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Will Cowboys DE Bradlee Anae be the Day 3 Steal of the NFL Draft?

The Dallas Cowboys got incredible value throughout the NFL Draft. It started strong with CeeDee Lamb, the sixth overall player on their draft board. The value drafting continued through the fifth round when they selected Utah edge rusher Bradlee Anae with the last pick of the fifth round.

Bradlee Anae was an incredibly productive player for the Utah Utes throughout his collegiate career posting 29.5 sacks and 40 tackles for loss.

Defense & Fumbles Table
Tack Tack Tack Tack Tack Def Def Fumb Fumb
Year School Class Pos G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk TD PD FR FF
*2016 Utah FR DE 3 4 0 4 2.0 2.0 0 0 0 0
*2017 Utah SO DE 12 25 14 39 10.0 7.0 0 0 2 3
*2018 Utah JR DE 12 24 23 47 14.0 7.5 0 3 0 1
*2019 Utah SR DE 12 30 11 41 14.0 13.0 0 0 0 1
Career Utah 83 48 131 40.0 29.5 0 3 2 5
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 5/11/2020.

He didn’t test very well at the NFL Scouting Combine, which is what led to his draft fall, but he comes in as one of the most technically polished pass rushers in the entire class. Most of his measurements were about average when compared to other edge rushers in the class, but his 20-yard shuttle and broad jump certainly show enough explosion and quickness to make an impact as an edge rusher in the NFL.

On Saturday, ESPN analysts answered a bevy of questions about the NFL Draft, and Field Yates thinks Bradlee Anae could be THE day three steal of the NFL Draft.

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Bradlee Anae will be the steal of Day 3. The fifth-round pick out of Utah will be counted on early in his career, as the team is looking for additional rushers to play opposite DeMarcus Lawrence. To be candid, I’m not entirely sure why Anae made it to the fifth round, but I believe he’ll prove himself to be a worthwhile contributor for Dallas right away.

Field Yates – ESPN

As the Cowboys await the reinstatement of edge rushers Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith, Anae has an opportunity to find a role early in his career with the Dallas Cowboys. As Yates mentions, playing across from DeMarcus Lawrence and with Gerald McCoy in the middle, Anae could see plenty of one-on-one opportunities.

The Dallas Cowboys need to find pass-rushing productivity from someone this offseason after losing Robert Quinn to the Chicago Bears this offseason. Bradlee Anae could be the “two” in the Cowboys 1-2 punch at pass rusher. His motor and technique will earn him chances to be a difference-maker for the Cowboys his rookie season and prove to be the steal of the draft on day three.

What do you think?

John Williams

Written by 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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  1. I agree. In fact, I have more confidence in Bradlee Anae and Ron’Dell Carter than I do in Aldon Smith or Randy Gregory. In fact, I’m not sure Gregory will actually apply for reinstatement! I would be more than happy if Smith and Gregory came back and terrorized the opposing team’s Quarterbacks, but at this point in time I am relying on Anae and Carter. I think Tyrone Crawford should move to DT and rotate with Poe, McCoy, Gallimore and Woods (if he ever signs!). And we shouldn’t forget, there’s always Dorance Armstrong on the outside as well. And did I mention Joe Jackson? people are forgetting about him. He’s a big strong guy who will make his presence felt in 2020. That leaves Trysten Hill, Jalen Jelks and a couple of other UDFAs. If Jelks makes the roster, it is as a hybrid linebacker and EDGE rusher. The jury is still out on Hill but I would not be surprised if he ends up playing somewhere else.

  2. Hill is trash! Get rid of him and make room for someone who can play! Hill will be sacking groceries soon for a living! I also think they need to let dope smokers stay at home and give Anae, Carter, Jackson and Jelkssome playing time!

    • Wow Hill was pretty damn good at UCF and has a pretty incredible first step. Let’s see what Nolan can do with him before labeling him as “trash”. It’s easy to get into Marinelli’s dog house and it’s not like he is exactly creative or flexible.

  3. I think that those so called dope smokers are going to suprise ah lot of people. I just hope they take advantage of the opportunity there getting.

    • I agree…. Especially Smith!! Aldon Smith was one of the best pass rushers in the league before he started getting suspended!! If he can come back and be just half as good as he was before the suspensions he’ll probably be the best pass rusher on the team!! I know that’s a big if, but nobody should count him out…. This dude was so good when he came into the league that he was setting records for sacks by rookies and year 2 players!! And we know how good Gregory is…. He’s good enough to be the number 2 edge rusher on any team, and people can’t put him down for smoking…. He smoked to keep himself from doing stupid stuff to himself!! And now the league can’t do anything to him for it!! Which from the reports both him and Smith are both clean and have been for quite some time now!! So until they fall back into it again or IF they fall back into it again nobody should be judging them about their past!! Give them a chance and see how they do, who knows they mite surprise some of you people!!

  4. Anae has as good a chance as any of being the Day-3 steal. But there are others who look to lay the same claim, and I’m just not convinced Anae will see more than 15% of the snaps just yet .. .someone else is bound to get more of an opportunity (perhaps even his own teammate Biadasz).

  5. Amazing how Anae fell. Cowboys have all the ammo they need at DE, especially if Gregory and Smith actually make it. Coaches have a lot to whittle down.

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