Over the next two weeks, dallascowboys.com dives deeper into the talented group of undrafted rookies that will battle for a roster spot this offseason.
- Name: LaDarius Hamilton
- Position: Edge Rusher
- School: North Texas
- Height/Weight: 6-2 / 262
- Awards & Recognition: East-West Shrine Game Participant, First Team All-Conference USA, 6th in Career Sacks and Tackles for Loss in Program History
The Good: He's exactly where he wants to be. Stemming from Corrigan, Texas, Hamilton's family grew up fans of the Dallas Cowboys and he even mentioned at the NFL Combine how special it would be to play for this organization. On the field, he is a speed-first edge rusher that aims to beat you off the edge with his legs before bringing the swim and chop from a powerful set of arms. Hamilton's straight-line speed definitely helps build the foundation that can push his ceiling at the next level. He is still an ascending player that was much cleaner and efficient in his senior season than the previous three.
The Project: Not as much bend and agility as you would like to see at the defensive end spot. He's versatile and athletic to a point, but the change of direction and ability to get off the line of scrimmage are limiting his potential at the professional level. A thick build adds to some of the inconsistency that is shown on tape. There were times in college that he would disappear for a couple plays at a time before making an impact again.
The Summary: One of our initial scouting reports for Hamilton leading into the Draft tabbed him as a 4-3 base end as a pro, despite playing in an odd man front for much of his college tenure. He certainly fits the mold for a bigger, stronger Mike Nolan defensive line but runs into a crowded situation. With the recent reinstatement of Aldon Smith and the pending case of Randy Gregory, Hamilton's road to the roster is a long one. One that would see him fighting for rotational time in the same conversation as Joe Jackson and Jalen Jelks.
The Extra: One of Hamilton's mentors during the entire draft process was Pro Football Hall of Famer "Mean" Joe Greene. The two established a connection in 2018 when Hamilton honored Greene after he was selected as the only other player in North Texas history to wear the retired number '75' in game action.
The Cowboys have a rich history in signing undrafted rookies from Drew Pearson to Tony Romo. Check out this year's group of 15 rookie free agents that have agreed to terms.