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  1. #2501
    Quote Originally Posted by Assassin View Post
    - Right now I'm not buying into Cox at 14.

    I am. I think he'd be a great pick at 14.

  2. #2502
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dia_del_DougO View Post
    Connor is a good player who has been caught up a bit in a numbers game there, and has dealt with some injury issues. I think he's by far the best signing as far as bang for the buck.
    Could well be. Sean Lee thinks extremely highly of him too.

  3. #2503
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dia_del_DougO View Post
    I am. I think he'd be a great pick at 14.
    He is not a NT by any means - he struggles with double teams. And I can't see him at strong side DE as he does have issues with double teams, you'll get those nearly every play. So I think he's a weak side DE only which means he's facing the offensive's best OL, the LT.

  4. #2504
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    It would be interesting to see what he does with DWare over his hip. Potentially they drive the sack to the strong side DE/OLB

  5. #2505
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    David Moore's draft series: Could DT Fletcher Cox fit the Cowboys at No. 14?
    JAMES D. SMITH / Dallas Cowboys
    DAVID MOORE Staff writer dmoore@dallasnews.com
    Published: 09 April 2012 08:52 PM

    The Cowboys have the 14th pick in the first round of this month's draft. Here's a look at some of the players under consideration:

    Fletcher Cox
    Defensive tackle
    Mississippi State
    6-4, 298

    Background : All SEC first team this past season as a junior...Finished his career with 114 tackles with 24.5 for a loss and 8.5 sacks. Five of those sacks came this past season...Started 27 games during his college career...Blocked five kicks...One of several players suspended for opener in 2011 due to an undisclosed violation of team rules.

    Scouting report : Ran a 4.81 in the 40 and did 30 reps at 225 pounds in the bench press...Not considered an explosive player, but is quick off the snap...More of a bull rusher at this stage...He has good upper-body strength and can probably add another 10 to 15 pounds to his frame...Uses his hands well...Plays hard every down and should be a steady NFL player.

    How he fits: An end in the Cowboys 3-4 scheme...Can play inside at tackle in the nickel...The Cowboys need more plays out of their defensive front...Fletcher is an upgrade.

  6. #2506
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    Draft team needs: Dallas Cowboys
    By Clark Judge | CBSSports.com Senior NFL Columnist

    Dallas needs a third receiver to go with playmakers Miles Austin and Dez Bryant. (US Presswire)

    Don't tell me the Dallas Cowboys don't have the players to win the NFC East. They do. In fact, they were in perfect position a year ago to claim the division for the second time in three years.

    But they didn't, and they didn't because they couldn't win their season finale vs. the New York Giants and because they lost four of their last five starts. Basically, the Cowboys blew it, with missed field goals, blown leads and poor play punctuating a descent that had them finish 8-8, with an 0-4 record against the Giants and Philadelphia Eagles.

    Afterward, owner Jerry Jones pledged support for embattled coach Jason Garrett, and that's good. The guy needed someone to stand behind him. Now he needs a defense to rely on, and last year's unit didn't qualify. It ranked 23rd vs. the pass and 16th in points allowed. Worse, it blew five fourth-quarter leads.

    The Cowboys haven't had a winning season in two years, losing 19 of their last 33 starts, and that must change. Garrett knows it. He was hired to put this team back on its feet, and this is his chance.

    Again.

    QB: After awhile, the criticism of Tony Romo gets old. The guy played through a broken rib, punctured lung and bruised throwing hand and still managed one of the best seasons of his career, with 31 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, one fumble and a career-best 102.5 pass rating. The problem, of course, is that he must prove he can lead this team to the playoffs, then win at the next level. He has been to the playoffs, but he has won only once there. That's the hurdle Romo must clear, and he might've made it last season if the Cowboys hadn't become so one-dimensional after the loss of running back DeMarco Murray. If the heat is on Romo, it's only to prove that he can take Dallas deep into the playoffs. Signing Kyle Orton as a backup was smart. The guy is a perfect safety net in case Romo suffers another injury, and he can and will win if called on. That's not a knock on Romo's predecessor, Jon Kitna. But getting Orton is an upgrade at a key position.

