IRVING, Texas – Day 3 of the Dallas Cowboys draft was the busiest by far, with America’s Team selecting seven of their nine players this afternoon.
With all those players to consider, here is a comprehensive scouting report on all five of the Dallas Cowboys seventh round picks.
Ben Gardner – Stanford – DE – 6-4 – 272 – 5.03
Will work down the line. Plays the down block. Keeps his feet on the cut. Nice hand use. Uses an arm over move up the field. Nose for the ball. Can find it. Will crash down inside.
Much better when he is on the move. Able to hold the point. Able to split the double team. Can play as a two gap player. Tries to make tackles in the hole, had a couple of misses when he just was not quite able to finish the play. There were snaps where he can played square and was able to hold the point of attack with no problem.
Didn’t get turned or knocked off balance. Had a tackle for loss against Utah, on quicker swim move. Can get his hands inside. Plays along the line, different positions. Plays with some quickness.
Great deal of toughness to his game. He was rare that you saw him not trying to work off the block and get in the middle of the play. Relentless in his style. There is nothing pretty or classic about the way he plays, but the bottom line is he gets the job done.
Will Smith – Texas Tech – OLB – 6-2 – 231 – 4.59
Physical player at point of attack, will step up and deliver a blow. Rangy, long build. Will work his hand inside to deal with the blocker. Has a nose for the ball, did a nice job of showing awareness on the read option.
Helps him in the passing game as well. Was able to hunt the receiver behind him in zone coverage. Showed the ability to carry his man across the formation when he was walked outside in man coverage. Very active in the running game, will bounce off blockers. Will step up, read the blocking scheme and react.
Really nice job of reading the ball to the flat on the swing, wrap up tackle in space. Will be too aggressive at times and over run the play. Run-Hit factor is really good. Slippery player, all over the place when he attacks the ball. Plays with vision to see what is happening to him scheme wise. Has to be careful not to jump around blocks. Is much better playing blocks with his hands than he is with his shoulder.
Needs to come under better control when attack the line. Have seen him wrap up as a tackler, then the next time try to block-down tackle. Will bounce off blockers when he blitzes. Is always attack the line. Big fan of his ability to find ways to get to the ball and make the stop.
Better job against Texas when it came to rushing the passer on the blitz with the quick, arm over move. Better coming forward than he is going back in coverage. Fan of his ability to be in the pile.
Ahmad Dixon – Baylor – S – 6-0 – 212 – 4.62
Is not afraid to stick his nose in the action. Will wrap up as a tackler, physical. Is a reckless player that will do anything to get to the ball. Can run the play down from the backside. Awareness to play the screen, beat the block and make the tackle.
Will hunt for his man in coverage. Is choppy in the way he moves, not fluid at all but shows quickness once he sees. Is much better when he can handle plays in front of him, then if he has to turn and run. Takes him a little time to turn and once again get going. Has straight line speed. He will come downhill in a hurry.
Not a smooth player, is a little bit all over the place. There were a couple of snaps where he was so aggressive, he completely overshot the ball carrier. Needs to break down better in space and come under control. Wants to deliver the big hit and it gets him in trouble. There were some snaps in coverage where his attention would go from one man to another where it should have been with his first read.
Is relentless in the way that he plays. Is a missile in the way he plays. Is a jump on the back of the ball carrier type of tackler. Can really cover some ground when he has to cover in the flat. Will bounce off blockers and find the ball. Super active.
Plays with a chip on his shoulder. He is going to hit you, punish you and let you know about it. Will try and rip at the ball when he is in a group when they tackle. Love how much he wants to be in the pile but he is going to need to learn to slow it down a little bit or he will miss too many tackles.
Ken Bishop – Northern Illinois – DT – 6-0 – 306 – 5.12
Don’t look at the height and weight of this guy but focus on the amount of plays that he makes. One of my favorite players to study in this draft. Plays with power at the point and leverage. Can line up as the one but can also line up as the three, believe he will play in this scheme there.
Can shed the blocker. Very good on the move. Does a nice job of extending his hands, really quick hands. Outstanding initial quickness. Can work down the line and extend outside the tackle box. Wrap up tackler at the point. Hard to get movement on.
When he is slow off the ball, he got reached. Plays quick, he has no problem. Great job of finding the ball, has to be careful not to allow man into his body because then he will get washed out of the play. Can free himself with quickness.
