If Igor Olsansky inks a Cowboys contract tomorrow, the team will be a nose tackle short of a full defensive line set. This blurb from Wes Bunting's excellent National Football Post draft page directed my attention to a late-rising nose tackle prospect:
Moving On Up:
Dorell Scott, DT, Clemson (6-3, 312)
Scott's stock seemed to take a hit this year more because of Clemson's struggles than his own performance. He's a big, thickly built tackle who displays a nice combination of flexibility, athleticism and technique inside... He has the frame to add even more weight and possesses the talent to become one of the draft's top nose tackles at the next level.
Scott exhibits an advanced pass-rush repertoire for the nose tackle position and showcases the ability to shed blocks and keep himself clean inside. He opened eyes at the Combine, running a sub-five second 40, doing 29 reps on the bench and finishing with a 30.5 inch vertical... He is now considered a solid third-round pick and could move into the latter portions of round two with a strong pro day showing.
(emphasis mine -- rv)
Jay Ratliff plays a one-gap nose position, shading over one of the center's shoulders, instead of playing head up. His job, and Tank Johnson's job, required strength and quickness. It's not enough to act as a human speed bump. Cowboys NTs, when they're playing effectively, get off their blocker and track down plays run at or away from them. (Ratliff ranked fourth on the defense with 51 tackles, proof of his quickness in pursuit.)
A source told me Johnson's inconsistency hurt the run defense. When he was motivated, as in the Green Bay and Tampa Bay games, teams had trouble establishing an inside rush. Too often, however, Johnson disappeared, leaving the burder on Ratliff's shoulders.
Scott's profile fits Dallas' nose tackle profile. He appears to have athleticism approaching Ratliff's. If Bunting's sources are correct (and he appears to rely on league sources as much as his eyes) Scott could be a Cowboys player of interest at the 69th pick.