    RB:Had you polled people close to the team at midseason they would've told you that DeMarco Murray was the Cowboys' MVP. The reason: He resurrected the club's rushing game and became the Cowboys' first legitimate feature back since Emmitt Smith. Murray averaged 5.5 yards per carry and produced a 253-yard game == that is, before he bowed out with a fractured ankle. Felix Jones was supposed to have a big season but demonstrated he can't play extended periods of time without getting hurt and is probably best suited as a backup. Jones enters the last year of his contract and, barring a breakout year, there's no reason to believe he has a future here. Phillip Tanner is the next option, a strong special-teams player who plays hard. Murray has a future, but the Cowboys must keep him healthy. Remember, this is a club that last year had only five rushing touchdowns, the second-lowest total in the league.

    WR: In Miles Austin and Dez Bryant, the Cowboys have two legitimate playmakers. Yeah, I know, Bryant still must run more precise routes, but he caught nine touchdown passes, while Austin was handicapped by injuries that sidelined him six games. Still, he managed to score seven times. The real question here has nothing to do with them, and everything to do with the No. 3 receiver ... because there isn't one. Not now there isn't. A year ago, that man was Laurent Robinson, but he left for Jacksonville and took 11 touchdowns with him. Robinson was the red-zone threat Dallas had been missing, and there's a hole there -- with nobody on the scene today to take his place. Kevin Ogletree was re-signed, but he's not the answer. Neither, I suspect, is Andre Holmes or Raymond Radway. Look for the Cowboys to spend at least one draft pick on this position.

    TE: Jason Witten remains one of Romo's favorite targets, coming off his eighth straight season with 60 or more catches. But he didn't have a spectacular season, with his string of consecutive Pro Bowl appearances ending at seven. Nevertheless, he's one of the most reliable pass-catching tight ends and will be among its leading receivers. John Phillips is the backup, taking the place of Martellus Bennett, who left for the New York Giants. Bennett never became the threat the Cowboys envisioned, and they grew tired of waiting on him. This is another spot where a draft pick or free agent could land.

    OL: Tyron Smith shifts from right to left tackle to protect Romo's back, and the move makes sense. First of all, Smith was the team's best offensive lineman last season. Second, Doug Free, who played the position, was not. In fact, he struggled so much the Cowboys moved him back to the right side where he originally played, hoping the switch makes a difference in a game that was nothing more than mediocre last season. The acquisitions of guards Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau should make the Cowboys better inside, and maybe they help a running game that had trouble finding the end zone. The real question here has to do with center Phil Costa, another lineman who struggled in 2011. His play must improve. Otherwise, there's an opening for Bill Nagy of Kevin Kowalski. Trust me, center could be a focus of concern as the season unfolds.

    DL: Jay Ratliff continues to be a top defensive tackle, but his play and numbers declined last season. Still, he made the Pro Bowl for the fourth straight season, and there's a chance he could be moved to defensive end where the Cowboys are desperate for playmakers. Kenyon Coleman, Marcus Spears and Jason Hatcher are decent vs. the run, but all had trouble pressuring the quarterback. Coleman was OK the first half of the season but wore down, while Hatcher -- who had a career-high 4.5 sacks -- was moved inside in nickel packages. Josh Brent is a promising backup at nose tackle, but look for the Cowboys to exercise a draft choice, and maybe a high draft choice, on this position.

    LB: With DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer on the outside, the Cowboys seem to be set. Ware had 19.5 sacks, second best in the NFL and the second most in his career, while Spencer held up well against the run. In fact, Spencer was so solid the Cowboys made him their franchise player. But Dallas drafted him as a pass rusher, not a run stopper, and he had a disappointing season in that department, producing six sacks. That must improve ... or the Cowboys must find someone better to pair with Ware. Inside linebacker Sean Lee is the second best player on defense, leading the team in tackles, tackles for losses and interceptions, while newcomer Dan Connor should compete with Bruce Carter at the other spot. Carter, a second-round draft pick, missed the first six games last season with an injury and struggled to make an impact.

    DB: Brandon Carr moves into the left cornerback position after playing the right side in Kansas City, but the Cowboys are covered on the right with Mike Jenkins, who played OK despite a series of injuries. Carr was expensive, but a move was necessary. Dallas last year surrendered 3,906 passing yards, the second most in franchise history, and the Cowboys had to upgrade the position. So they got rid of Terence Newman and signed Carr. Gerald Sensabaugh returns to strong safety, but a true free safety is needed. For the moment, Brodney Pool is penciled in as a starter, but that could change. Orlando Scandrick returns as the nickel back but must improve on inconsistent play from 2011. Make this another area where a draft pick or veteran free agent could land.

