Dallas Morning News columnist sees some potential in this years crop of draftees. Here is his take on the players taken after Mo Clairborne.
Tyrone Crawford, DE, Boise State (third round): No, he won’t be ready to start by the beginning of the season, but the Cowboys believe he has a future as a pass-rusher in the NFL. He’s 6-4 and about 280 pounds and the Cowboys believe he can add weight to his thin frame and maybe one day play at between 295 and 300 pounds. He has the athletic ability to play outside or inside at defensive tackle and will give the Cowboys some versatility, a good fit in Rob Ryan’s scheme. He’ll be more of a specialist early as a pass-rusher on third downs, but the Cowboys believe he could develop into a starter. He had 6½ sacks last season and 13½ sacks in 25 games at Boise State. The Cowboys compared Crawford’s high-energy, always-active play to that of nose tackle Jay Ratliff.
Kyle Wilber, OLB, Wake Forest (fourth round): At 6-4, 250, Wilber will come in and immediately compete for playing time at strong-side linebacker behind starter Anthony Spencer. Cowboys coachJason Garrett said he’s “outstanding defending the run” and can be a pass-rusher from the edge. He’ll be a special teams contributor and have a chance to see the field in substitution packages. Wilber had 13½ sacks in 43 games at Wake Forest but also had 35½ tackles for loss.
Matt Johnson, S, Eastern Washington (fourth round): Johnson dropped in the draft because his senior season ended with a torn biceps. But he’s healthy and the Cowboys brought him in for a pre-draft visit. Johnson (6-1, 215) had 17 interceptions in his college career and excels at playing the ball. But the Cowboys also like how he drops down and defends the run. He’ll also be a special teams contributor and could see the field in substitution packages.
Danny Coale, WR, Virginia Tech (fifth round): Everyone wants to compare Coale to Wes Welker , but Coale has a better skill set. Welker is 5-9, 185 and his 40 time was 4.6. Coale is 6-0, 200 and he ran in the 4.3s for his 40 time. That should excite everyone who has watched the production of Welker in the NFL. The Cowboys believe Coale can excel as a slot receiver but has the physical skills and speed to also play outside. He’ll compete for the team’s No. 3 receiver position that came open whenLaurent Robinson signed with Jacksonville. For sure, Coale will contribute immediately on special teams and could become the Cowboys’ gunner on the punt defense unit. Coale’s father is a strength coach and another one of Coale’s attributes is he’s a smart player who has been around football all of his life.
James Hanna, TE, Oklahoma (sixth round): The Cowboys expect Hanna to step right in and fill a hole on the roster that was left when Martellus Bennett signed a one-year contract with the Giants . Hanna (6-4, 252) was the fastest tight end in this year’s draft, having run a sub-4.5 40 at the combine. Hanna will give the Cowboys another downfield threat on offense because of his speed. He should be able to stretch the defense and he has the size to hold his own as a blocker. He’s from Flower Moundand should make an easy transition from Oklahoma to the NFL. He’ll also play special teams.
Caleb McSurdy, ILB, Montana (seventh round): McSurdy was an FCS All-American. He led the Grizzlies with 131 tackles. The Cowboys see McSurdy competing for time at inside linebacker and will play special teams. McSurdy (6-1, 245) won’t wow anyone with his speed or athletic ability, but he’s a natural leader who has a great work ethic.