ESPN's Todd Archer recently caught up with Southwest Missouri State coach Sean Coughlin, to get the skinny on the Cowboys new versatile lineman David Arkin. Selected in the 4th round from a small FCS school, the possibilities for Arkin run the gamut. Could he be the Cowboys next small school stud turned superstar? His college coach sure seems to think he has what it takes.
How does an unheralded recruit come in and turn himself into an NFL draft pick?
Coughlin: The bottom line is he just played hard. Obviously he put in the time in the weight room and the time in the film room and worked to get better. All the things that every football player has to do, he did. But the thing that separated David is that he just played as hard as any kid I’ve ever coached. His intelligence is sky high. He is blue-collar tough. He can pick up things right away.
The Cowboys are looking for a nasty offensive lineman. Is that part of his game?
Coughlin: He definitely has a mean streak. He plays the game the way you want to see it played -- through the whistle, hard. He’s going to give you everything he has on every single snap. He loves to finish. You see him and he’s on guys down the field and he’s going until the whistle stops. You might get him on a play or two, but he’s not going to stop.
When did you think he could be an NFL player?
Coughlin: Probably his sophomore year. He would show signs of finishing plays and he played like I’d never seen an offensive lineman play that way. I’m not sure I have one play that comes to mind, but on the offensive line you always have to do your job, no matter what. He always did his job.
Arkin was the 7th Guard taken in the 2011 draft, so he shouldn't be expected to compete right away. If what Coughlin says is correct, getting him into the hands of Hudson Houck and Mike Woicik should be just what is ordered to turn his nasty streak into dominant pulling guard with an attitude. Imagine the 'out in space' plays Garrett could draw up if Arkin pans out and is combined with nimble Doug Free and Tyron Smith.
If you missed it, here's a link to an Arkin interview from right after the draft (along with picture rights to the website).