  7. #2507
    Quote Originally Posted by Assassin View Post
    He is not a NT by any means - he struggles with double teams. And I can't see him at strong side DE as he does have issues with double teams, you'll get those nearly every play. So I think he's a weak side DE only which means he's facing the offensive's best OL, the LT.
    He's primarily an end in a 3-4, who is versatile enough to play some nose. He's highly productive, even against constant SEC double teams, and has some good quickness off the edge and has some moves. I think he's one of the more solid picks in the top 15. Hard worker, has the body and the agility and the smarts to be a very good pro for a long time. And a lot less baggage than most of his competitors.

    I'll be really pissed if they take Poe ahead of him. And Brockers scares me.

  8. #2508
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    Calvin Watkins - Cowboy players on the Bubble:

    The NFL draft is a little more than two weeks away, and whom the Cowboys select over those three days could have a profound effect on the roster.

    Here are five players who might get cut because of draft selections:

    1. Kenyon Coleman. The Cowboys save $1.9 million with his release, but he's a trusted veteran and was one of two players defensive coordinator Rob Ryan brought to the team to help with his scheme. There are some younger players on the roster (Sean Lissemore, Clifton Geathers) who might be of more value during to the team than Coleman. If the Cowboys draft a defensive end in the early rounds, Coleman is a possible cut.

    2. Felix Jones. Yes, Felix Jones. The Cowboys were interested in Boise State running back Doug Martin, but he wasn't able to visit Valley Ranch for a pre-draft visit because of last week's storms. Jones isn't a feature back -- in fact, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett continues to call him a complementary running back -- and the team had internal discussions about trading him. If the Cowboys find a younger version, it wouldn't surprise anyone if he's let go. DeMarco Murray, Phillip Tanner and quite possibly a draft pick doesn't make the Cowboys significantly younger, but it does give them some fresh legs. Jones, like Marion Barber and Julius Jones before him, might need a fresh start somewhere else.

    3. Marcus Spears. He's been nothing but a good soldier. He took less money, based on the NFL salary structure, two seasons ago. Meanwhile, backups Stephen Bowen and Jason Hatcher made more. Spears was finally rewarded with a new contract last year, but he might be sent packing with the Cowboys seeking to go younger along the defensive line. Spears had a solid season, yet it depends on Ryan and if he values Coleman more.

    4. Phil Costa. If the Cowboys don't draft a guard, getting a center at No. 14 or in the early stages of Round 2, is a possibility. Costa wasn't that bad, but he wasn't great. And if the Cowboys find a bigger center, it might be time to move on. Kevin Kowalski impressed the coaches in his limited action at center and he also has the versatility to play guard.

    5. Kevin Ogletree. It was a surprise he re-signed considering his underachieving play the last two seasons. But among the backup receivers, he's got the most experience behind Miles Austin and Dez Bryant. However, if the Cowboys draft a wideout in the late rounds or find an undrafted free agent, maybe Ogletree gets pushed out at some point during training camp.

  9. #2509
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    Hawkins Crawford Romo was welcomed into this world Monday at 5:30 p.m., according to Cowboys vice president Rich Dalrymple. Hawkins checked in at 19 3/4 inches and 8 pounds, 8 ounces. The labor went fine and the mother and son are resting comfortably.
    It is the first child for the Romos, who were married last May.

  10. #2510
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    Talking

    How draft could affect Felix

    Just because a veteran player made it this far into the offseason without being released doesn't necessarily mean his job is safe. How their teams approach the draft could play a big role in determining job security for myriad players. With that in mind, ESPNDallas.com's Calvin Watkins took a look at the Dallas Cowboys roster to determine which players might be at risk of losing their jobs depending on how the club handles the draft.

    Among those on his list are defensive ends Kenyon Coleman and Marcus Spears, wide receiver Kevin Ogletree and running back Felix Jones. Former starting running back Felix Jones?

