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Scouting the Cowboys UDFA class: OLB Tyrus Wheat

Evaluation of the UDFA class for the Dallas Cowboys. This edition is on Mississippi State Bulldog linebacker Tyrus Wheat.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 08 Arkansas at Mississippi State Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tyrus Wheat was a 3-star recruit (247 Sport) out of high school. He received a dozen offers before committing to Mississippi State in 2020. In his three years at Mississippi State Bulldogs, Wheat played 1,710 defensive snaps. In that time as a pass rusher he totaled 74 pressures, 20 sacks and 63 defensive stops. While as a run defender he made 129 tackles, 27 tackles for loss and forced three fumbles. In pass coverage, he had three interceptions, nine pass breakups while allowing an exceptional passer rating of 56.1, and never giving up a single touchdown.


Height- 6’2”
Weight- 263
Hands- 9
Arm Length- 32 7/8
Wingspan- 78 1/2

NFL Combine/Pro Day (Percentile)

10-Yard Split- 1.59 (70%)
40-Yard Time- 4.65s (67%)
Bench- 20 (34%)
Vert- 28.5 (5%)
Broad- 113 (26%)
Shuttle- 4.54s (27%)


Overall- 59.6/100 (Priority UDFA)
Tackling- 60/100
Run Stopping- 64/100
Pass Rush- 69/100
Pass Coverage- 66/100
Speed- 70/100
Strength- 49/100
Acceleration- 70/100
Agility- 76/100

The Positives:

  • Shows high levels of quickness off the snap.
  • Extremely flexible with top level bend around the edge.
  • Loves to lay the boom on a tackle, always the most aggressive tackler on the field.
  • Very good lateral mover.
  • Motor always runs hot.
  • Elite awareness when dropping into coverage.
  • Shows very good agility to cut back inside to either counter as a pass rusher or shut down a running lane.
  • Shows very good instincts as a run-stopper.
  • Great chase-down ability.
  • Top level counter moves as a rusher- this maybe his best trait.

Areas of Improvement:

  • His biggest let down is how stiff he plays at times which will limit where he can play at Dallas.
  • His overaggressive tendencies get him out of position.
  • Too many broken tackles (13 in the last two years).
  • He will be limited to just a DPR role if he can flash enough.
  • His lack of athleticism at this stage would keep him from playing linebacker full time.
  • Will ignore his responsibilities at times as a run defender wanting to get into the backfield. Weirdly when he doesn’t do this he shows good ability to set the edge.
  • Reacts slow to misdirection.
  • Lacks length, this is the biggest area of concern.

The Evaluation:

Tyrus Wheat is an interesting watch. Playing snaps from the slot, inside the box and down at the line of scrimmage, it’s clear he has high levels of versatility for Dan Quinn to play around with and to decide what it is he wants from the Bulldog product. In his versatility is also his downfall. It’s almost as though while playing at Mississippi State they could never find his true calling. He lacks athleticism to play as a true outside linebacker and lacks the length to play as a defensive end. A year in the weight room building up his strength and speed could help him blossom into a very helpful pass rusher on third down for the Dallas Cowboys as an outside linebacker. If he is able to show he can play on special teams this year, he could make the roster. For now though, his physicality and versatility stand him well coming into his first year at Dallas and a year on the practice squad could unlock his potential.

Consensus Ranking:

Roster Forecast:
Practice Squad

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