With the selection of Charles Tapper, the Cowboys were able to throw another resource at their most pressing need - the pass rush. Last year, the Cowboys ranked 25th in the league in sacks with only 31. Not only were the sacks not there, but the defense ranked dead last in turnovers with 11, a feat that hasn't been achieved since the San Diego Chargers did it in 1982.
The Cowboys love defensive linemen that are effective in the pass rush and the running game. Just like Maliek Collins, Tapper can do both well. The end from Oklahoma had seven sacks last year and 10 tackles for losses. He's got great speed as he ran a 4.56, 40-yard dash at the combine. He's got great initial burst which is what Rod Marinelli loves in his edge rushers.
The Cowboys haven't made a splash at the defensive end position this offseason as their only move has been signing free agent Benson Mayowa from the Oakland Raiders. The selection of Tapper gives the team another resource to work into the rotation. He will battle it out with another day-three selection, Ryan Russell, who was taken in the fifth round in last year's draft. Similar to Russell, Tapper wasn't used as well as he could have been in his team's defensive scheme. The Cowboys get another guy who has some upside if used correctly.
And guess who OCC has listed as the most athletic defensive end based on his SPARQ score?
Let's see look at some of the reports on Smith:
Lance Zierlein (NFL.com)
Good size and build. Has natural power at the point of attack. Shows some ability to battle and fight for his area of grass. Technique is flawed in many areas, but has some traits. If he ever learns to drop pad level, has effective bull-rush potential. May have the body type to play 3-4 defensive end or 4-3 base end. Has some straight-line speed to close out the quarterback in space. Heavy tackler who can thump runners. Showed some positive flashes late in the season of what he might become. Raw with room to develop.
Offsets natural power and strength with terrible pad level too often. Offers minimal value as third down player. Plays with very little dynamic movement as a pass rusher and usually just crashes straight ahead with no real plan. Hand usage needs major work. Doesnt use hands effectively to control the point of attack or to improve his position as a pass rusher. Needs to play square and control gaps when engaged laterally against the run. Instincts and awareness are way off from where they need to be. Slow to see plays developing and can be even slower to disengage from blocks to make tackles near the line of scrimmage.
Dane Bugler (CBS.com)
While perhaps slightly shorter than ideal, Tapper possesses an NFL-ready frame with broad shoulders, disproportionately long arms (34 1/8 inches) and evenly distributed muscle mass.
He flashes enough initial quickness off the snap to force tackles to respect his outside speed and complements it with a powerful bull rush. Extends well off the snap and uses his long arms to generate push with his upper body, displaying nonstop effort to motor through blockers. While there are concerns about his quickness and agility, Tapper shows impressive straight-line speed - both when closing in on the quarterback and in downfield pursuit.
He's likely to test very well for a man of his size in the 40-yard dash, indicating perhaps un-"tapped" potential to be harnessed with better technique. Offers some positional versatility, often lining up in the four-point stance in Oklahoma's scheme and often taking on multiple blockers.
Isn't the sum of his parts, showing little consistency to his game in part because he remains technically flawed. Too often resorts to simple bull rushes and isn't as effective in this area as he should be due to poor pad level.
Was asked to play mostly contain for the Sooners and offers little creativity as a pass rusher. His compact, muscle-bound frame leaves Tapper with limited flexibility and just average agility, overall, and he struggles to change directions in close spaces to make tackles on his own. Will be viewed by as a 'tweener who lacks a real position in the NFL.