The Dallas Cowboys put a lot of resources into their defense this offseason after a down year in 2019, especially along the front seven. They signed veterans Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe as immediate upgrades at defensive tackle. Also, they signed former All-Pro defensive end Aldon Smith, who was just recently conditionally reinstated by the NFL. However, in the fifth round of the NFL Draft, the Cowboys were able to snag two-time Pac-12 All-American Bradlee Anae, one of the most talented edge rushers in the 2020 class, and his skill set is quite impressive.
For a guy that doesn’t possess very long arms, Anae does a good job using them as a supremely skilled technician. In the video below is an excellent rep by Anae vs one of the best offensive tackles coming out of college, Austin Jackson out of USC. Anae extends his inside arm to keep Jackson from getting a grip on him then uses his outside hand to chop Jackson’s outside arm and bend the edge before making the sack. This was an example of elite level technique here by Anae.
I'm surprised Bradlee Anae isn't getting a lot more national attention as a draft prospect. One of the best technicians in this EDGE class. (Beat top OT prospect Austin Jackson here). Love the violent finish. pic.twitter.com/ebvkgN6gSl
— Jonah Tuls (@JonahTulsNFL) January 10, 2020
Anae also has another way he uses his technical savvy on the football field. In this next video, Anae’s pass-rushing arsenal is on full display. He explodes off the line of scrimmage, uses his outside hand to chop the outside hand of the offensive tackle, dips his inside shoulder and then rips through, and makes the sack. Another example of excellent technique.
Look at this chop-dip-rip by Bradlee Anae. Then flattens and closes for another violent finish. Some team is going to get a huge steal here. pic.twitter.com/nROSHbSMKu
— Jonah Tuls (@JonahTulsNFL) January 11, 2020
He also does a great job of setting up offensive tackles before making his final move. In this final video, Anae does a great job of selling the outside pass rush by going upfield. Then, he quickly spins inside and makes another violent sack.
Bradlee Anae with the spin move 👀 pic.twitter.com/LDsqO7esQx
— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) February 14, 2020
After watching these clips it’s no surprise that Anae amassed 40 tackles for loss and 30 sacks during his days at Utah, which rank fourth in Pac-12 history. The Cowboys desperately needed edge help after losing 2019 sack leader Robert Quinn to the Chicago Bears in free agency. Bradlee Anae provides youth, technique, and a relentless motor coming off the edge and could have an immediate impact on the Cowboys defense.