Cowboys Draft Prospects: Jimmy Young

In this post, we'll look at one of the "Dallas Day" invitees who are expected to grace Valley Ranch with their presence on Friday: TCU receiver Jimmy Young. Young was essentially TCU's third receiver in 2010. As this might suggest, his college record is a bit spotty; although he received an All-Mountain West Conference honorable mention and was one of three TCU players to play in all 51 of the Horned Frogs' games in the last four seasons, he lost his starting position as a senior (never a good sign), and finished the season with a middling 32 receptions for 486 yards (15.2 YPC) and 4 TDs.

Unlike the other players at whom we have looked at thus far in this series, Young doesn't seem to be drawing a lot of interest from other teams, which makes me wonder whether his Dallas Day visit is largely ceremonial. Thus far, the Cowboys are the only team I have seen express interest in him.

That said, scouting types have noted some worthy traits in his game. Let's see what they have to say about him:

The Sporting News (Russ Lande) 16th-rated WR; overall unknown (not in top 99)

Strengths: Has good height, along with a thick and muscular build. Can make tacklers miss running after the catch. Uses his agility to defeat the cornerback's jam easily. Has solid, strong hands and consistently shown the ability to go up and win jump-ball battles with the cornerback. Is a strong runner after the catch and able to run through hits and drag the tackler for an extra yard or two before going down. Gives a good effort as a blocker and has the size and strength to eliminate his man from the play.

Weaknesses: Struggles to consistently get separation. Has had fumbling problems in the past. Rounds off his cuts in his route running at times. Lacks the elite playing speed to run away from fast cornerbacks.

Bottom line: Young was a productive receiver in TCU's passing offense, but often was overshadowed by teammate Jeremy Kerley. While Kerley led the team in catches last year, Young was the Horned Frogs' big-play receiver. He won't be drafted as high as his teammate, but Young has the tools to be productive at the next level, as big receivers with athleticism and good hands are currently in huge demand in the NFL.

See more prospect punditry after the break...

Pro Football Weekly (Nolan Nawrocki) 47th-rated WR; overall unknown (not in top 150)

Positives: Good size, strength and balance to combat the jam. Settles down in zone windows. Extends to pluck outside his frame. Adjusts to throws and can cradle the low ball. Willing blocker-works to position and sustain. Plays with urgency.

Negatives: Has short arms and small hands. Average speed and burst. Chops his stride to cut. Shows some hip tightness. Is not a natural catcher-fights it at times and has too many concentration drops.

Summary: Good-sized, short-to-intermediate receiver with functional strength and speed who cold compete for a roster spot, though he lacks exceptional traits and has inconsistent hands. Production decreased his final two seasons, and he was outshone by Josh Boyce as a secondary receiving option to Jeremy Kerley during his final year.

ESPN/ Scouts, Inc. (Gary Horton) 45th-rated WR; overall unknown (not in top 130):

Separation Skills: Needs a little polish in this area. Displays a good initial burst off the line of scrimmage. Tempo's routes well working within stem. However, needs improvement in terms of gaining initial leverage in stem. Also did not see much savvy in terms of head and shoulder fakes at the top of route. Rounds off lateral cuts but does display good burst out of breaks. Can uncover against zone coverage and has a natural feel for soft spots. Displays quick feet gaining a clean release against press coverage but needs development with hands to keep defenders off of frame.

Ball Skills: Hands are slightly above-average. Generally catches the ball with hands but will let ball into frame on occasion with shorter underneath throws. Also will look to turn up field too quickly before securing ball which will result in drops. Aggressive going after the ball and shows good strength along with the frame to wrestle the ball away from defenders. Flashes ability to make tough catch outside of frame.

Big play ability: Does not have elite top-end speed and isn't a home hitter. Quicker than fast but can get behind coverage on occasion. Displays good quickness and elusiveness to consistently make first defender miss in the open field. Does not have elite ability to take short-catch and turn it into a big play.

Competitiveness/ Toughness
: Willing to work the middle of the field. Possesses the toughness and focus to make reception while absorbing a hit. Displays above-average field awareness and does a nice job of working to open areas off of QB scramble. Effort is inconsistent as a run blocker and needs to take more pride in this area.

Intangibles: Selfless and a team player. Will do the little things to make a team better. Works ethic is up to par both on and off the field. Involved in community service. No red flags.

Although Lande's evaluation of Young is fairly positive--he clearly seems to think Young is a draftable player--I haven't seen any other scouts as high on him. As a result, I'm inclined to slot Young as a priority free agent, a possible replacement for Sam Hurd should Edmund Gates, Andre Holmes or Cecil Shorts slip through their fingers.

And that's where I'm a-gonna put him.

Next up: LSU running back Stevan Ridley

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