How He Fits in Dallas: DE Jason Hatcher

The Dallas Cowboys selected Grambling's Jason Hatcher with the No. 92 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.

"Hatcher is coming to play defense in Dallas."

To hockey fans, the idea would mark the return of stalwart defenseman Derian Hatcher to the Dallas Stars.

But for many football fans, the reaction is "who?"

Ranch Draft Coverage:



The 6-foot-6, 284-pound defensive end (who has been clocked at 4.94 in the 40-yard draft) is so big that he might end up sliding inside to defensive tackle, but for the time being, he immediately joins Chris Canty and Marcus Spears in the Cowboys' new collection of young, huge defensive ends.

Hatcher is so powerful and talented that the Grambling coaches moved him around to create mismatches. He's not overly quick, but can stand up over the opposing offensive tackle or drop down at the line of scrimmage.

While his 40-yard dash time isn't exactly going to blow up the stopwatch, he's surprisingly effective as an edge pass rusher, because he keeps his pads low, plays with good leverage and is surprisingly elusive for a man his size, which allows him to take a more direct route to the quarterback, compared to the more circuitous path taken by speed rushers who go further outside.

Hatcher, who had 65 tackles, 10 sacks and 18.5 tackles-for-loss last season, also is quite effective against the run, where his size allows him to hold up against offensive tackles than many other defensive ends do.

Despite his monstrous frame, Hatcher needs to get stronger and refine his technique, and he faces a significant learning curve, since the jump from Div. I-AA football to the NFL can, to some, seem overwhelming.

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