    "Yes, Felix Jones," Watkins said. "The Cowboys were interested in Boise State running back Doug Martin, but he wasn't able to visit Valley Ranch for a pre-draft visit because of last week's storms. Jones isn't a feature back -- in fact, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett continues to call him a complementary running back -- and the team had internal discussions about trading him. If the Cowboys find a younger version, it wouldn't surprise anyone if he's let go. DeMarco Murray, Phillip Tanner and quite possibly a draft pick doesn't make the Cowboys significantly younger, but it does give them some fresh legs. Jones, like Marion Barber and Julius Jones before him, might need a fresh start somewhere else."

    ESPN NFC East blogger Dan Graziano agrees with Watkins on how the draft could affect Jones? roster spot:

    Could the Cowboys cut Felix Jones?

    "Would be quite a fall for Jones, from starter in September 2011 to looking for a job in the summer of 2012. But it gives you some idea what the Cowboys think about him. He did an okay job filling in for Murray after Murray got hurt last year, but the offense tailed off considerably with Jones as the lead back. It may be that they believe they need someone or something different in that role -- or that they'd like to give Tanner more carries. Certainly, if you see them draft a running back in the top half of the draft, you have to think Jones is at least in trouble."

  11. #2511
    Some of my favorite draft guys really love Martin, who they consider an every-down back. I doubt Dallas will be in a position to draft him. He may be gone by the Cowboys second pick, and Dallas is more likely to use that on D or O-line.

    It would be nice to get something for Jones. He does some good things when he's healthy, but he's gone as soon as his contract is up anyway, so they might as well get something in return while they can, if they can.

  12. #2512
    Bengals agreed to terms with CB Terence Newman, formerly of the Cowboys, on a one-year contract.
    The 33-year-old isn't known to have visited any teams other than Cincinnati. It's fair to wonder if he will receive any guaranteed money after getting routinely toasted down the stretch last season. Although he's a favorite of DC Mike Zimmer, Newman will have to compete with Jason Allen and Pacman Jones for snaps behind Nate Clements and Leon Hall.

  13. #2513
    http://www.draftinsider.net/blog/?p=6238
    - Small school guard Amini Silatolu is a very busy man these days, flying around the nation to visit NFL franchises. The Midwestern State product has taken official visits to see the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions, with the Cowboys and Lions also working out the large blocker. The buzz continues to be Silatolu will be off the board by the 42nd pick.

  14. #2514
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dia_del_DougO View Post
    Some of my favorite draft guys really love Martin, who they consider an every-down back. I doubt Dallas will be in a position to draft him. He may be gone by the Cowboys second pick, and Dallas is more likely to use that on D or O-line. It would be nice to get something for Jones. He does some good things when he's healthy, but he's gone as soon as his contract is up anyway, so they might as well get something in return while they can, if they can.
    Unless Richardson does an astronomical drop, no RB stands out to me. I wouldn go a late 3 (tradeback) or our 4th on Terrance Gannaway. He gives you what we don't have now, a big back with power and that hidden speed - once he is in the open field, he just outran everyone

  15. #2515
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    From the same article Doug -
    We’ve been told there’s a very real chance the Chicago Bears use their first round selection on Kendall Wright as they are looking for a receiver that can line up in the slot. We hear worry about Johnny Knox ever returning to prior form after his back injury late last season also factors into this . The team also has an interest in Shea McClellin of Boise State, whom they would use at defensive end.

  16. #2516
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    BTW - North Alabama CB Janoris Jenkins is dropping like a rock. Looks like the old 'past coming back to haunt him' is running rampant...

  17. #2517
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    This guy might be in the mix in the 3rd or 4th round:

    Draft preview: Okla. State S Markelle Martin
    April, 11, 2012
    By Tim MacMahon and Bryan Broaddus | ESPNDallas.com


    The 23rd installment of our draft preview series focuses on Oklahoma State safety Markelle Martin.

    Scouts Inc. ranks: No. 4 safety, No. 76 overall
    Bio: First-team All-Big 12 selection as a senior, when he had 74 tackles (five for losses), 11 passes broken up, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Three-year starter who only had three interceptions in his career, all as a junior. Did not participate in Oklahoma State’s March pro day due to his knee injury, but he was timed at 4.43 in the 40 and measured with a 37-inch vertical jump the previous year.

