FRISCO, Texas – It’d be pretty easy to understand if Mitch Hyatt was mad about the way his draft weekend played out.
After all, the guy was a four-year starter, a two-time All-American and a two-time national champion at Clemson, one of the most dominant programs in college football. Most analysts agree he should have at least been taken at some point on Day 3 of the NFL draft, rather than falling to the ranks of the undrafted.
But if Hyatt is miffed about the way things went down, he isn’t showing it. At the outset of the Cowboys’ rookie minicamp, he’s more focused on the chance he has here.
“I’m just happy to be here, just to have the opportunity to come out and show what I can do,” he said Friday.
Hyatt enters The Star as one of the prized members of this undrafted class – one of the seven free agents the Cowboys had draftable grades on. That’s not surprising considering his resume, and it’s also not surprising to hear that Dallas wasn’t the only club that wanted to sign him.
“I received a fair amount of calls. It was a pretty chaotic five to 10 minutes for me,” Hyatt said. “I had a whole bunch of people in my ear. But I knew what kind of team the Cowboys were, I knew what they were about.”
That statement raises a couple interesting points. Obviously, the Cowboys put a premium on their offensive line, as Hyatt will become teammates with the likes of Zack Martin, Travis Frederick, Tyron Smith and La’el Collins – not to mention fellow rookies like Connor McGovern and Brandon Knight.
“I just know how they value linemen here, and how great all the guys are up front, just watching them play and knowing they’re good guys, too – on and off the field,” Hyatt said. “I want to be able to learn from guys like that.”
At the same time, Hyatt is joining a roster with a ton of offensive line depth and without a ton of available roster spots. It’d make sense if he had preferred to sign somewhere with lesser competition.
Considering the program he’s coming from, it’s not surprising that Hyatt isn’t afraid of competition. That’s part of the reason the Cowboys were interested in the first place.
Now that he’s got the opportunity, it’s his turn to show it.
“I just knew it was somewhere I could thrive, and it reminded me a lot of how Clemson was and how they’re team-oriented, with chemistry,” he said. “I knew it was somewhere I could thrive and show what I could do.”