Sunday, January 21, 2024

UDFA 2020: Who is Donell Stanley

As we continue our look at the Dolphins 2020 UDFA class, we move on to OL Donell Stanley. The 6’3″ 322lbs interior lineman appeared in 50 games over six seasons for the South Carolina Gamecocks, starting 38 of them.

Of his 38 starts, 23 came at center, with 11 of those coming in 2019. He earned a shout-out from PFF as the only center in college football to allow less than 5 pressures on over 500 snaps

Donell Stanley could be a steal

Heavily recruited out of High School, Stanley chose to go to the University of South Carolina despite offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Ole Miss, and USC to name just a few. He missed parts of two seasons due to injury and made the honor roll three times.

After a slow start to his college career with minor injuries, Stanley has steadily improved over the last 4 years. He’s a stout pass blocker, with the athleticism to get to the second level, and the ability to pull to the outside is impressive for a man of his size.

He has some limitations in the run game where he lacks some explosiveness in his blocks. However, his ability to develop, coupled with his athleticism make him an intriguing prospect at the NFL level.

Donell Stanley builds a wall against Alabama in 2019

Like many of the additions this offseason, Donell Stanley is a man of great character and a leader of his men. He pulled together the Gamecocks offensive line last season under a lot of adversity, and injury to their starting quarterback.

With Ted Karras signed to a one-year deal, Stanley will likely see the possibility of being the long term solution to the Dolphins hole at center that hasn’t really be addressed since Mike Pouncey’s early years.

Stanley had a host of teams inquiring about him after the draft, which tells you this kid has good development potential. The COVID-19 pandemic meant that his pro day was canceled, and that could end up being a massive boon for the Miami Dolphins.

With the way Stanley has approached his college career, I for one wouldn’t count him out for a roster spot this fall.

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