    Oklahoma State safety Markelle Martin could improve his tackling by playing a little more under control.
    Size: 6-foot-0 , 207 pounds
    40-yard dash: 4.48 seconds
    225-pound bench press reps: 19
    Did not work out at combine due knee injury

    Broaddus Breakdown (viewed Texas A&M, Baylor and Stanford games): Is much more of a free safety type than Mark Barron or Harrison Smith. … Would call him a 50-50 tackler at best. Will take some funny angles to the ball and tends to lunge when he gets in position. Had some plays where he missed badly in the open field, but also had a play against Stanford where he blew the receiver up on a crossing route, so you do see a physical side of him. Did have a wrap-up tackle when the ball spilled outside and he was able to get the ball carrier to the ground. … Shows the athletic ability to drive on the ball when he is covering in the slot. Pretty good job in the Baylor game of reading the out route from the slot and knocking the ball down. Plays with good range, and you see him more in coverage than Barron and Smith. … Good athletic ability to stay in position on the route. Plays with some foot quickness. Will carry his man up the field, as well. Looks more natural in coverage than Barron or Smith. Will get a little high and tall in his pedal, but it doesn’t hurt him that much overall. … Had a bad bust in the bowl game on a seam route when he got caught looking into the backfield. The receiver ran right by him and Andrew Luck had no problem with the throw for a touchdown. Thought there might be some questions with his awareness after this because in the Texas A&M game, he didn’t correctly read the crack block of the receiver and got hammered.

    In the Baylor game, he let the receiver run an inside route on him then cross his face without adjusting. You see one of these types of plays each game. … Has a reputation as a big hitter and you do see him try and line receivers up, but if he just played under better control, I am sure that his tackling would improve. … Has the speed and quickness to walk down in the slot to cover, whereas Barron and Smith have to take a physical approach with the receiver to make that happen. Barron and Smith have the better of Martin when it comes to anticipation and the ability to quickly read the play. Martin is a much better athlete, but he makes more mistakes. Has been awarded academic recognition for his classroom work, but there are times where he doesn’t play smart football.

  18. #2518
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dia_del_DougO View Post
    http://www.draftinsider.net/blog/?p=6238
    - Small school guard Amini Silatolu is a very busy man these days, flying around the nation to visit NFL franchises. The Midwestern State product has taken official visits to see the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions, with the Cowboys and Lions also working out the large blocker. The buzz continues to be Silatolu will be off the board by the 42nd pick.
    Some pretty impressive writeups here:


    Cowboys 2012 Draft Prospects: Midwestern State OG Amini Silatolu
    by rabblerousr on Apr 11, 2012 3:00 PM CDT in Dallas Cowboys 2012 Free Agents

    Can Amini Silatolu be another Mike Iupati?

    Today, our tour through the best interior linemen in the 2012 draft stops in Wichita Falls, TX. Here, at little Midwestern State, we find Amini Silatolu, a big man with an even bigger game. The Story of Silatolu's journey to Division II MSU is a long and circuitous one: He was a prep star in Northern California who enrolled at San Joaquin Delta College with the intent to work on his grades and facilitate a transfer to Boise State. After earning JuCo All-American honors in 2008, Silatolu had to sit out the 2009 season due to academic ineligibility. Unable to enroll at either Boise or at his second choice, Nevada, he settled on Midwestern State.

    At MSU, he has dominated the competition. Unlike most rival players, Silatolu stands 6'4" and weighs in at 311, boasting a thick, powerful body. And he loves to use it - with the intent to punish. On tape, Silatolu can be seen attacking defenders and finishing blocks. He plays with "violent hands" and tallies a lot of pancakes. You can see him in action here, in a highlight reel from Pro Football Weekly. Want more? Here he is in extended action, in the weight room and on the field. Silatolu lines up at left tackle (he's number 57) and just destroys his competition.

    In no small part because of his size and strength advantages. Silatolu was a consensus D-II All-American, finished second in the voting for the prestigious Gene Upshaw Award (given to the top D-II lineman), and was the first player from Midwestern state ever to be invited to the Senior Bowl. Unfortunately, he pulled a hamstring and was unable to show his skills against the big boys from BCS schools. At the Combine, he acquitted himself well, demonstrating good explosion scores, as Long Ball notes below (his Combine workout can be seen here). Since then scouts, armed with good tape against inferior opponents and strong Combine scores, must try to figure him out.

