Ht: 6-5. Wt: 302
School: Missouri State
Round (overall): Fourth (110th)
To learn more about Cowboys draft pick David Arkin, we talked with Missouri State offensive line coach Sean Coughlin. Here’s what he had to say:
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.
Why did you move him to left tackle?
Coughlin: We played him right away as a redshirt freshman at guard. He started all four years and was a three-year starter at guard. We had a need at tackle in his junior year and he was the one guy that athletically fit. He has the quick feet and he could play in space. We practice him there some but basically the first time was in a game. He had only a couple of reps and he did great. He’s very versatile. Coming in for his senior season, we thought we’d move him back to guard, but that’s such a key position. At the time we didn’t want to because of how physical we want to be inside, but it was just too important so we kept him outside. We played Kansas State and he played great, and I think we knew we made the right decision.
How strong is he?
Coughlin: He’s got good weight room strength. You want a kid who will work at it, and he did. A lot of times I look at high school kids and they’re 17, 18 years old and they come into college football going against older guys and it’s new. It’s the same at the next level, I think. It takes time but what helps if that it’s all football all the time. You’re not in school. Football is a job. I think that’s one of the reasons he will continue to grow. I know a few people worry about him being an FCS kid from a smaller school, but I think he played in some of the all-star games and was able to compete and there was not a difference.
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.