Will fight the down block. Can redirect and work back to ball. Will close down in the hole. Plays square, doesn’t get turned. Can control blockers, will two gap the blocker. Shed to make the tackle. Really nice job playing with his hands, active with quick feet.
Terrance Mitchell – Oregon – CB – 5-11 – 192 – 4.61
Played some press man in the Oregon State game. Would fight the receiver down the field. Will rally when his man drives inside. Tries to not give much room. Will position himself in the route by jamming his man at the line. Had a struggle with the speed of Brandin Cooks.
Did not see much catch-up speed. Will come off his man to help in coverage or get in on the tackle. Will get in trouble with his hands down the field. In press, thought he needed to do a better job of getting his head around to find the ball.
Able to handle routes underneath but the longer he has to carry the route, the more the issue with speed. Tried to help out of the slot to a ball to the outside and was just a little late but showed nice awareness. Would like to see him get off the block quicker on the screen. Showed a great deal respect for the speed of Cooks in zone coverage. Wrap try and wrap up as a tackle.
Not a trained killer but gave the effort. His best trait is his ability to read routes. Nice job of reading the curl against Utah. Receiver ran a solid route but playing four yards off, he drove hard and was able to get underneath. If there is a concern for me with this player is his ability to handle speed because he doesn’t have his own if he were to miss on the jam.
Courtesy: Bryan Broaddus | Football Analyst/Former NFL Scout
Editors Note: Our earlier reports on fourth-round pick (LB) Anthony Hitchens and fifth-round pick (WR) Devin Street can be found here …
ALTERNATIVE OPINIONS ON THE DALLAS COWBOYS 2014 NFL DRAFT:
Dallas Cowboys: Zack Martin (16th), Demarcus Lawrence (34th), Anthony Hitchens (119th), Devin Street (146th), Ben Gardner (213st), Will Smith (238th), Ahmad Dixon (248th), Ken Bishop (251st), and Terrance Mitchell (254th)
The skinny: We waited a long time between the second and third picks from the Dallas Cowboys, and they reached some for Hitchens, but he provides some size and much-needed depth. Trading up to get Street in the fifth gives Tony Romo another very talented, big wideout. It wouldn’t be all that surprising to see a lot of those late-round picks make the 53-man roster.
Courtesy: Bryan Fischer | College Football writer | NFL website
1 (16) Zack Martin | OG, Notre Dame
This is a good pick for a team that needed line help. They didn’t get caught up in the hype. The line will be damn good.
2 (34) Demarcus Lawrence | DE, Boise State
Great move by the Cowboys. I had a first-round grade on this kid. They need pass-rush help.
4 (119) Anthony Hitchens | OLB, Iowa
Hitchens was a productive tackler at Iowa, and comes with ideal size to play on the inside at the next level. He’s limited in space though, and may have been available later in the draft.
5 (146) Devin Street | WR, Pittsburgh
A prolific pass-catcher, Street has good hands and runs clean routes, but doesn’t give the Cowboys much after the catch, and may struggle to beat press consistently out on the edge, in the NFL. Could be a nice slot contributor out of the gate.
7 (231) Ben Gardner | DE, Stanford
Gardner is a bit of a tweener who has battled some injuries, but exhibits toughness and grit, and could earn a roster spot with his ability to shed blocks and wrap up in the trenches.
7 (238) Will Smith | OLB, Texas Tech
Although he plays out of control and needs to get stronger, he is always around the football with his range and instincts and should stand out on special teams.
7 (248) Ahmad Dixon | SS, Baylor
Dixon is an explosive downhill athlete who lives for the big hit. He plays out of control though and lacks top-notch instincts. Needs to improve in coverage, and has been the subject of some character concerns after allegedly assaulting a fan last year.
7 (251) Ken Bishop | DT, Northern Illinois
Naturally powerful athlete with a strong anchor, who lacks initial burst to be a factor as a pass-rusher, but could contribute against the run in a rotation.
7 (254) Terrance Mitchell | CB, Oregon
Decent-sized corner who showed consistent improvement over the course of his college career, but has limited movement skills and will struggle when asked to bump and run on the outside.
Courtesy: Pete Prisco Rounds (1-3) | Derek Stephens Rounds (4-7) | NFL Draft Scout/CBS