The third in a series of Q&A's about the Cowboys draft class of 2012 with the people who know them best: the writers who covered them in college. Today, we've brought in Josh Parcell from Gobbler Country, SB Nation's Virginia Tech blog, to talk all things Danny Coale.
1) On some level, the Wes Welker comparisons are inevitable for a player like Coale. Is there any validity to them and who would you compare him to in the NFL?
I honestly think the Welker comparisons are a little short-sighted for Coale. In college, Coale operated mostly on the sidelines and was a much more vertical threat than Welker is in New England. He's not shifty, like Welker, but is a tremendous route-runner and has a knack for finding the open window in the zone. I think of him as a poor man's Hines Ward.
2) Is Coale ready to step in right away in the NFL?
Yes. His physical strength and body control would make a good fit as a No. 3 receiver.
3) What type of offense did Virginia Tech run in the last few years (spread/pro-style) and what were Coale's responsibilities in it?
The Hokies used mostly spread concepts in the latter part of Coale's career. He was an intermediate/downfield target, used a lot in comeback routes or vertical routes on the sideline. He's a north-south runner after the catch, and turned out to be a very dangerous target in the quick-screen game this past season.
4) Who were the best CB's he was matched up against in college and how did he perform against them?
Arguably Coale's best game as Hokie came in the 2010 ACC Championship Game against Florida State, where he was often matched against Florida State standout corner Xavier Rhodes. Coale finished with 143 yards on six catches and a touchdown. He was held to just 17 yards on three catches in a 2010 matchup with Virginia's Ras-I Dowling. Coale often drew the opponents' second-best corner, however, with Jarrett Boykin (the schools' all-time leading receiver) lining up on the other side of the field.
5) Fill in the blanks: "In three years, Danny Coale will be ______ in the NFL".
Catching 40-50 passes a season. He has a similar skill set to Miles Austin, although just a tad less explosive.