With less than 95 days until the 2016 NFL Draft, a lot is going to be happen. In this three-month span, a player can see their stock go from never-heard-of-small-school-guy to legitimate Day 2 status. Others, unfortunately, see their stocks dip. The next three months are a grueling process for NFL Draft hopefuls. Each prospect needs to act as if this process is a job interview. What they do, how well they test, and what they talk about will all be assessed in the coming months.
Despite the NFL season rapidly, and sadly, ending, the Dallas Cowboys are a team that has been focusing on the draft for a few weeks now. By having a terrible season, one silver lining to take away from the Cowboys' 2015 season is that they were 'awarded' a top draft pick. To make the necessary improvements that are needed across this roster, the Cowboys need to follow any showcase event they can. The 2016 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl featured some NFL talent that should catch the Cowboys' eye. Here are five NFLPA Bowl players that would fit the Cowboys.
Reggie Northup, Linebacker, Florida State
An ACL injury cut his junior year short, but Northrup showed in his senior season that he has a future in the NFL as a "thumper" type of linebacker. At 6-foot-1, 225 pounds, Northrup lacks ideal size to play three downs at the next level, but he shows enough versatility to play all three linebacker positions as well as the ability to contribute on special teams. Here are a few thoughts on Northrup:
Reggie Northrup is having a nice game. Leading the game in tackles.— Logan B. Robinson (@LogansTwitty) January 23, 2016
Jatavis Brown, Linebacker, Toledo
From the second half on, there wasn't one player in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl that was more impressive than Brown. At 5-foot-11, Brown is another linebacker who lacks ideal size to play the position with consistency, but he's a rangy linebacker who has an excellent motor to go along with his ability to diagnose the play in front of him and find the ball-carrier. Here are a few thoughts on Brown:
Jatavis Brown deserves to win MVP of the #NFLPABowl. Fantastic performance by the Akron prospect, especially in the fourth quarter.— Alex Alvarado (@ARAlvarado13) January 24, 2016
Mike Hilton, Cornerback/Safety, Ole Miss
At Ole Miss, Hilton played each position in the secondary. At 5-foot-9, 190 pounds, Hilton will draw some comparisons to his former teammate, Senquez Golson, for his size and his ball skills. Hilton is a bit of a wild card, but he's a known commodity that made plays for one of the best defenses in college football over the past few seasons. Here are a few thoughts on Hilton:
Top Graded SEC Safeties this season (via PFF): 1. Marcus Maye 2. Mike Hilton 3. A.J. Stamps 4. Donovan Wilson 5. Anthony Sherrils— Vincent Ronca (@Vinnie_Ronca) January 22, 2016
A.J. Stamps, Safety, Kentucky
The safety position isn't the strongest in this year's draft class, but one player at the position that will receive some attention is Stamps. A junior college transfer, Stamps played just two years at the collegiate level, but his ability to cover ground and lay the big hit make him an ideal strong safety fit in the NFL. Stamps is extremely raw, but he may be a fit at the cornerback position in the NFL, giving him the versatility trait so many defensive coaches covet.
Stamps, a 6-foot, 202-pound defensive back out of Vicksburg, Miss., just wrapped up his college career with 67 total tackles, one interception and eight pass deflections in his senior season. - Jason Marcum
Mike Thomas, Wide Receiver, Southern Miss
The best overall player at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl was Mike Thomas. At 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, Thomas doesn't have great size. He's a skinny receiver, but he's also one of the more explosive playmakers in this year's draft class. Thomas is a superb route-runner. He's extremely explosive with the ball in his hands and he's a guy defenses have to plan for. The 'draft process' will benefit Thomas because of how well he will, but he's a guy that would make sense for the Cowboys in the middle rounds. Here are a few thoughts on Thomas:
Mike Thomas (USM) 79/100 he's really good folks. Still a bit raw but has the athletic tools and competitiveness to succeed early — Paulo Figari (@Paulo_FigariNFL) January 18, 2016