Marquay McDaniel has been one of the more exciting players at the D1-AA level the past three seasons. As a freshman in 2003, he caught 20 passes for 212 yards, and averaged 12.5 yards per punt return. As a sophomore, he became more of a playmaker as a receiver and return man. McDaniel hauled in 30 passes for 391 yards and two touchdowns, and averaged 16.9 yards per punt return, taking two of them back for touchdowns. As a junior he earned All MEAC 1st team honors as a receiver and punt returner, finishing with 42 catches for 637 yards and six touchdowns, and adding 14.6 yards per punt return. McDaniel closed out his stellar career with one more All MEAC season, after hauling in 59 balls for 786 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also averaged 8.5 yards per punt return.
McDaniel is very good at making plays with the ball in his hands. He has the quickness and cutting ability to make people miss, and the speed to run away from defenders once in the open field. His best trait is his ability on punt returns, as he has earned all conference honors the past two seasons at that spot. As a receiver, he has made strides each year and continues to become a bigger part of the offense.
While he is a playmaker for the Pirates, you have to wonder how well it translates to the next level. He is a step above the rest of his level in terms of speed and quickness, but it will not be such a decided advantage in the NFL. As a receiver, he lacks the bulk to be anything more than a slot man, and will have to develop more at his position. He will not be getting open solely on his speed against better competition.
McDaniel is a player that will needed better workouts to secure a spot in the draft in April. He has produced on the field, and but only had average numbers in workouts. He is a player that will at least get in a camp and could surprise once he gets the opportunity to perform with the pads on.