It’s no secret that the Dallas Cowboys need to add some beef along their defensive line in the 2019 NFL Draft. With DeMarcus Lawrence set for a huge pay day, David Irving likely gone, and multiple down-the-depth-chart interior lineman set to hit free agency, defensive line will be a need come draft day.
Temple defensive lineman Michael Dogbe might be one answer. Dogbe, who had a fantastic week down at the Shrine game in Florida, measured in at 6’3 1/2” and weighed 286-lbs. Weight was a big deal for Dogbe because many scouts thought he may actually weigh in sub-280. Instead, the former Temple lineman added some mass to his frame, while also maintaining his explosiveness and change of direction skills.
Dogbe lined up all over the formation for the Owls and found success at all of those spots. Once he landed some starting playing time during his redshirt sophomore year, things started to click. In his RS sophomore year, Dogbe recorded 1.5 sacks, 5 tackles for loss, and 43 tackles lining up all over the formation for the Owls. Coming off an exciting sophomore campaign, he was hoping to break out in his junior year before suffering a few injuries that limited his time on the field but he didn’t let that get him down. Not only did he bounce back in his senior year, but he absolutely broke out.
In his final year at Temple, he was rewarded a single-digit number, which is handed out to the nine toughest players on the Temple roster.
Temple Football continues to expand upon its growing tradition when it comes to their single-digit number selections. Each season, the Owls coaching staff hand out jerseys leaving the single digits numbers vacant for its toughest members of the team. These individuals in order to be selected must sustain qualities of leadership and great character both within and outside football. Michael Dogbe who will be on many NFL radars come seasons beginning will sport the number 9 jersey this season.
Heading into his senior campaign, Dogbe’s career stat line was pretty underwhelming. 86 total tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. In his senior year alone, Dogbe recorded 72 total tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 7.0 sacks, and three forced fumbles putting himself on the map of many NFL teams.
One of those teams is the Dallas Cowboys. Michael Dogbe told me yesterday in our podcast interview that the Cowboys expressed a ton of interest in him at the Shrine game, and have even been in touch since then. Dogbe would fit in the Dallas’ defensive scheme perfectly due to his length, first step explosion, and the ability to not only affect the quarterback, but to also be a very dominant run defender. Dogbe has experience stuffing the run from playing the nose tackle spot at Temple, but also moved around and played shade, 4i, 5-tech, 3-tech, and 1-tech when the scheme changed at Temple.
One of Dogbe’s best traits is his ability to get off the ball quicker than his teammates. Not only does he possess a quick first step, but he also has tremendous power to convert that snap quickness to power at the point of attack to throw offensive lineman off guard with his play strength.
Complete control at the point of attack due to the ability to use his length, and hand strength. This is a really nice play from Dogbe to make a play on the ball carrier. pic.twitter.com/S6mNQHq97i— Connor Livesay (@ConnorNFLDraft) January 29, 2019
Along with his snap quickness, Dogbe plays with extremely violent hands, and ideal arm length for an interior defensive lineman. He consistently shows the ability to control blockers at the point of attack with his length, and hand strength to shed, rip, and swim over offensive lineman to make plays at, or behind, the line of scrimmage.
Here you’ll see Dogbe fight through a hold to get to the quarterback in 1v1’s. Dogbe plays with great pad level off of his dip-and-rip move working against the center. Not only would he draw a flag on this play, but he used his lower body power, and balance to get to the quarterback.
Here, he uses a club-swim to beat his man in 1-on-1’s at the Shrine game practices. Dogbe put on a show in 1v1’s, but also backed up his nice week of practices making multiple nice plays in team drills, and in the Shrine game itself.
As we mentioned above, Dogbe has experience lining up all over the formation due to his size during his time at Temple. He does an excellent job here in the Shrine game using his hands to control the blocker at the point of attack, then using a great swim move to get behind the offensive tackle to make a tackle for loss on LSU RB Nick Brossette.
Michael Dogbe isn’t some freak athlete, but he does showcase enough athletic ability to play on the edge in certain situations, similar to the way the Cowboys use Tyrone Crawford. Maryland tried to block him with a tight end here, and Dogbe laughs at that attempt. He uses an excellent push-pull move to push to tight end and get his weight on the heels of his feet, then use his weight distribution against him to violently pull him forward and away — for an easy path to the quarterback.
With the needs at defensive line, the Cowboys would be wise to continue to keep an eye on Michael Dogbe throughout the draft process. He has yet to receive a combine invite, but is hoping to receive one soon. Dogbe is slated to go in the later rounds of the draft, and would be an excellent addition to the defensive line rotation to provide some quality pass rush and run defense as a rotational defensive lineman in Rod Marinelli’s scheme.