2 reasons Cowboys fans shouldn't expect big production from Luke Schoonmaker in year one

2021 Big Ten Championship - Iowa v Michigan
2021 Big Ten Championship - Iowa v Michigan / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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The Dallas Cowboys entered the 2023 NFL Draft with a need at the tight end position. Dalton Schultz walked in free agency, and the team didn't add anyone in free agency.

So, many experts and analysts believed Dallas was going to take a tight end with its first-round pick. Michael Mayer out of Notre Dame was linked to the Cowboys throughout the draft process. It just made sense. Dalton Kincaid and other names were mentioned as possibilities, too.

When the Cowboys were on the clock at 26, Mayer was there for the taking. But the team decided to bolster their defensive line instead and selected Mazi Smith.

But one round later, Dallas got its tight end by selecting Luke Schoonmaker in the second round. The pick was a surprise to most, considering his age and limited college production.

He will turn 25 years old by Week 4 this season, which makes him on the older side as a rookie. Kyle Piitts, who is entering his third NFL season, is still 22 years old and won't turn 23 until October. T.J. Hockenson will turn 26 this summer and already has two Pro Bowl selections.

Schoonmaker also didn't "excel" as a pass catcher at Michigan. He had just 54 catches for 637 yards and seven touchdowns combined in his four college seasons. Last year, he pulled down 35 passes for 418 yards and three touchdowns.

However, there's a lot that went into Schoonmaker's small college production. For starters, Michigan threw the ball just 39.2% of the time last season. Out of 131 FBS college football teams, the Wolverines ranked 120th in pass play percentage.

Michigan simply didn't throw the ball much last season, which didn't help Schoomaker's numbers. But there's no doubt he's an athletic freak.

His RAS score (relative athletic score) was 9.86 out of 10. That ranked 16th out of 1,104 tight ends selected from 1987 to 2023. His 40-yard dash (4.63), broad jump (10'7"), shuttle (8.40), 3-cone (6.81), and 10-yard split (1.59) were all considered elite.

Schoonmaker has a ton of upside in Dallas' offense -- based on his size and athleticism. But don't count on the rookie to put up big numbers in his first season with the Cowboys.

Here are two reasons why.