Dane Brugler of CBSSports tweeted earlier today that UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks has a pre-draft visit with the Cowboys lined up.
But that won't be the first time the Cowboys meet with Kendricks, as they are one of many teams that gave Kendricks a closer look in a private workout.
Cowboys linebackers coach Matt Eberflus was on the UCLA campus Monday to get a closer look at one of the top linebacker prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft and put a marker in Kendricks' hand to test him at the white board, as well."It went super well," Kendricks said of his encounter with Eberflus. "He's good. He played himself, he played at Toledo, so he has a lot of experience. He's a really sparky guy."
Kendricks is the highest-rated inside linebacker on many draft boards, and is expected to be available at the end of the first or top of the second round, and offers an intriguing option for the Cowboys.
Kendricks led the nation last year with 101 solo tackles - despite missing two games. He was last year's recipient of the Butkus Award and Lott IMPACT Trophy and was voted a team captain by his teammates last year.
BTB writer Neithan20000 recently wrote about why Kendricks would be a good fit in Dallas.
Although Dallas has signed three linebackers in free agency, those players are strictly stop-gaps. Green Bay killed Dallas by using Randall Cobb as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. Because Dallas had no linebackers who could cover, it forced the defense to warp all of their zone concepts. Kendricks is a true three-down linebacker, stout enough to play the run, but athletic enough to be a plus in coverage.
Bob Sturm of the Dallas Morning News described him as "absolutely ideal" for the Cowboys.
I think he would be absolutely ideal for the Cowboys at the right spot because there are times those linebackers are attacked in coverage. Also, this is a clear all-situations guy (unlike Perryman) where you could leave him on the field regardless of situation because he has the skill set that can comfortably handle his responsibilities. I expect he will run a solid time at the combine and might be the top player of this grouping when draft day arrives. Very impressive player.
In related news, the Cowboys sent a full contingent to the TCU Pro Day today. We wondered in January whether the Cowboys will invite the entire draft-eligible TCU defense for a pre-draft workout. That may still happen, but for now they're happy to make the trip to TCU in full force.
Cowboys LB coach Matt Eberflus and asst. director of personnel Will McClay are at TCU Pro Day. So is national scout Walt Juliff.— Rainer Sabin (@RainerSabinDMN) March 27, 2015
One of the players they are focusing on is linebacker Paul Dawson.Dawson disappointed at the Combine when he was timed at 4.93 in the 40-yard dash, but made up for that with runs of 4.78 and 4.82 seconds today. He's currently ranked 74th on the CBS Big Board, but that ranking should improve after today's pro day, and he could be an interesting option for the Cowboys with their 60th pick.
Importantly for the Cowboys TCU (along with SMU) counts as a local area college from which the Cowboys are allowed to invite as many prospects as they want to Dallas Day on April 10. There's no word yet on whether Dawson has been officially invited, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Cowboys will likely bring in Dawson for a visit - along with a host of his draft-eligible TCU teammates.
Another name to add the the growing pre-draft visitor list is Texas Southern cornerback Tray Walker. Walker is not the household name Kendricks might be; Walker is ranked "only" 799th on the CBS big board, but that may change as the NFL scouting community takes notice of the 6-3, 189 lbs defensive back.
Walker was a participant in the recent Super Regional Combine in Phoenix, where his size and physicality drew favorable comparisons to Richard Sherman. Walker is the prototype of the big, physical corners that are in increasing demand as teams try to emulate defenses like Seattle's.
He further wowed scouts with a good performance at his Pro day
Walker measured 6-2 3/4, 189 pounds, posted 36.5-inch vertical jump and 10-7 broad jump. His 40 times included a wind-aided 4.44 and 4.51 against the wind. Walker also clocked a 4.05 in the short shuttle and a 3-cone, which dipped under 6.7.
Walker already has visits with eight NFL teams lined up.
|Cowboys Pre-draft Visitors per 3/27/2015
|CBS Rank||Name||POS||College||Proj. Rd
|22||Todd Gurley||RB||Georgia||1||Official Visit|
|26||CB||Wake Forest||1-2||Official Visit|
|35||Eric Kendricks||ILB||UCLA||1-2||Private Workout/Official Visit|
|41||Jay Ajayi||RB||Boise State||2||Official Visit|
|45||ILB||Mississippi State||2||Official Visit|
|48||Ameer Abdullah||RB||Nebraska||2||Official Visit|
|62||Tevin Coleman||RB||Indiana||2||Official Visit|
|799||Tray Walker||CB||Texas Southern||- -||Official Visit|
||OT||Virginia Tech||6-7||Private Workout|
|351||OT||Florida||- -||Private Workout|
||WR||Texas A&M Commerce||- -||Private Workout|
|- -||Travis Lee
||Miles College||- -||Private Workout|
|- -||Darius Allen
||LB||Colorado State-Pueblo||- -||Private Workout|