Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/19/12
With the 186th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected tight end James Hanna out of Oklahoma. It's only been two preseason games, but I'm already loving Hanna.

There really isn't much not to love about him. He's a young player, he's fast, has good hands, and from every report out of camp, he has a good attitude and he's a hard worker. 

These are the types of players that become future stars, and years down the line people will say, "How did he fall that far down in the Draft?" James Hanna has the make-up to become a star like that. 

Again, referencing training camp, he has been a big hit. All he does is show up and work hard. To make a boxing analogy, he is like Glen Johnson. Probably, not a lot of people know that reference, but basically, James Hanna shows up and just goes to work.

He's a blue-collar, put on the hard hat, and bring your lunch pail to work type player.

In the two preseason games, he's been a success as well. All that practice in training camp is paying off in the games, so far. He's run nice, solid routes, and when the ball is thrown to him, he makes the catch. That's about all you can ask for in a player. Give it 110 percent and limit the mistakes.

Now, I bring up the mistakes element, because he isn't perfect. He has a lot to work on. He's very vulnerable as a blocker, at the moment, that's one area he really needs to improve drastically. But, it's not too bad, it's definitely improvable and with the hard work he's been giving, that will start to pay divendens.

With Jason Witten injured at the moment, this could be a turning point for a struggling offensive unit trying to find players to step up. James Hanna could be that guy. Obviously, I'm not saying he's going to replace Witten, but if he continues to impress, Dallas will find a role for him in the offense.

Why not a two wide receiver and double tight end end set? If the Cowboys don't sign a veteran wide receiver, or if they aren't happy with the young receivers they have, Hanna could become that extra weapon the Cowboys' offense desperately needs. So, long as Jason WItten is healthy, of course. 

In the NFL, tight end is becoming a hot position. You have these big, huge, fast tight ends that put up record-setting numbers. Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, etc. James Hanna, in three years, could be one of those tight ends in the NFL. It's not inconceivable  to think that way. He possesses the make-up and talent, but one thing is for sure. He's already an upgrade over Martellus Bennett. 



 

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