It looks like the Cowboys are leaving no stone unturned as they look for potential draft targets to bolster their defensive line. Earlier this week, we posted about the Cowboys bringing in a couple of first-round defensive end possibilities in Takkarist McKinley and Taco Charlton, along with a likely third-day guy in DL Jeremiah Ledbetter.
Earlier today, we posted that another defensive lineman, Notre Dame's Isaac Rochell, has received a lot of interest from the Cowboys, even if they haven't brought him in for a visit (yet).
Tony Pauline of draftanalyst.com adds even more names to the list, explaining that Ohio DE Tarell Basham has a private workout scheduled with Cowboys and that the team is "also showing a lot of interest" in DE Jordan Willis out of Kansas State.
3) Jordan Willis/DE/Kansas State: Teams love versatile athletes who can rush the passer. Willis proved he was the premiere athlete at the defensive end position during the combine when he timed 4.53s in the 40 and 6.85s in the short shuttle as well as touching 39 inches in the vertical jump after weighing in at 255 pounds. He then went on and showed his versatility at the Wildcats pro day, looking flawless in both defensive line and linebacker drills. I think it will be a stretch for Willis to end up in the late part of Round 1 but would expect him to be off the board during the top half of the second frame. Willis worked out for the Jacksonville Jaguars this week, will be working out for the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Bucs in the coming weeks and has a visit to Tampa Bay on his schedule. The Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys are also showing a lot of interest in Willis.
4) Tarell Basham/DE/Ohio: Basham is another athletic pass rusher with versatility, but the big attraction here is growth potential. Just under 6-foot-4, the belief is Basham can pack on pounds while keeping his speed (4.7s in the 40 at the combine) and lateral quickness (4.35s in the short shuttle). As proven during Senior Bowl week, he can rush the quarterback out of a three-point stance or standing over tackle. Basham has already worked out with the New England Patriots and has a workout with the Dallas Cowboys scheduled.
We saw earlier this week that both Basham and Willis are 'A'-quadrant players, which means they had above average production in college and showed above average athleticism at the NFL Combine in February, a combination that not many pass rushers in this draft class share.
As such, the Cowboys' interest doesn't come as much of a surprise, though it will be interesting to see where in the 2017 NFL Draft each prospect will be available. Here's a short summary of where different big boards have both players ranked.
Going by the collected wisdom of the six big boards above, there's a good chance Willis and Basham will both be available when the Cowboys pick at the bottom of the second round, though Willis has been rising up draft boards recently and the Cowboys might well have to use their first-round pick to get him.