Here’s my sleeper: Danny Coale

Posted by Vic Ketchman, packers.com editor on February 24, 2012 – 7:15 pm

INDIANAPOLIS–Remember the name Danny Coale. He’s my sleeper in this draft.

Coale is a 6-0, 198, wide receiver from Virginia Tech who professes to run a 4.44 40. If Coale runs that fast on Sunday, he’ll move up draft boards considerably higher than the seventh round/undrafted free agent that is projected for him by scout.com.

What’s so good about Coale? Well, he was a starter at Virginia Tech for four years. It is a program choked with impressive athletes, but which tends to hide a lot of those athletes in a pass-offense whose philosophy is drop back and run. Coale has nice size and speed and a strong work ethic. Heck, he’ll shoot up draft boards based on his interview alone; we’re talking major character guy, folks.

For a minute or two, Coale was the hero of what appeared would be a Virginia Tech win over Michigan in the Sugar Bowl, but then his overtime “touchdown” catch was reversed by replay, Tech missed a field goal attempt and Michigan won the game by kicking a field goal.

“One scout asked if I played in the Sugar Bowl,” Coale said on Friday.

Yeah, the kid’s got a glib sense of humor. Hey, by the way, didn’t Carroll Dale come from Virginia Tech?

Coale is a kid who’s delighted to be in Indianapolis this weekend. Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III have elected not to dain this esteemed gathering with the presence of their strong right arms, but Coale promises to run his guts out when wide receivers are timed in the 40 on Sunday. This will be no less important an event than to have decided the forward momentum of Coale’s football-playing career. If he runs fast, he’s in the league. If he runs slow, don’t bet on him.

“My goal is to have a long pro career. I’m  here to prove to a team I’m worthy of a pick. I’m training for an opportunity,” Coale said. “I want to run under 4.5.”

If he does, look out above.


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