Every draft, the top picks are praised while others are pushed aside. Which non-first-rounder from the Dallas Cowboys’ 2020 draft class will be a steal?
The Dallas Cowboys have hauled in what looks one of the best groups of prospects in the draft. Every year, the first-round pick is given most of the attention. In this case that is wide receiver, CeeDee Lamb.
There are usually one or two prospects that are drafted in the later rounds that step up to the plate. Which draft pick from the 2020 NFL draft will be a steal for the Cowboys?
Dallas was known to be looking for help along the defensive line. They addressed this in the third round when acquiring Oklahoma product Neville Gallimore.
He was looked at as a possible second-round talent, thus meaning the Cowboys got great value. They weren’t done addressing the defensive line after that though.
Come the fifth round, the Cowboys selected defensive end Bradlee Anae. This pick may just be the best of them all. Let me explain.
Being a two-time first-team All-Pac-12 is a great look for any player. He was also put on the third team All-American in 2019. Why not top it off with a 2019 Morris trophy, as the best defensive lineman in the Pac-12.
When analyzing players, some people like to look at statistics, while others use the “eye test.” Both are great ways to see how good a player is and what their potential may be.
Why not start it off with what Anae has on paper. He played four seasons with the Utah Utes. In those four seasons, he has had quite a good stat line.
The fifth-rounder’s true freshman season in college was solid considering he only played in three games. He managed to get 2.0 sacks and three tackles.
In 2017, Anae became a much bigger contributor, playing in 12 games. The sophomore would lead his team in sacks with 7.0 and also made 37 tackles.
The following season saw yet another jump up in production. In 13 games his sacks increased to 8.0 and his tackles went up to 48.
Finally, in his last season, Anae reached the double-digit marker. In 12 games he had 12.5 sacks and 35 tackles. Looking like a good stat line to me, especially for a fifth-rounder.
Ever since Anae’s 2017 season, he has led the Utes in sacks. His stats prove that he is a great threat as a pass rusher. While his tackles aren’t off the charts, he can contribute against the run in ways that don’t show through the general stats.
Giving offensive linemen a hard time is exactly what he does. The great technique that is shown forces linemen to constantly have to pay close attention to him. Similar to how Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence had a statistically down year, Anae played better than his stats say.
What makes him such an intriguing prospect to me is his effort and his power. You can see him playing with everything he has, and doing whatever it takes to get to the ball carrier.
Having such a motor in Anae means you have a prospect that is going to terrorize offensive linemen. He might not be ready to play starting snaps in the NFL right away, but he should be able to soon.
NFL analyst Lance Zierlein projected Anae to be drafted in the third or fourth round. As a fifth-round pick, no one can complain at all.
To add to that, NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah listed Anae as the top value pick of the fifth round. To be more clear, He had Anae going 104 picks earlier than the Cowboys picked him. That’s just over three rounds later than he expected.
There is a lot that analysts like about the prospect. The more I watch of his tape, the more I like him too.
Bradlee Anae has what it takes to come out as the biggest steal of the draft. The Dallas Cowboys needed someone exactly like Anae along their defensive line. Which makes it appear as if his fortuitous fall to the fifth-round to Dallas was written in the stars.