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Camp Questions: Can Bradlee Anae Push for a Significant Role?

It's not often a team finds themselves in the of the Draft with an opportunity to draft a player who had 27 over the final three seasons of his collegiate career with 13 of those coming in his senior season. However, that's where the found themselves when they selected as the 179th player off the board in the .

The Cowboys were able to select one of the most productive defensive ends in in the fifth round. The reason Anae fell was related to his athletic testing. However, Anae is a polished rusher, who displays an array of moves and excellent hand usage on his way to the . Anae is also a good run defender.

Because of , Anae and the other rookies come into behind the eight ball. Though they've participated in virtual meetings with their position groups and the coordinators, they haven't had a chance to get on the field and show the coaches what they can do yet. In a typical , the rookies would have had a dozen or more practice sessions to impress the .

Bradlee Anae comes in with the reputation of being a hard worker, so those practice sessions would have helped him to stand out among his veteran peers at the position.

With the signing of and the return of from , Anae has a bit of a hill to climb if he is going to find some snaps on the . And that doesn't begin to include , , or who will be vying for reps in practice hoping to make the out of training camp.

Aldon Smith and Tyrone Crawford figure to be first in line for the snaps at right defensive end and when the Cowboys are in 3-4 looks, it should be Smith getting most of the early snaps. However, Anae has the ability and the productivity to earn a role as a stand-up or hand in the ground rusher.

His refined pass rush skills should give him a leg up in the rest of the young players on the roster. In order to have a place in the edge rotation, he'll have to have an excellent training camp to rise above one of the more established veterans. Bradlee Anae's ability is intriguing. That combined with his motor and work ethic give him the opportunity to be the steal of the 2020 . For the Cowboys' sake, hopefully he proves ready to take significant snaps in 2020 with sights on being a starter in 2021.

John Williams
John Williams
Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could. Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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