(Editor's Note: While the start of the 2018 NFL Draft isn't until April 26, it's never too early to profile some of the key participants. The staff of DallasCowboys.com intends to preview the landscape of the draft's top prospect, with an emphasis on possible Cowboys draft picks – from the first round to the last. Today's featured player is Alabama defensive linemen Da'Shawn Hand.)
- Name: Da'Shawn Hand
- Position: Defensive Line
- Height/Weight:6-4 / 282
- Honors:Surrounded by talented players on Alabama's defense, Hand still earned All-SEC second-team honors in 2017.
- Key Stat:In three seasons, playing all across the line, Hand registered at least two sacks in each year, totaling 7.5 for his career.
Where He's Projected:
Hand looks like a solid Day 2 pick for some team, either later in the second round or the early third. Things can change with an impressive Pro Day workout. But considering his lack of stats, he might not be a high second-round pick, but could get a little boost being from Alabama, where so many great athletes can make it difficult to get on the field and accumulate stats.
How He Helps The Cowboys:
Anyone who can get to the quarterback and play on the other side of the line of scrimmage can help the Cowboys and this defense. Hand is an athletic player who could be a lot like Tyrone Crawford in that he can swing inside and outside, playing end and some rush-tackle at times. The Cowboys still need more activity from their defensive line and a player like Hand would provide that.
- Strength to hold the point of attack.
- Played in a read then react scheme at Alabama.
- Does a nice job of closing down the line to make the tackle.
- Stays on his feet. Has the ability to cause problems in the pocket when on the move.
- Shows the ability to finish when he gets in position.
- Hustles to make plays.
- Effort is good.
- Snaps where he was used as a standup rusher.
- Nice when used in twist stunts.
- Causes problems in the pocket when used that way.
- Like to see him play with more of a burst.
- See him more as a 3-4 base defensive end than a 4-3 guy.
- Strength is really good.