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Kentucky staff member thinks with better conditioning, Cowboys Quinton Bohanna would have been third-round pick

The Cowboys are looking to get a steal from the draft for the interior of their line.

Ole Miss vs Kentucky Photo by UK Athletics/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

Much has been made of the size of Cowboys draft pick Quinton Bohanna. Under previous regimes, the Dallas defense tended to stay away from the oversized defensive tackle that fits the classic 1-tech definition. They wanted smaller, quicker players in the interior so there was never a true “run-stuffer” presence. There wasn’t the guy who almost demands a double-team because of his size. The guy who allows the linebackers cleaner shots at the ball-carrier in theory.

Dallas rectified that in this year’s draft when they took Bohanna out of Kentucky in the sixth-round. Bohanna has already become a fan-favorite simply becasue he fills the classic 1-tech profile that had been ignored for so long, yet fans had clamored for. But it’s hard to get overly-excited about a sixth-round pick. A player lasts to the sixth round because of deficiencies in his game. Even though Cowboys fans are excited about Bohanna, he is still just a late-round pick.

Or is he?

According to the recruiting coordinator at Kentucky, with a simple change earlier in Bohanna’s career, he could have been more like a third-round pick. Bohanna played for Kentucky while weighing in the 350 lb range. Sometime this offseason, he worked his way down to about 325 lbs. That could be the key to a steal for the Cowboys.

Kentucky recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow believes if Bohanna had dropped weight earlier in his career he would have been a much higher draft pick.

“I was talking to NFL GMs (general managers) and scouts before the draft and a lot were asking me about Quinton,” Marrow said. “I really believe if he had gotten in shape earlier and looked the way he does now, he would have been a third round pick.

“For that size to have that athleticism, that’s rare with how twitchy he is. The Cowboys really loved him. I wasn’t surprised they picked him.”

On the one hand, it’s great to hear that the Cowboys might have gotten a better player than his draft position would indicate. Bohanna has incredible size and athleticism in one package and that could significantly impact the Cowboys run defense. Imagine the way we would be thinking about Bohanna if he had played his way into a third-round pick instead of the sixth round.

On the other hand, you have to wonder why it took all the way to the offseason before the draft for Bohanna to lose that weight. It does bring up the fact that weight and conditioning may be an issue throughout his career.

We’ll have to see just what the Cowboys got in Bohanna.