Dallas Cowboys: The Curious Case of Bradlee Anae

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Bradlee Anae #6 of the Utah Utes (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images) /

Dallas Cowboys Analysis: Bradlee Anae

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Considering all that I found regarding Anae’s game, I’m still shocked he lasted until the fifth round. Many EDGE players aren’t elite coming out of college; Anae isn’t elite but his production and fundamentals certainly near that rating.

Drafting an EDGE player requires a lot of projection considering most have at least one noticeable issue regarding their games. For that reason, teams tend to value athleticism more when scouting EDGEs. If a team can fix the technique of a player, having an athletic pass rusher can dominate games for the defense.

While Anae’s testing numbers were less than desirable, his play speed will bode well against NFL athletes. That play speed and competitive toughness were littered all over his collegiate tape making it even more intriguing how teams just didn’t value his film as much at the end.

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With the pandemic affecting everything football-related, Anae will have a tougher road to make the final 55-man roster than normal. Without pre-season games to showcase his talents, he will have to rely on practice and scrimmage reps. That is a tough ask considering the numerous veterans currently on the team at the EDGE position.

However, considering Anae’s current skill set, there is ample reason to believe he will make it to the final roster. Once on the team, he could see a stat line similar to this:

20 Total Tackles, 13 Solo Tackles, 5 Tackles for Loss, 3.5 Sacks, 1 Pass Deflection

If Anae were to make the team, he could garner anywhere from 20-50 percent of the total snap count. Assuming he plays somewhere in the middle of that range, he would likely be asked to rush the passer on third downs or other passing downs to hide his deficiencies in the run game.

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Anae was a fun player to watch at Utah, and with the fairly low expectations given to him by his draft position, he could see an athlete competing with an edge. This, of course, is dependent on whether he makes the team.