Dallas Cowboys coaches got their first looks at the 2012 draft class and undrafted rookie free agents over this weekend, as the Cowboys held their rookie minicamp. One of Dallas' undrafted free agents, Adrian Hamilton, reportedly opened a lot of eyes this weekend with his play.
Rookie free-agent linebacker Adrian Hamilton, a Dallas Carter grad, opened up a lot of eyes. He had a would-be sack coming off the edge and then pressured quarterback Nathan Dick into running to his right before throwing the ball away. In the morning practice, he also displayed the ability to drop in coverage to get in the throwing lane on a slant to Cole Beasley for a deflection.
So, who exactly is Adrian Hamilton? He's a 6'3", 250 lb defensive end and linebacker from Prairie View, who registered a team-high 81 tackles in 2011. Hamilton also notched a whopping 22 sacks, which illustrates his pass rushing ability. How that pass rushing ability translates to the NFL is the big question of course, and many teams who passed on him in the draft clearly don't think it'll translate well, but Rob Ryan is as good as any bet to utilize him properly and bring out his abilities at the pro level.
Hamilton did not attend the NFL combine. He did have his pro day in March, when he ran a 4.81 40, which isn't exactly blazing speed.
Hamilton also has taken a strange path to the NFL. After graduating from Dallas Carter, Hamilton went to Oklahoma State to play football, but had issues with the NCAA, and left Oklahoma State. Hamilton would walk on at Texas Tech, but once again, left the team. He eventually found his way to Prairie View, where he would break Robert Mathis' conference sack record -- quite the accomplishment.
Though he's a bit older than most rookies, he turns 25 prior to the season, he could very well end up being a nice signing for Dallas' defense. We'll see how far along Hamilton makes it.