By Joseph Beyda
Kevin Danser, Offensive Guard
Alter ego: “The fighter.” Despite losing the battle for Stanford’s right tackle position entering his junior season, Danser kept grinding and earned a starting job the next year. He held down that spot for two seasons.
CBSSports.com projection: Undrafted
Cardinal career: Danser, then a junior, was the front-runner to take over for Derek Hall at right tackle entering the 2011 season. Sophomore Cameron Fleming ended up winning the job, while Danser remained a reserve for another year. But Danser stuck with it, and became Stanford’s starting right guard entering 2012.
The results? Twenty-eight straight starts on two Rose Bowl-winning teams and a pair of All-Pac-12 recognitions (second team in 2012, honorable mention in 2013). Danser helped pave the way for two 1,000-yard rushers, all the while adding a youthful spirit to one of the best offensive lines in college football. The biomechanical engineering major has also been named to the Pac-12 All-Academic second-team twice.
Pro stock: As one of four outgoing starters on the offensive line — including a couple of likely high-round draft picks in Fleming and David Yankey — Danser isn’t the first Cardinal lineman that scouts will be looking at. But a camp invite is by no means out of the question, and one CBSSports.com analyst even called him “one of the most underrated players in the country” in October. If NFL scouts have been taking note of Danser’s mean streak, it could be a special draft season for the Tunnel Workers Union.
Highlight: Out of Stanford’s beloved power running formation, Danser pulled — and made a crucial block —on Stepfan Taylor’s game-sealing run in the 2013 Rose Bowl.
Contact Joseph Beyda at jbeyda ‘at’ stanford.edu.