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Cowboys 2015 Draft Targets: Oklahoma WR Dorial Green-Beckham

Because there has been such a high correlation in recent years between the top collegians invited to Valley Ranch for pre-draft visits and who the Cowboys end up drafting, it's important to know as much as possible about these players. As a service to you, BTB offers a series of detailed scouting reports on these players, compiled from the work of top draft analysts. Today, we look at Oklahoma WR Dorial Green-Beckham

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

At Missouri, his first collegiate stop, Dorial Green-Beckham made an instant impact, collecting 28 catches for 395 yards and five touchdowns as a true freshman in 2012, earning Frosh All-American honors. As a sophomore starter in 2013, Green-Beckham built on this early success, starting fourteen games and amassing a team-high 59 receptions for 883 yards and 12 touchdowns, earning Second Team All-SEC honors.

He never had the opportunity to continue this upward trajectory, however. Green-Beckham was dismissed by Mizzou after being the subject of a burglary and assault investigation by police. This was his third off-the-field incident, including allegedly pushing a woman down a flight of stairs and two marijuana charges. He decided to enroll at Oklahoma, although he was required to sit out the season after his waiver to play immediately was denied. Despite not playing a game for the Sooners, Green-Beckham decided to give up his remaining eligibility to enter the 2015 NFL Draft.

Balancing out his checkered history are DG-B's on-field exploits. He boasts rare physical traits with a freakish combination of size and speed - at 6'5" and 237 pounds, he is the same size as Calvin Johnson. Like Megatron, he can use his length, strength and body control to make contested catches and to make tough grabs look easy. He has a mammoth catch radius and the ability to get over the top of defenses and threaten them vertically. In short, were it not for his off-field troubles, he would be a top-10 pick.

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Want to scout like a boss? Let's start by looking at his measurables:

Height Weight Arms Hands 40yd 10yd Bench Vert Broad 3Cone 20ss pSPARQ (%)
6' 5" 237 32½" 9" 4.49 1.61 13 33½" 119" 6.89 4.45 115.2 (48.4)

And here they are in the form of a spider graph, courtesy of the folks at Mockdraftable.com:

And over at Draft Breakdown, they have five of DG-B's games on tape, all from 2013, when he played for Missouri. Check him out versus Indiana (8-105 and a touchdown) and against SEC rivals Kentucky (7-100 and four TDs), Texas A&M (7-93 and a score) and Auburn (6-144, two TDs). Dude had some big games...

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Let's see what our esteemed panel of scouts has to say about Green-Beckham:

Gary Horton (ESPN.com) 9th-ranked WR; 43rd overall:

Separation Skills: Route-running skills are still a work in progress. Inconsistent with stems and unreliable with breaks. Does not show understanding of how to read defenses and not always on same page as QB. But he naturally separates because of long frame and good straight-line speed. Does a very good job of using frame to shield defenders, especially in red zone. Also is more fluid than most receivers his size. Shows ability to get in and out of breaks smoothly and efficiently.

Ball Skills: Massive catching radius. Lets a lot of short-to-intermediate throws (especially slants and comebacks) get into his pads but he consistently high-points deep balls and most throws in traffic. Body control for size is outstanding, and he makes a lot of tough catches with defenders draped all over him. Also flashes ability to pluck on the run and transition upfield quickly.

Big play ability: Huge target vertically and in red zone, he is tall with long arms and good leaping ability. Also displays excellent fluidity and ability to adjust to ball while in air. Shows good speed for size -- not in Calvin Johnson's league, but chews up real estate with long strides and displays a second gear when ball is in air. Very strong runner after catch. Frequently breaks tackles and drags defenders for additional yards. Lacks ideal transition quickness after catch, but shows good body control and has decent wiggle for such a big receiver.

Competitiveness: Usually a willing blocker. Could be more consistent with sustaining and driving legs, but when he gets in position and locks onto defender, he usually overwhelms smaller corners with size/strength. Shows no fear working middle of the field. Highly competitive runner after catch and when ball is in air.

Intangibles: Pronounced: DOOR-ee-ahl. A first-round talent with major red flags. Extremely difficult upbringing. Eventually landed in foster care before being adopted by his high school coach. Was suspended one game (Vanderbilt) as a freshman after being arrested and charged with marijuana possession. Was arrested in January 2014 on marijuana possession charge that was later dismissed after another passenger in vehicle took ownership of the marijuana. In April 2014, allegedly forced his way into an apartment and pushed a female 'down at least four stairs.' He was not arrested and did not face charges from the incident, but was dismissed from Missouri football program days later. In July 2014, he decided to transfer to Oklahoma but the NCAA denied his petition for a waiver to play (transfer rules).

Nolan Nawrocki (NFL Draft 2015 Preview) 6th-ranked WR; 34th overall:

Strengths: Has a rare size-speed combination with natural hands and will create mismatches inside or outside, showing the ability to dominate beyond 20 yards and inside the 20-yard line. Outstanding balance and body control - and can sky for the ball and make catches well above the rim. Catches the ball very cleanly with terrific hand placement - natural catcher. Can serve as a downfield decoy and open up the short passing game. Caught every ball through the gauntlet with ease at the Combine. Has legitimate play-making ability. Despite off-the-field transgressions, receives high praise from Oklahoma coaches and support staff for his improved maturity and the way that he has conducted himself since arriving on campus.

