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Cowboys 2018 draft: Six non-combine invites who could be late-round steals

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Keep a close eye on these potential draft sleepers for the Cowboys.

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Southern Mississippi Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

There were over 330 college players invited to the scouting combine to put their skills on full display in hopes of advancing their positioning in the NFL Draft. With a little math, it’s not hard to figure out that not all these players will hear their name called on draft day. While a combine invite certainly bodes well for their chances, it’s not the end-all, be-all as to who gets picked and who doesn’t. Each year, there is an average of about three dozen players selected in the draft who did not receive a combine invitation. Draft expert Dane Brugler recently put together his best guess as to which dark horse prospects have the best chance to be drafted. And when you interject that into all the names we have on the Cowboys official invites, Dallas Day, and private workout list, there are few players worth keeping a close eye on as potential late round picks.

FS, Tarvarius Moore, Southern Miss (6-1, 199, 4.32)

Official 30 Visit

There might not be a hotter draft prospect climbing the boards right now that Tarvarius Moore. I have him mocked to the Cowboys in the fourth round, but Brugler doesn’t mess around as he has Dallas picking Moore in round three.

Brugler: The highest-ranked non-Combine prospect on my draft board, Moore spent two seasons at the junior college level before coming off the bench as a junior at Southern Miss and starting as a senior. He lit up his pro day (4.32 40-yard dash, 39.5-inch vertical, 11-feet-2 broad jump), and that athleticism matches the tape. If a non-Combine prospect is going to crash the top-100 picks, it will be Moore.

It’s great to have the athleticism to stop on a dime. It’s also great to have the physicality to make your opponents do the same.

Draft projection: Round 3-4


WR, Daurice Fountain, Northern Iowa (6-2, 210, 4.46)

Official 30 Visit

Northern Iowa’s “Reece” Fountain is an interesting prospect. Despite not being able to put them on display at the combine, his athleticism is off the charts. Fountain definitely adds a level of explosiveness to the receiving game, but unfortunately he’s still raw in many areas. Until him improves his route-running and pass catching skills, he’s just a development player with potential.

Brugler: The highest-rated offensive Combine snub, Fountain would have tested off the charts in Indianapolis (42.5-inch vertical, 11-feet-2 broad jump at his pro day). He is raw in several areas, but his athletic profile and ball skills will land him in the middle rounds.

The Cowboys have wide receiver options at every round in the draft and Fountain could be a nice Day 3 steal.

Draft projection: Round 5-6


OT, Matt Pryor, TCU (6-6, 343, 5.60)

Dallas Day

Matt Pryor offers the position flexibility that the coaching staff looks for. If he can get himself on a training regime that helps him drop some of that extra weight like Byron Bell did last offseason, he could be an interesting option that could help the depth of the Cowboys offensive line.

Brugler: Over the past three seasons, Pryor was interchangeable between right guard and right tackle, earning praise from the TCU coaches for his versatility. His weight needs to be monitored and he tends to play tall, but he is coordinated in his shuffle with the ability to sustain blocks.

For those who are looking for a good development offensive linemen on Day 3, Matt Pryor is a player to remember.

Draft projection: Round 5-6


WR, Vyncint Smith, Limestone (6-3, 205, 4.36)

Private Workout

One of the things I love about Notre Dame’s Equanimeous St. Brown is how he’s got great speed for a big guy. Well, Vyncint Smith is another tall receiver with burner speed. While his game tape will feature him blowing by Division-II level competition, 4.3 speed is still 4.3 speed, regardless of who is chasing you.

Brugler: Smith is a tall, lean-framed athlete with an unimpressive build, but he has outstanding speed that made him look like a man among boys in Division-II. His tape is encouraging because he is more than just a size/speed athlete, showing tempo and pace in his routes.

Like Fountain, Smith will be a guy that needs to be developed, but he’s got the traits that can help take him to the next level.

Draft projection: Round 5-6


RB, Ito Smith, Southern Miss (5-9, 201, 4.49)

Official 30 Visit

“How low can you go” is one way to describe the running style of Southern Mississippi’s 5’9” running back, Ito Smith. It’s also a question when it pertains to when the Cowboys will choose to select a running back in this draft. While Nyheim Hines is a common target mentioned for Dallas, the team has other needs in the middle of the draft. Waiting longer could still give the Cowboys a nice traffic-weaving, pass-catching, gadget back.

Brugler: Smith is only the 10th player in FBS history to surpass 4,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in a career. He is undersized and underpowered, but he does his best work in space where he skirts defenders, making him dangerous in the screen game.

Low center of gravity running backs named Smith have panned out pretty well for the Cowboys.

Draft projection: Round 7/UDFA


C, Patrick Morris, TCU (6-3, 300, 5.09)

Dallas Day

Morris has the athleticism to move effectively in the zone-blocking schemes and allow him to leak out on screen plays. He also has good strength and can fend off defenders in pass protection. He’s a smart player who is attentive to his surroundings and knows how to provide help in the passing game.

Brugler: Sometimes a pro day performance can take a player from priority free agent to late rounder, and that might be the case with Morris. He missed multiple games due to injuries over his career, but his testing numbers stand out (37 reps, 35.5-inch vertical, 5.09 40-yard dash).

If Morris was able to strut his stuff at the combine, this Horned Frog would be on more people’s radar as his Pro Day performance was outstanding.

Draft projection: Round 7/UDFA