With pick #251 (overall), the 36th pick in the seventh round, the Dallas Cowboys select defensive tackle Ken Bishop from NIU. Bishop is 6' 1" and 308 lbs.
More than a year after his debut with the Huskies, Bishop's rise can only be described as astronomical. He'll be tasked Wednesday with helping slow an explosive Ball State offense in a showdown between powerhouse Mid-American Conference teams.
The senior leads all NIU defensive linemen with 44 tackles, including 22 solo stops - unusually high numbers for a player at his position.
"It's really hard because you're always taking on either one or two blockers before you make the tackle," Huskies coach Rod Carey said. "I think he's doing a great job of fundamental football and that's where it starts and ends when you play defensive line."
Carey said NFL scouts who visit DeKalb always ask about Bishop. He has a quick first step, uses his post hand exceptionally well and the other hand to expertly shed blocks, while his hips can torque well to help him move away from double teams, Carey said.
"When you have that combination and you put it with the way he prepares through the week of watching film, then you have a real dangerous player," he said.
After an Oct. 12 loss to Northern Illinois, Akron coach Terry Bowden said Bishop is the best defensive player in the MAC.
"He's got incredible strength and explosion," Bowden said. "Whether it's against Iowa or us, he has the ability to stick a hand in somebody's chest and just drive them back. Then he separates with great quickness. He's got the whole package."
Cowboys 2014 draft picks
Round 1: Pick 16 (16 overall) --- Zack Martin (OT/OG Notre Dame)
Round 2: Pick 15 (47 overall) --- Demarcus Lawrence (DE Boise St.)
Round 3: Pick 14 (78 overall)Traded
Round 4: Pick 19 (119 overall) --- Anthony Hitchens (OLB Iowa)
Round 5: Pick 6 (146 overall) --- Devin Street (WR Pittsburgh)
Round 7: Pick 14 (229 overall) (from Bears)Traded
Round 7: Pick 16 (231 overall) --- Ben Gardner (DE Stanford)
Round 7: Pick 23 (238 overall) (from Chiefs) --- Will Smith (LB Texas Tech)
Round 7: Pick 33 (248 overall) (compensatory selection) --- Ahmad Dixon (S Baylor)
Round 7: Pick 36 (251 overall) (compensatory selection) --- Ken Bishop (DT NIU)
Round 7: Pick 39 (254 overall) (compensatory selection)
Cowboys team needs
Defensive Tackle: With Jason Hatcher gone and Nick Hayden just a serviceable player, the Cowboys interior is weak. Henry Melton has been signed but is coming off an ACL injury. A couple of guys on the roster could help, but Dallas needs a stud.
Defensive End: Long time pass rusher DeMarcus Ware is no longer a Cowboy. That immediately leaves a huge hole. Anthony Spencer is trying to recover from injury. The rest are unproven. Help is needed. [UPDATE] The addition of Demarcus Lawrence makes defensive end help less of a priority. Safety: Barry Church can play, everyone else is questionable. J.J. Wilcox, Jeff Heath, Matt Johnson? None of them are a lock. [UPDATE] The Cowboys picked up safety Ahmad Dixon late in the draft. Guard/Tackle: Mackenzy Bernadeau is a stop-gap. Ron Leary showed some promise, but needs to improve and has a chronic knee injury. Doug Free could regress at any moment. [UPDATE] With the selection of Zack Martin, the Cowboys need for offensive line help is greatly reduced. Wide Receiver: Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams form a good duo, but behind them is slot receiver Cole Beasley. The Cowboys could use another guy. [UPDATE] The Cowboys drafted Devin Street to solve this need.