Weaknesses: Has small hands for as big as he is. Can do a better job using his hands to ward off defensive backs at the line of scrimmage. Does not play strong. Recorded an ordinary short shuttle time (4.46 seconds) at the Combine, and can become more efficient in and out of his breaks - rounds out of his breaks. Could clean up his arm action transitioning - telegraphs where he is going and has not yet learned the nuances of route running. Makes some concentration drops. Is immature and can be too much of a follower, having been raised with little structure in his life. Has a history of off-the-field concerns that require closer scrutiny. Should be a more physical blocker for his size.

Future: A high-risk/ high-reward prospect with as much receiving talent as any lyer in the draft, Green-Beckham will require additional seasoning if he ever wants to become great, yet possesses the physical tools to contribute readily and eventually emerge as an No. 1 receiver. Has been removed from a number of draft boards for off-field concerns that could have a negative impact on his draft status, yet has too much upside not to intrigue a patient team with a strong locker room.

Draft projection: top-50 pick.

Scout's take: "The guy is tough, competitive and catches everything. The NFL wants big receivers. He is a weapon in the red zone. The guy he might be is...Plaxico Burress. There are a lot of similar traits. DGB is bigger and faster and a better player. He is a matchup nightmare."

Lance Zierlein (NFL.com) 6th-ranked WR; 41st overall:

Strengths: Imposing physical specimen with outstanding height, weight and speed numbers. Smooth, effortless strides to chomp up cushion and blow by overconfident corners. Runs routes with forward lean and can activate second gear when he chooses. Rare catch radius with ability to pluck would-be interceptions and turn them into catches. Has soft, sure hands. Can see a throw late and still haul it in. Able to drive cornerbacks down the field and then break route off for wide-open look underneath. Shows flashes of special ability when ball is in the air. Plus body control. Can twist and contort in any direction in order to get his hands on a throw.

Weaknesses: Play strength is a major concern. Struggles to free himself from press coverage and can be taken completely out of his routes. Runs sloppy, rounded routes. Fails to set up his breaks and frequently leads cornerbacks to his destination. Slow to adjust routes and find open space against zone. Fails to create the separation that is potentially available for him at top of routes. Rarely looks to body up cornerbacks and keep them out of the throw. Suspect work ethic. Awareness of footwork near sideline an issue. Considered a problem child at Missouri. Suspended twice by Missouri and arrested twice for marijuana-related incidents. Kicked off team at Missouri in April 2014 after details of his alleged role in an alleged burglary were released by Columbia, Mo., police. He allegedly shoved a female student down some stairs during the alleged incident, but no charges were filed. Missed entire 2014 season.

Draft Projection: Round 1 or 2

Sources Tell Us: "I think the consistent problems for Josh Gordon are going to leak over and hurt his draft stock. He couldn't keep himself out of trouble, had no structure growing up and didn't take coaching at Missouri. He's tall and fast and has good hands, but he can't be trusted. Why would you take a guy like that before the third day?" -- NFC director of personnel

Dane Brugler (NFL Draft Guide) 4th-ranked WR:

Strengths: Physical specimen with rare athleticism and triangle numbers (size/speed/strength) for his frame...plays with balance and core power to keep his center of gravity...uses long-striding acceleration to get vertical in a hurry and create separation in his routes...strong plant-and-go burst in his breaks, effortlessly shifting his momentum in his patterns, not having to gear down when changing directions...physical leaper with high-pointing prowess to climb the ladder and play in the clouds...uses his body beautifully in coverage to tower over defenders with an outrageous catching radius...aggressive at the catch point with loose body control, easy adjustments and large hands to pluck with an attacking mentality...not a push-over and shows a "take charge" on-field personality...swats corners away in his path and won't let defenders dictate his pattern...productive when on the field with 87 catches in two seasons at Missouri, averaging a touchdown every 5.1 receptions.

Weaknesses: Functional strength is average-at-best, before and after the pass...still learning the route tree and took advantage of mostly packaged and vertical patterns...bad habit of getting lazy in his routes at times and doesn't consistently read coverages to set up his movements...will allow the ball to reach his body at times, which leads to drops...needs seasoning and on-field reps after not playing since the 2013 season...not a consistent finisher with questionable work habits - uncertain accountability, both on and off the field...strong red flags and immature make-up...multiple off-field incidents, including two arrests for marijuana possession: first in Oct. 2012 with four other teammates; and then in Jan. 2014, although those charges were later dismissed when another person in the car where the drugs were found took ownership...was dismissed from Missouri after allegedly forcing himself into an apartment and pushing a female down the stairs - wasn't formally charged because no one pressed charges, but could enter the NFL with a strike against him when it comes to domestic abuse.

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Perhaps strangely for such a divisive prospect, our draftniks are in accord regarding Green-Beckham, slotting him in a tight grouping between the 34th to the 43rd picks. That's the early second round, so where should I place him on my "little board," give that the Cowboys don't pick in round two until the 60th pick? More than with any other of this year's Valley Ranch invitees, I think the high-reward side of the high-risk/ high-reward coin is so shiny that I'm willing to spend a first-round pick on him. I'm going out on a limb and putting him in round one.

If the Cowboys pull the trigger and pick Green-Beckham at #27, how will I feel? Well, ambivalent. On one hand, I will wonder whether we have returned to the Campo years, where raw talent seemed to far outweigh character. Moreover, I'll question the choice of position: how much better does another receiver - no matter how brilliant - make this team in 2015? On the other hand, I will celebrate the pick knowing how unusual it is for a team picking at the end of the first round to be able to obtain a player of such rare gifts. So, while DG-B probably doesn't make the team much better in 2015, he almost certainly would in 2018. Provided, of course, that he's still in the league...

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Next up: Rabble's "Little Board"