Some of you may be scratching your head right now with the recent selection of the Dallas Cowboys, with good reason I may add. There has been some conflicting reports about our fourth round pick Anthony Hitchens. Should we question this pick? What do they see in him? Was this pick too high?
He was definitely a reach. Many had him graded no higher than a fifth round pick. It is interesting that some thought he would go undrafted. The undersized Line Backer from The University of Iowa may have already tapped out physically, but has the mental approach to get better and find ways to make plays. Sources say that he would make a great third option and push for time as a backup. Though Hitchens had the better production in college, fellow Iowa Linebackers Christian Kirksey and James Morris are both viewed as better Pro prospects. Hitchens has the shortest ceiling as well.
Consistency and effort was a concern in a game his junior year. Hitchens was on his way to a monster game before he was pulled in first half with eight tackles. He knew that not only was he better than that, but was expected to be better. He was committed to being the player that he knew he could be. He answered the call and had a very productive senior season where he led the Big Ten in tackles and posting an impressive 13.5 tackles for loss.
While he did lead his team in tackles both his junior and senior season, he became more of a complete player with the Coaching changes on Defense. He became a better tackler, a better leader, and made improvements to how he defended the pass. He was also able to showcase his pass rushing skills with the addition if several blitz packages that were added to the playbook. Anthony Hitchens proved that even though he was undersized, he was not going to back down from a challenge.
From a fans perspective, I hope the Cowboys saw something special when they looked at this young man. Sadly, everyone else just sees him being a special teams contributor. But we have to trust in the job of our scouting department. If they can find a guy off the street to help be some type of anchor for our Defense in George Selvie, they must think he has the talent to push Bruce Carter and compete for a spot on this team. Who here has watched hours of film in this guy from each of his games? Who has talked to his coaches and gathered Intel on what type of player and person he is and what he brings to your team?
As with all of our players on the team, I wish Anthony Hitchens nothing but the best. Welcome to the Dallas Cowboys.