Name: Chris Whaley Position: DT College: Texas
I can honestly say that I didn't know much about Chris Whaley when he came out for the 2014 NFL Draft and the Cowboys signed him. He injured his knee in early November so studying the player was not really on my radar, but to the credit of this front office they managed to get Whaley on the squad where he was able to rehab for the entire season.
My view of Whaley is from the 2013 season while he was playing for the University of Texas. With Whaley you have a player in certain schemes took snaps as the nose and under-tackle. Where I feel like he will be better is at the under-tackle or the three technique.
He is a much better player when he can line up on the outside shoulder of the guard and attack up the field. He has plays with better quickness than he does power. There is good short-area foot quickness to his game, along with that lateral quickness. I would say that Whaley has good reactionary skills with the ability to change direction. Nice body control and balance. Wasn't knocked off his feet or in poor position when it came to making a tackle.
He will use his hands but lacks upper body strength to control or disengage from the blocker. Not an explosive player nor does he really strike his man. Better when he can play as a half-man and avoid dealing with the blocker all together.
Motor, effort and pursuit overall are solid, but there were snaps in the Oklahoma game where he wasn't as consistent as he needed to be in those areas. He wore down and played tired. He had a nice turnover in that same game on a zone drop where he managed to get into the throwing lane and picked off Blake Bell for a pick-six in a tight ball game.
He's got good instincts as a player. Able to key and diagnose play, then work in that direction. Did not see him lose the ball or take false steps during the play. Going to win more battles one-on-one than he is on double teams -- again the lack of power hurts him here.
Whaley is one of those players that needs to win right off the snap to have success. Didn't show many pass rush moves, but when he was free, he did have bend and the ability to finish once he arrived at the quarterback. Athletic enough to use in games and stunts to cause issues in the blocking scheme.
I liked players like Nunez-Roches, Jarrett and Cooper in the 2015 draft better for the position – so without the injury would have put him in the fourth round on my board.