Danny Coale, a 6'0, 200-pound wideout, is second all-time in Virginia Tech history for receptions and receiving yards. But it takes more than school lists to impress NFL scouts.
Fortunately for Coale, he had plenty in store for one of the draft's biggest stages. The redshirt senior was on fire at the scouting combine, showing route-running skills and hands that ranked near the top of this year's draft class.
That's Coale's bread and butter, and he showed it in 2011 en route to 60 catches for 904 yards and three touchdowns for the Hokies. He has the typical slot receiver skill set, as he's a precise route-runner with reliable, consistent hands and the vision to find open field and yards after the catch.
He has big-play ability, averaging 15.1 yards per catch, but that's not his strong suit. The same knocks for every slot specialist also exist for Coale. He is undersized for an outside receiver, and his 40-yard dash time of 4.5 seconds won't turn heads. Former coach Frank Beamer called him "sneaky fast," but high picks at the receiver position are asked to be more than that.
He also lacks good upper-body strength, as he managed only 12 reps at the combine's bench press, so getting off the line and escaping jams could be a struggle.
Still, there's a lot for teams to like. Coale's a smart, reliable option who can contribute in the middle of the field, and there's always room for players like that.
The Cowboys don't have much beyond Dez Bryant and Miles Austin in their receiving corps. Coale should be able to work in almost immediately in his rookie season out of the slot, where his precise route running should serve as a safety blanket for Tony Romo.
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