    National Football Post (Wes Bunting): 3rd-rated OG; 35th overall

    A thick, wide-bodied offensive lineman who plays left tackle at Midwestern State. Possesses a powerful lower half, natural flexibility into contact and exhibits the physical make-up to be ideally suited to play guard at the next level. Showcases the flexibility to bend and sit into his stance, and initially does a nice job keeping his base down on his initial kick-step. Looks balanced off the edge, but has a tendency to get upright into contact. Extends his arms well and is a balanced/powerful puncher who can rock lineman on contact. Therefore, despite getting upright into contact can still stick, but will struggle with balance when engaged and doesn't play as quick laterally, giving up some penetration because of it. However, when he does sink his hips on contact, showcases very good foot quickness for his size, displays some natural mirror ability and can slide his feet through contact. Just needs to do a better job of playing lower. Exhibits solid range toward the edge in pass protection vs. speed, but lacks ideal NFL range, will open up his hips and routinely lunge into contact to push rushers past the play.

    Is a dominant run blocker. Not only can he coil up into his stance and really snap through his hips into contact, extending his arms and gaining leverage, but he also loves to finish. Showcases a strong set of legs and can run through contact and routinely get a good push. However, at times just throws himself at defenders, will lose balance at the point and can be side stepped. Needs to improve his initial balance on his second step into contact, but the body control and explosion is certainly there for him to win inside in-line at the next level. He's very impressive on the move. Showcases "plus" range for his size when asked to pull as a backside tackle, lead the power play and reach defenders in space. Plays with a nasty streak, loves to finish and his combination of range/athleticism and balance makes him dominant when trying to kick out defenders. Loves to block down field as well, routinely plays till the whistle and his range in space is very impressive, especially the way he covers ground and breaks down so quickly, dropping his pad level and/or cutting defenders in the process.

    Impression: He has some technique flaws that needs to be fixed and will need to kick inside at the next level. However, he's a wide-bodied athlete with a powerful/explosive frame, good foot quickness and can really pull from the backside. Might need some time, but is one of the top guards in the class with as much upside as any.

    Pro Football Weekly (Nolan Nawrocki): 3rd-rated OG; 20th overall

    Positives: Plays with aggression. Very heavy-handed with power in his punch. Has a nasty on-field playing temperament and seeks to bury defenders in the run game. Has a strong base, plays with power and relishes finishing blocks. Climbs defenders and can run the field and pick off multiple defenders. Likes to play and it shows—outstanding on-field energy and tempo. Street-tough and does not back down from a challenge. Good athlete—carries his weight well. Outstanding Combine positional drill performance and movement skill in agility drills. Has a 31 -inch vertical jump.

    Negatives: Shows some small-school rawness in his play and can improve kick slide and hand use. Footwork is undisciplined. Will fall off blocks overaggressively attacking. Character will have to be evaluated closely. Academics have been an issue throughout career and some mental lapses show in his play—is not always quick to sort out the blitz or anticipate where pressure is coming.

    Summary: Tough, physical, nasty small-college left tackle who projects to guard in the pros. Stands out on the field and dominates lesser competition, but did not play in any all-star games to prove himself and has some off-field issues and intelligence concerns that could push down his draft status. Grades out like a first-round talent and should be able to step into a starting lineup readily on the inside and develop into a Pro Bowl-caliber performer with simple assignments. Scouts have compared him to New Orleans Saints Pro Bowl OG Jahri Evans, but he is much more athletic pulling and playing in space and tape will draw instant man-crushes from good evaluators. Can win with power or quickness and fit any type of blocking scheme.

    Draftek (Long Ball): 7th-rated OG; 70th overall

    The game tapes I graded showed "a man among boys" at the small college level, as Silatolu dominated and clearly stood out. He has not backed down as the competition increased at all-star games . . . and his combine results were spectacular, including a 5.43 forty (1.89 ten yard split), 4.87 shuttle, 7.95 3-cone, 31.5" vertical, 8'11" broad jump and 28 bench reps: this gives him an explosion factor of 69 and a lateral agility factor of 0.56. His 33" arms promote a wingspan of 79".

    In pass blocking, Amini shows better lateral agility than expected for his short, stocky build. He's quick out of his stance, has a strong punch on initial contact, then resets his hands to maintain distance while extending his arms to finish plays. Silatolu sets a wide stance to anchor with low center of gravity and natural bend. He is quick enough to help left guard with a punch on the tackle after the snap, and still make it outside to stop the end from reaching the pocket . . . this trait will allow him to help both the center and tackle when he plays OG at the next level.

