times over the last two or three years. I'm happy to be here. Daniel is a big kid from Tennessee. He didn't qualify coming out of high school. He went to Georgia Military College. He's a big guy. You know the thing I like about him is that he is going to give us some flexibility. He's a guy that can play outside or inside. I think I'm going to start him inside because the bigger you get those guys inside you make it tough to run inside. It's going to help us quite a bit. With a young man like Stephon that we got and Daniel right there, and the guys we have coming back, I feel pretty good right now at this point about the defensive line. It's going to be my responsibility to get these guys up to speed, get them to where they can play, get them where they can understand our technology and get them ready to compete in the NFL. When you look at guys from size, ability, the things they can do to play on this level, they have the ability to do that; they have all the attributes that they can be pretty good football players for us. So I'm happy to get this guy where we got him today.

What kind of shape is he in for his size?

He's in pretty good shape right now. He's still a young guy, so we are proud of him trying to get down – 358-360 that's a little heavy for us. So going through training camp he is going to lose some weight. He'll get with "Gie" (Coach Garrett Giemont) and we'll fill out what's the best for him to play at.

When you watched him play on tape, did he look like a guy who was too big?

He looked like a guy who could trim down. He's a big guy though. When you see him on tape and compare him to the guys he played against, you like seeing two guys at one position. He's a big guy, he can run and they have a tough time moving him from the point of attack. The thing that we're going to want him to do is to move, and I told you we play football from the inside-out, so he's going to have to be able to move from tackle to tackle. Right now at the size he's at, I think he may have a few problems doing that consistently, play in and play out.

Is he too big for the outside?

I wouldn't say too big, probably not quick enough to be outside right now. Not too big. This guy is 6'6'' which we like. You get a 6'6'' guy you probably want him 315-325 pounds at the max. You don't want a guy were he can't get up field and were he can't get off blockers. He's a big guy, but those types of guys are hard to find. I'd rather work with a guy that is too big than one that you can't see him when he goes down in a stance. I'm excited about that.

Daniel McCullers Conference Call Transcript

Can you talk about getting drafted and how that feels?

It feels great. I'm proud to be a part of the Steelers organization. It's a great organization – one of the best in the country. It's just a blessing that I was able to get drafted.

How much end did you play in college, if any?

I didn't play any defensive end just nose tackle and inside tackle.

Do you feel like that is something that you could do at some point in your pro career?

Yes, sir. I'm have been mostly playing nose tackle, but if they want me to play on the end I'll do that.

What do you weigh these days?

I weigh 352.

Were you always big as a child on, did you have some big growth spurt?

Growing up I was always the big guy, big kid. Once I hit my sophomore and junior year of high school that's when I started getting my growth spurts. I guess I got like four of them each year and just kept growing.

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What do you know about Casey Hampton?

Yes sir, one of my favorite players, grew up watching him.

What did you like about him?

He was playing the nose tackle. He was one of the best. He was one of the best run stuffers there was.

Re: Called Casey Hampton the big snack, what would that make you.

Let me think, the biggest snack I guess.

How does your game compare to Casey's?

I would say in the running game we do a pretty good job holding the point of attack and help stopping the run. That's what we're both good at. Hopefully I can be as dominating as he was so I'm going to continue to work. The Steelers' believe in me, so I'm going to grind and try to be one of the best.

How low can you play?

At times it was, playing high that was one of my weaknesses but whenever I do get lower I can be a great player and I can't be too loose or it stops. I am going to continue to work to where I can play each and every play and dominate the opponent in front of me.

Is being 6-7, 350 pounds tough day-to-day and is it hard to buy suits for a guy you're size?

I usually have to get stuff custom made and order it online, so it's something I have to deal with, but I'm pretty use to it.

What size jacket and shoe do you wear?

I think I wear a size 54 jacket and a size 18 shoe.

Can you dunk a basketball at 6-7?

I haven't really played basketball in a while, they wouldn't let us play at Tennessee. Last time I dunked was in high school, so I can do it.

Are you pretty athletic?

Yes sir, I think so.

What's the most you ever weighed?

My senior year in high school, I was 420 pounds.

So you have slimmed down since then?

Yes sir, I had to get some off.

Did you have much contact with the Steelers in the pre-draft process?

I met with them at the combine and that was my only formal interview. I guess they liked me and I had a good meeting with the whole staff. It's a great organization to be a part of.

You said just one meeting with the Steelers right?

Other teams had been in contact with me. The Steelers were the only formal interview. I guess they wanted me.

Have you ever met Ramone Foster?

He was an offensive guard/tackle. He played for Tennessee. Yes sir.

Why do you think you lasted until late in the sixth round?

I was getting a lot of talk about my playing leverage and playing intensity on every play. I'm working on it. I feel like I can be a dominant player if I just get in the best shape possible. I'm trimming down, working on my feet and quickness every day. I'm going to go in with the mindset that I'm going to get better.

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