A couple weeks ago I made a post highlighting the collegiate players that we, as cowboy fans, should keep an eye on as they are positions of need. This post will focus more on the "other guys", or in other words, the players to keep an eye on just because one must scout all talent in order to know the best player available. I will not go as in depth as the last post as there are far more positions of lesser need than there are positions of need. And on a side note, this is evidence that we are not in a "REBUIILDING STATE" as has been the common term around here lately. If you have any other players to keep an eye on then please mention them in the comments section, as I will not be doing honorable mentions this time around since these are positions of lesser need for us. I know there will be some obvious ones as well as sleepers.
Enough with the delays, lets get down to brass tax...Halfback
We all know that we are pretty stacked at this position, but what if a prospect fell into our laps that was say the caliber of Adrian Peterson. Highly unlikely but you have to jump at an opportunity like that if he is indeed the best player available. So let's have a look shall we?
Trent Richardson (*JR) - Alabama
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 224 lbs.
There are some other pictures that if you google him, you will see what kind of size this kid has. An interesting fact that I heard about this kid is that he attended the same high school as Emmitt Smith and broke every one of the records that Smith held at the high school level there. Now let's not jump to conclusions, but the kid is special, there is no doubting that. Richardson says to this day that he doesn't know what his maximum bench press can be because he has not been allowed to go beyond 460 pounds. Another interesting tidbit is that his nickname is "The Bull". Cowboys and Bulls are like White and Rice. I read just a couple lines into one scouting report and I am already convinced that he is an RKG and has GREAT work ethic. Let's keep an eye on this kid this season and see what happens to his 5.7 ypc average as the new lead back for the Crimson Tide. We'll have to wait to see at the combine and pro days though if he really does run a 4.35 forty though.
As of right now we still have Chapas, Gronk, Greenhouse and Pociask on the roster but in a couple days we may be down to one or none of these. However, we should still look at fullback as you never know when a wrecking ball with good hands may come along.
Cody Johnson - Texas
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 250 lbs.
Although listed as a halfback for Texas right now, Johnson has the size and bulk to play the fullback role. One thing that you ideally want from a fullback is someone that is bottom heavy and can play low and get underneath leverage (which a shorter player will more likely be able to do). As you can see from the picture above, there is some apparent "Junk" in this mans "Trunk". His height is what gave him the nod to me over the other top fullback prospects.
Now here I will take a little bit different approach. We don't need a #1 or #2 receiver right now, we need a reliable #3. That stance may change after this season as one could very well emerge, but we need a sure handed guy that can play the slot. So let's have a look at one guy.
Greg Childs - Arkansas
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 217 lbs.
Now, lately we have been taking a player with injury concerns that falls in the draft because of it (Sean Lee, Bruce Carter). Childs was injured last year and missed the last five games with a patella tendon injury. He was cleared for practice three months ago but has been gimping in practice lately, seemingly having trouble with the same knee. Besides that, before his injury Childs led all of college with 402 total yards against top 25 teams. We all know that Jerry Jones likes Arkansas guys being that he is a former razorback himself. He is not the top prospect by far though so it is very possible he could slip to a point where we might be able to grab him in the second round or later. He also possesses the size and the apparent athleticism to be able to more easily play the #2 spot in a pinch if needed. This may instantly make him more valuable as a #3 than anyone currently on our roster.
Now I am all for keeping Ratliff at the nose and don't like the idea of moving him to defensive end, although I do believe he will line up in various places including spots on the line where a DE would normally line up. That is just the nature of a Ryan defense. However, I still here the clamoring for a true 3-4 Nose Tackle, a "big ugly" for the defense.
Kwame Geathers (**SO/RS) - Georgia
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 350 lbs.
Now, this guy (#99) does not look as big and around as the typical guys that are 350. For one thing, we all know muscle weighs more than fat, however the other very likely cause of this is the fact that he is 6' 6" tall. Having some tall linemen can be and advantage in being able to bat balls down, and then there are some of the obvious drawbacks (like being able to play low). He's only a redshirt sophomore so don't get your hopes up, but one of the bigger nose tackles that will be eligible for next years draft.
Now, we have more inside 'backers than we know what to do with right now and two proposed starters waiting in the wings in Sean Lee and Bruce Carter. You never know how things are going to pan out though and you always need to take the best player available. You can never have enough linebackers in a 3-4 defense.
Dont'a Hightower - Alabama
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 258 lbs.
So why do I pick Dont'a Hightower to feature here over anyone else? Well, that is fairly simple. Dallas Cowboys seem to prefer to make plays without a helmet (just ask Jason Witten and Phillip Tanner), and this guy quite obviously fits the bill. Besides that he has great size for a 3-4 ILB. Everyone knows that the front seven of a 3-4 defense requires bigger guys than a 4-3 traditionally requires. Besides that he plays with great speed and a great nose for the football.
3-4 Outside Linebacker
Now this is an interesting position because of the nature of defensive ends that transition to the position and then some outside linebackers are even able to play OLB in either a 4-3 or 3-4, but this is rare. Traditionally they find a good pass rushing defensive end that has the athleticism to play in space and defend against the pass if needed.
Brandon Jenkins (*JR) - DE - Florida State
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 265 lbs.
We have Demarcus Ware as our ROLB (but in a Ryan defense you might as well just drop the left and right on the OLBs). Most likely we would draft a person that can play as a LOLB which traditionally needs to be a better run defender. Brandon Jenkins amassed 21.5 tackles for loss last year including 13.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. One reason to be optimistic about him playing the strong side linebacker spot is his size. At 6' 3" 265 lbs. he is larger than most any other DE prospectively transitioning to 3-4 OLB coming out of college. He will probably add some size coming into the NFL which may allow him to better hold up against the run if he has the athleticism to move in space.
Devin Taylor (*JR) - DE - South Carolina
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 248 lbs.
You cannot properly evaluate a player that may have the potential to move from DE to 3-4 OLB without watching some tape. With that said, I have no tape that I can watch on this guy as of right now. However, there are some impressive stats that he posted last season that seem more like the stats of a 3-4 OLB than a 4-3 DE. Taylor amassed 13 tackles for loss including 7.5 sacks, along with 11 QB hurries and 8 pass break-ups. That sounds like a player that might be able to transition to the position well to me. We shall see how he plays this season, but more importantly, lets see how Anthony Spencer plays.
So there are "The Other Guys" as far as I have seen. I will attempt to add to this during the season, however most of my attention will be toward the need positions that were in the last post. As I stated before, if you have any other players not at a need position please tell us about them in the comments section. But in all reality, lets just get ready for some FOOTBALL!!!!
Which of the featured players would you most like to see wearing a star (regardless of need)?
Trent Richardson - HB - Alabama (8 votes)
Cody Johnson - HB/FB - Texas (2 votes)
Greg Childs - WR - Arkansas (1 vote)
Kwame Geathers - NT - Georgia (12 votes)
Dont'a Hightower - ILB - Alabama (7 votes)
Brandon Jenkins - DE/OLB - Florida State (6 votes)
Devin Taylor - DE/OLB - South Carolina (4 votes)
40 total votes