It’s remarkable what some players are able to accomplish even while fighting through ailments that force them to miss substantial periods of time.
This is certainly the case for DaVaris Daniels, who was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie in 2016 after making 51 receptions for 885 yards and nine touchdowns despite appearing in just eleven games.
The receiver has come close to replicating his rookie year in each of the past three seasons, always dressing for between eleven and thirteen games. He has never surpassed the 885 yards he posted as a rookie, but has also never recorded fewer than 725 yards in a season.
Daniels is one of the CFL’s most dominant receivers if you consider his numbers on a per-game basis. He has averaged 4.1 receptions for 63.5 yards and 0.45 touchdowns over his career, which is stellar production.
The issue is staying healthy.
Daniels has missed 23 games due to injury over the past four years, dressing for only 68.1 percent of regular season contests over that time frame.
In college, Daniels had no issues with injuries. Instead, his problem at Notre Dame was academics.
The six-foot-one, 200-pound target caught 80 passes for 1,235 yards and seven touchdowns over his freshman and sophomore seasons. For comparison, 2020 second-round NFL draft pick Chase Claypool made only 34 receptions for 483 yards over his first two seasons at Notre Dame.
Daniels’ junior year was wiped out for academic reasons and he decided to enter the pros, declaring for the 2015 NFL draft.
The native of Vernon Hills, Ill. went undrafted and got looks from the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots before deciding to sign in the CFL.
Daniels signed a two-year contract with the Toronto Argonauts in February 2020 worth approximately $200,000 per season. The contract does not expire until February 2022, meaning it’s likely he will be with the Double Blue in 2021.
3DownNation is unveiling its list of the top 100 active CFL players, a project that will run through December 31, 2020. To read the criteria for player eligibility, click here. The list to date can be found below.
42. DT Micah Johnson, B.C. Lions
43. OL Shane Bergman, Calgary Stampeders
44. SAM Don Unamba, Ottawa Redblacks
45. DB Ed Gainey, Saskatchewan Roughriders
46. DB Tommie Campbell, Toronto Argonauts
47. LB Adam Bighill, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
48. REC DeVier Posey, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
49. DT Cleyon Laing, Ottawa Redblacks
50. OL Matt O’Donnell, Edmonton Football Team
51. REC Kyran Moore, Saskatchewan Roughriders
52. SAM Kenny Ladler, Free Agent
53. DE Jackson Jeffcoat, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
54. SAM Dexter McCoil, Free Agent
55. OL Sean McEwen, Calgary Stampeders
56. REC Eugene Lewis, Montreal Alouettes
57. DB Greg Reid, Montreal Alouettes
58. DT Mike Moore, Edmonton Football Team
59. OL Ryker Mathews, B.C. Lions
60. DB Tunde Adeleke, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
61. LB Jameer Thurman, Free Agent
62. QB Matt Nichols, Toronto Argonauts
63. DB Jamar Wall, Calgary Stampeders
64. DB Loucheiz Purifoy, Saskatchewan Roughriders
65. REC Lemar Durant, B.C. Lions
66. OL Brendon LaBatte, Saskatchewan Roughriders
67. OL SirVincent Rogers, Edmonton Football Team
68. QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Free Agent
69. DB/RET Frankie Williams, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
70. DB T.J. Lee, B.C. Lions
71. QB Zach Collaros, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
72. SAM Anthony Cioffi, Free Agent
73. DB Shaquille Richardson, Toronto Argonauts
74. REC Kamar Jorden, Calgary Stampeders
75. OL Darius Ciraco, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
76. REC Jalen Saunders, Free Agent
77. QB Dane Evans, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
78. REC Brad Sinopoli, Ottawa Redblacks
79. RET Janarion Grant, Free Agent
80. DE Avery Ellis, Ottawa Redblacks
81. DE Cordarro Law, Calgary Stampeders
82. DB Brandon Alexander, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
83. OL Jermarcus Hardrick, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
84. DB Branden Dozier, Free Agent
85. SAM Otha Foster, Saskatchewan Roughriders
86. DB Antoine Pruneau, Ottawa Redblacks
87. RB John White, B.C. Lions
88. LB Avery Williams, Ottawa Redblacks
89. LB Jovan Santos-Knox, Free Agent
90. DB Richard Leonard, Calgary Stampeders
91. REC Armanti Edwards, Edmonton Football Team
92. RB C.J. Gable, Free Agent
93. DT Mike Rose, Calgary Stampeders
94. REC S.J. Green, Free Agent
95. DB Mike Edem, Saskatchewan Roughriders
96. DE John Bowman, Montreal Alouettes
97. DB Taylor Loffler, Montreal Alouettes
98. QB Nick Arbuckle, Ottawa Redblacks
99. ST Mike Miller, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
100. DE Chris Casher, B.C. Lions