James Daniels declares for NFL Draft

James Daniels joins fellow junior Josh Jackson and declares for the NFL Draft.

Iowa+offensive+linemen+James+Daniels+gestures+for+the+crowd+to+quiet+down+during+an+NCAA+football+game+between+Iowa+and+Illinois+in+Kinnick+Stadium+on+Saturday%2C+Oct.+7%2C+2017.++The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Fighting+Illini%2C+45-16.+%28Joseph+Cress%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
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James Daniels declares for NFL Draft

Iowa offensive linemen James Daniels gestures for the crowd to quiet down during an NCAA football game between Iowa and Illinois in Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017.  The Hawkeyes defeated the Fighting Illini, 45-16. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa offensive linemen James Daniels gestures for the crowd to quiet down during an NCAA football game between Iowa and Illinois in Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Fighting Illini, 45-16. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

Iowa offensive linemen James Daniels gestures for the crowd to quiet down during an NCAA football game between Iowa and Illinois in Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Fighting Illini, 45-16. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

Iowa offensive linemen James Daniels gestures for the crowd to quiet down during an NCAA football game between Iowa and Illinois in Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Fighting Illini, 45-16. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

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James Daniels, Iowa’s starting center for the past two seasons, announced Jan. 5 via Instagram that he would forgo his final season of eligibility and declare for the NFL Draft.

Au revoir

A post shared by James Daniels (@jamsdans) on

Daniels, a 6-4, 295-pound lineman, proved to be a key force in Iowa’s traditionally strong rushing attack over the past two seasons, and NFL scouts took note.

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay ranked Daniels as the No. 2 center and the 35th-best prospect overall on his big board, while ESPN colleague Mel Kiper listed the junior as the third-best center.

Daniels’ departure leaves Iowa with question marks heading into the offseason; his name adds to the list of linemen not returning to the Hawkeye program. Sean Welsh, Boone Meyers, and Ike Boettger graduated, and 2017 was their final season with Iowa.

Daniels said in his Instagram post that he has only a few classes left to finish his degree.

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