The Dallas Cowboys selected Laurence Gibson, a offensive tackle from Virginia Tech with pick number 243 in the seventh round of the 2015 NFL draft.
Dallas returns to the offensive line with their last pick in the draft. They add depth to a unit that sparkles with its starters but is thin with its backups.
STRENGTHS Plays with good lateral quickness when asked to zone block. Has enough foot quickness to race to and battle for the edge in run game. Added more than 20 pounds before the 2014 season, and showed improved play strength on tape. Highly intelligent with ability to process and recognize. Does adequate job of rolling hips at contact to create leverage. Manages to seal the edge against pass rushers at the last moment and will push rushers around the arc.
WEAKNESSES Plays with sloppy hand placement in run and pass. Lacks power to snatch and sustain blocks with consistency. Ducks head into contact, losing sight of target. Plays with some knee stiffness. Struggles to gain much ground with overly tight kick slide and finds himself behind too often. Lacks desired power in lower half as a run blocker. Too excitable and struggles to maintain body composure in space. Still lacks core strength, despite adding weight.
BOTTOM LINE Strange combination of lateral quickness and noticeable stiffness in lower half in pass sets and in space. Gibson has the movement skills of a zone tackle, but NFL teams might look right past him on draft day if he doesn't add more functional core strength.
Cowboys draft picks for the 2015 draft:
Round 1, Pick 27 (27) -- Byron Jones CB
Round 2, Pick 28 (60) -- Randy Gregory DE
Round 3, Pick 27 (91) -- Chaz Greeen OT
Round 4, Pick 28 (127) -- Damien Wilson LB
Round 5, Pick 27 (163) -- Ryan Russell DE
Round 7, Pick 19 (236) (from Chargers) -- Mark Nzeocha LB
Round 7, Pick 26 (243) (from Ravens) -- Laurence Gibson OT
Cowboys team needs in the draft:
CB - The situation with Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne makes this a priority.
RB - DeMarco Murray's departure opens up a spot for a rookie to compete with Darren McFadden and others.
DL - The Cowboys could certainly use help along the defensive line. A pass-rusher and an active one-tech are possibilities. LB - The Cowboys have Rolando McClain and Sean Lee, but injuries for Lee and injuries and off-the-field issues for McClain make things thin.
WR - Dallas could use a speedy wide receiver, especially one who can return kicks.
T/G - Depth along the line, especially at swing tackle.