One of the Cowboys’ bigger needs this offseason is that of a 3-technique defense tackle to fill the impending void that will be left when the team moves on from David Irving. Naturally, the scouts for Dallas have been keeping an eye on some of those prospects this week at the NFL Combine. One potential draft target for the Cowboys, Arizona State’s Renell Wren, put on a particularly great performance.
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Wren, gushing about him in a scouting report and mocking him to the Cowboys with the 58th overall pick in a three-round mock draft. But Wren came into Indianapolis still needing to prove himself. At the conclusion of the college football season, Wren was viewed as a later-round pick, but a strong performance at the Senior Bowl bumped him up to a second day prospect who was gaining more and more buzz by the day. In fact, he was so impressive that Dallas scheduled a meeting with him at the Senior Bowl:
Wren turned in a monstrous performance Sunday in Indianapolis that’s sure to send him flying up draft boards once again. Wren’s official 40 yard dash was 5.01, tied for fourth best among interior defensive linemen. Wren also recorded 30 reps on the bench press, tied for fifth among interior defensive linemen. He was the only one in his position grouping to finish in the top five in both the 40 and bench press.
That wasn’t all for him, though. After coming in at an official measurement of 6’ 4 7/8” and 318 pounds, with 33 7/8” arms and a wingspan of 81 6/8”, Wren showed the athleticism behind his great size that makes him such a delectable prospect. He had a 32” vertical jump, a 118” broad jump, a 7.65 3-cone drill, and a 4.53 short shuttle.
All of this combined into a perfect storm of next level analysis, as Next Gen Stats awarded Wren the highest combine score among defensive tackles, even higher than Alabama’s Quinnen Williams:
Here's a look a the top defensive tackle performers from the 2019 class based on the Next Gen Stats Combine Score...— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) March 3, 2019
Renell Wren (@ASUFootball)
Quinnen Williams (@AlabamaFTBL)
Trysten Hill (@UCF_Football)
Dexter Lawrence (@ClemsonFB)
Jerry Tillery (@NDFootball) pic.twitter.com/l9ATtyzofO
So what does this mean for Wren’s stock, and specifically how it relates to the Cowboys? Well, the biggest knock on Wren up til now has been his limited amount of pass rush moves, but the combine doesn’t really test for anything like that. Wren did address that criticism at one of his public interviews, explaining that coaches at ASU told him that his bull rush was so effective (which it is) that he should use that as much as possible.
That won’t erase the concern for some teams, but the self awareness is at least something positive. Regardless, scouts and GM’s now know without a doubt that the physical talent Wren flashes on his tape is for real, and the bull in a china shop comparisons are apt.
For Dallas, Wren’s combine likely means that the absolute lowest he’ll be taken is very early third round, but if the Cowboys really want him on their team then they’ll probably have to select him at the 58th overall pick. It might even be possible now that Wren gets taken ahead of the 58th pick, though I wouldn’t necessarily count on it. Nevertheless, if Dallas wants this prospect, they’ll have to spend a high pick to get him after such an impressive combine.