When taking a look at the Cowboys roster at the beginning of February, there are a few positions that need some sort of upgrading this offseason. Defensive tackle, wide receiver, and tight end are the three that stand out and could use upgrades at the top or just add some depth. Today, we will take a look at three defensive tackles the Cowboys could target with their first pick (58th overall) in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Renell Wren - Arizona State - 6’4” 315-lbs
Renell Wren has it all, the size, explosiveness, and versatility. If there was ever a defensive lineman created in a lab to fit into Rod Marinelli’s scheme, I’d have to imagine Wren would be the guy. Wren is built like a brick wall at 6-foot-4, 315-lbs, and is hoping to run a sub-4.9 40 yard-dash at the NFL Combine at 315-lbs. Wren has long arms (33 3/4”) that he uses well to control offensive lineman at the point of attack. While Wren’s upper body mass passes the eye test with flying colors, but how thickly built he is in his lower half allows him to provide a tremendous push from the interior.
Wren possesses a freakish first step, which allows him to win off the snap on a high percentage of snaps. Wren’s biggest weakness heading into the Senior Bowl week was his inability to counter when his initial rush is held up, and he showed struggles with his hand/hand placement at Arizona State. I was pleasantly surprised to see the development in those areas of his game from the end of ASU season, to Senior Bowl week.
He is a guy that has the size, speed, and strength to play at both the one and the three in Dallas’ scheme, which is something Marinelli loves in his lineman. Wren has been flying up draft boards since his dominant week in Mobile at the Senior Bowl, and will likely be a top-75 pick after testing at the NFL Combine with his measurables.
Renell Wren (6-4½ 315) shows his strength with the initial bull rush. Once he establishes inside hand placement, @Renell_Wren snatches the forward-leaning McCoy! #SeniorBowl— DLineVids (@DLineVids) January 24, 2019
via @VochLombardi pic.twitter.com/dgWJ4PtNlC
Charles Omenihu - Texas - 6’6” 278-lbs
Out goes David Irving, in comes Charles Omenihu. When talking to different scouts at the Senior Bowl, it was a mixed bag on what position NFL scouts see Charles Omenihu playing at the next level. For the Cowboys, Omenihu would be a dominant 3-tech to take Irving’s place in Marinelli’s defense.
Charles Omenihu has freakish measurables standing at 6’5” 278-lbs, and possesses one of the more freaky wingspans (84 6/8”) I’ve ever seen out of a defensive lineman. Omenihu is extremely explosive working off the edge, and from the interior. He possesses an elite first step and burst out of his stance. Due to his length and wingspan, he is a tough guy to reach in the run game — which allows him to clog up running lanes with ease, but the wingspan allows him to bring ball carriers down without fully having to place his entire body in the lane itself. Omenihu spent most of his time playing DE at Texas, but with his frame, power, quickness, and lack of lower body flexibility, a move to 3-technique may be Charles Omenihu’s best position at the next level.
The Cowboys would likely need Charles Omenihu to fall a bit for them to have a chance at the former Texas Longhorn, but the word coming out of Mobile, was that Omenihu is likely going to fall into the second round. For the Cowboys sake, let’s hope it’s all the way to 58th overall.
Jerry Tillery - Notre Dame - 6’5” 305-lbs
Jerry Tillery is one of the toughest evaluations in the 2019 draft class. At times, Tillery looks like a sure fire top 10 pick. At other times, Tillery looks like a mid-round rotational player. It’s been noted that Tillery is being flagged by some NFL teams due to character issues from his past.
At 6’5”, 305-lbs, Tillery has the ideal size to be a force in the middle of Rod Marinelli and Kris Richard’s defensive line. Tillery is extremely explosive out of his stance which allows him to beat opposing offensive lineman with both speed and power. While he’s able to win with his pure strength, he’s also able to win of the snap with a quick first step. He also plays with violent hands when rushing the passer, and playing the run which allows him to rip past, shed off, or maintain control of interior lineman at the point of attack. Tillery shows enough athletic ability to make plays both in the backfield and down the line of scrimmage versus the run.
After a breakout year in 2018, Tillery will receive a ton of questions regarding his character and consistency issues at Notre Dame. While those are legit issues, and likely ones that push him down draft boards, Tillery has all the tools to be a dominant interior defensive lineman in the NFL. Tillery isn’t quite a high-risk player, but with some risk involved, the gamble could pay off big for the Cowboys if he falls to them in the second round.
Jerry Tillery is a baaaaaad man pic.twitter.com/yG7PPGtvqS— Barstool Irish (@BarstoolIrish) October 28, 2018
Next week we will take a look at three wide receivers the Cowboys could target with the 58th overall pick, and will continue on to tight end position the week after. Be sure to check back in as we go through these three position groups for the Cowboys to target with the 58th overall pick in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft.