The NFL Combine later this month will give interested football fans a good chance to watch some of the top prospects in the 2016 NFL draft work out. And the names that have already dominated the headlines and comments here on BTB will dominate the coverage from the Combine. How does Joey Bosa compare to the other DEs, how fast will Jalen Ramsey run, how does Myles Jack's knee look, and how will Carson Wentz look in his undies? But when some of the lesser known names take the stage, you'll be wondering who to root for.
Every year, in addition to 30 usually high-profile national draft-eligible players the Cowboys bring in for pre-draft visits, they also bring in 50 and more draft-eligible local prospects who are usually less well known.
These visits by local prospects usually happen in early to mid April and are known as "Dallas Days". A player is considered a local prospect if he went to high school or college in the Dallas/Fort-Worth area, he was born there or his parents live there. That DFW area is defined as stretching from Sanctuary in the West to Princeton in the East, and from Prosper in the North to Glenn Heights in the South. TCU, SMU, and North Texas are the three colleges in the area from which the Cowboys are allowed to invite prospects.
These "Dallas Days" have delivered their share of Cowboys players in the past, with the likes of Patrick Crayton, Brandon Williams, Jacques Reeves, Stephen Hodge, Bryan McCann, Dez Bryant, Phillip Tanner and more recently Lance Dunbar, Cole Beasley, and Terrance Williams all visiting Valley Ranch during Dallas Day.
We don't yet know which local prospects the Cowboys will invite this year, but we do know which 332 players are invited to the Combine this year. And we also have a pretty good idea about which Combine invitees would qualify as local prospects for the Cowboys. Here are the 20 local players we know of who'll be attending the Combine this year.
|CBS rank||Player||POS||College||Height||Weight||Proj. Round||Hometown||High School|
|9||A'Shawn Robinson||DT||Alabama||6-3||312||1||Fort Worth, TX||Arlington Heights|
|23||Corey Coleman||WR||Baylor||5-10||190||1||Richardson, TX||Pearce|
|40||Josh Doctson||WR||TCU||6-2||195||1-2||Mansfield, TX||Mansfield Legacy|
|56||Jalen Mills||CB||LSU||6-0||194||2||DeSoto, TX||DeSoto|
|72||Rashard Higgins||WR||Colorado State||6-2||188||2-3||Dallas, TX||Mesquite|
|91||Jonathan Williams||RB||Arkansas||5-11||219||3||Allen, TX||Allen|
|99||Zack Sanchez||CB||Oklahoma||5-11||180||3||Fort Worth, TX||Central|
|144||Hassan Ridgeway||DT||Texas||6-3||320||4-5||Mansfield, TX||Mansfield|
|148||Kolby Listenbee||WR||TCU||6-1||183||4-5||Arlington, TX||Bowie|
|189||Rees Odhiambo||OG||Boise State||6-4||305||5-6||Mansfield, TX||Mansfield Legacy|
|194||Demarcus Ayers||WR||Houston||5-10||190||6||Lancaster, TX||Lancaster|
|263||Nila Kasitati||OG||Oklahoma||6-3||320||7-FA||Euless, TX||Trinity|
|294||Halapoulivaati Vaitai||OT||TCU||6-6||315||7-FA||Haltom, TX||Haltom|
|325||Jake Brendel||C||UCLA||6-4||293||7-FA||Plano, TX||Plano East|
|340||Derrick Kindred||FS||TCU||5-10||210||7-FA||San Antonio, TX||*|
|373||Jimmy Bean||DE||Oklahoma State||6-5||250||--||Denton, TX||Guyer|
|493||Jaden Oberkrom||K||TCU||6-2||187||--||Arlington, TX||Martin|
|543||Trevone Boykin||QB||TCU||6-0||205||--||Dallas, TX||West Mesquite|
|556||DeAndre Elliott||CB||Colorado State||6-1||183||--||Dallas, TX||Carter|
|856||De'Vante Harris||CB||Texas A&M||5-11||175||--||Mesquite, TX||Horn|
|* Eligible for Dallas Days because prospect attended local area college
The players are arranged according to how they rank on the CBS Sports big board. The 20 names listed here are all that I was able to find, but there may be others who are eligible for Dallas Day, and I'll add them to the list if they become known.
There are six to seven prospects here who could go in the top three rounds, an unusually high number for Dallas Day visitors. In principle, the Cowboys could invite any of these players to Dallas Day and save a spot on their national invite lkist for another prospect. Whether that turns out to be an advantage for the Cowboys and whether the Cowboys select any local prospects in the draft remains to be seen - but just from the list of local prospects above, you could probably construct a pretty nifty mock draft.
While some of the names on the list will be familiar to Cowboys fans, others will have even hardcore draftniks scrambling for their draft manuals. But with this list in hand, you'll know who to root for once the lesser known names take the stage at the Combine - you never know, one of them might end up a Cowboy.
If nothing else, us this list to get a head start on your pet cats this year. But if you're planning on watching the Combine, think of this as your Cowboys Rooting Guide for the Combine, and bookmark it!