    Silatolu is an attacking run-blocker, playing with violent hands at the point of attack and finishes his blocks with a "bad attitude". He is not passive and will crash down the edge while taking multiple defenders to the ground. This aggression can work against him, as he will overextend trying to sustain or dominate blocks instead of simply walling off quicker defenders. Despite his mass, his hustle and agility allows him to get in front of bubble screens, and he's agile and quick enough to trap inside or even pull around to the strong-side of the formation from his left tackle spot. Amini is a terror against small college linebackers and gets to the 2nd level and into move blocks very quickly for his size. His lack of long foot speed limits his range, but his effort in hitting multiple defenders, whether following or leading his back down the field, is impressive and he plays with the tenacity to push piles downfield for extra yardage.

    You want intangibles? He passes the "Long Ball Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval" in on-the-field nastiness and hustle . . . trust me, you will be watching this young man on Sundays next year!

    ESPN/ Scouts, Inc. (Gary Horton): 3rd-rated OG; 50th overall

    Pass Protection: May not be long enough to stay at offensive tackle where he played in college. Footwork is inconsistent but an above average athlete with good initial quickness and balance. Ability to redirect is a notch below elite. Ability to sink hips and absorb power rushers is above average. Upper body strength appears above average and flashes the ability to knock defenders off balance with punch.

    Run Blocking: Doesn't have to play with sound technique to dominate Division II level and has developed some bad habits. Inconsistent first step and overextends at times. But he has the physical tools and mean streak to become a very good run blocker at guard in the NFL. He's quick and agile for his size. Drives legs and generates adequate push when stays low. Adequate angles to second level blocks. Above average body control and flashes the ability to adjust to moving targets. Smooth pivot and above average range when asked to pull.

    Awareness: Late picking up some blitzes in pass protection and as a run blocker struggles to adjust on the fly when defensive front shifts at the snap of the ball. However, keeps head on a swivel and looks to help out when no one comes to him in pass protection. Plays under control and picks up line stunts. Above average job of locating and getting to second level assignments when asked to pull.

    Toughness: Flashes mean streak and the ability to finish one-on-one. Lowers shoulder and delivers blow when asked to kick out defensive ends. Flashes the ability to flat back linebackers. Blocks through the whistle on most plays and doesn't back down but doesn't play every snap with the same level of tenacity.

    Intangibles: 2011 team captain based on votes from teammates. Missed the 2009 season when did not qualify academically. Spent last two seasons at Division II school and first two seasons at a community college so the jump in level of competition is a concern. Mental capacity and maturity level need to be extensively studied.

    The above scouts may not be in complete agreement, but a consensus does emerge: he's a big, mean, nasty load who loves to pound the opponent and plays with real aggression. Three of four hold Silatolu to be the third best guard in the draft, and slot him in the 20-50 range, which is the late first through the middle of the second round.

    Here's the rub: I can't fathom him being selected as early as #14, nor can I see him lasting to the Cowboys' second pick, at # 45. Look at the teams that have expressed interest in Silatolu--Minnesota, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Carolina and Tampa Bay have all scheduled visits--and where they draft: 23 (Lions); 24 (Steelers); 35 (Vikings); 36 (Buccaneers) and 40 (Panthers). He'll become a Cowboy only if he survives that gauntlet. I'm going to slot Silatolu in the second round on my Cowboys "little board," but I'm not going to hold out much hope that he makes it that far.

  19. #2519
    I really don't care for the idea of gambling on another small college guard in the second round. Arkin was praised as one of the most solid picks in the fourth round, but he's looking like a total bust. Maybe he could be Larry Allen, but the odds are long against it.

  20. #2520
    NFL Network's Mike Mayock indicated on Path to the Draft that he wouldn't pick North Carolina DE Quinton Coples regardless of round if Mayock were general manager of an NFL team.
    Mayock acknowledges that Coples has all the talent in the world, but he wouldn't be on Mayock's draft board. "If I'm a GM, I'm not taking him in the first round," said Mayock. "I might not take him in the second round. The bust potential is high." Mayock went on to explain that he couldn't find "any" strong senior-year tape from Coples. While we still expect Coples to be a top 10-12 pick, he certainly seems to present plenty of risk.



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