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2019 NFL Combine Losers Who Could Benefit the Dallas Cowboys

Brian Martin

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2019 NFL Combine Losers Who Could Benefit the Dallas Cowboys. 2

Not everybody can be winners at the NFL Combine. Sometimes the big stage and the pressure of the event gets to these players and they just have a bad outing. That doesn't mean they don't have a future in the NFL or that their careers are over, but it could end up benefiting teams like the Dallas Cowboys.

The Dallas Cowboys are known as a team who are willing to take a chance on players who have seen their draft stock take a hit for some reason or another. They will take a chance on talent regardless of background if they believe that particular player can help their team. That's why today I decided to put two together a list of some of the losers from this year's NFL Combine.

Let's take a look…

Defensive Candidates

Jachai Polite

Florida DE Jachai Polite

Joejuan Williams, CB, Vanderbilt

Entering the NFL Combine, Joejuan Williams was one of the hotter names in this year's cornerback draft class. Teams were intrigued with his size (6'4", 211), but had questions about his athletic ability and the technical issues he showed on tape. Unfortunately for him, his performance didn't do him any favors, particularly his 4.64 40-yard dash. It's not a terrible time for a CB his size, but not great either. This of course could be good news for the Dallas Cowboys because we all know Kris Richard loves those tall lengthy corners.

Jachai Polite, DE, Florida

I don't know if I've ever heard of a players NFL Combine going any worse than what Jachai Polite's did. There are multiple reports that he was terrible in interviews and a lot of the scouts on hand said his decision to pull himself out of several events due to a hamstring injury he faked was "bullshit". He was supposed to be one of the more explosive edge rushers in this draft class, but his 4.84 40-yard dash and 1.71 10-yard split suggests otherwise. His draft stock is supposedly tumbling and several teams have reportedly taken him off their board altogether. If he were to fall all the way to the Dallas Cowboys in the second-round, he'd be hard to pass up.

Dre'Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State

How Dre'Mont Jones performed at the NFL Combine was supposed to solidify him as one of the better undersized defensive tackles in the 2019 draft class. Unfortunately for him, all it did was raise more concerns about his past play and his future in the league. At 281 pounds, Jones' game is supposed to be predicated on his quickness. The numbers he put up in the different events were surprisingly pretty pedestrian which will probably cause him to slip in the draft. This could be good news for the Dallas Cowboys who need help at the three-technique. Now they may be able to get him a few round later instead of in the second-round where he was projected.

Offensive Candidates

Elijah Holyfield

Georgia, RB, Elijah Holyfield

Elijah Holyfield, RB, Georgia

No one expected Elijah Holyfield to blow people away with his speed at the NFL Combine, but no one really expected him to run an embarrassing 4.78 40-yard dash either. To make matters worst, his 30" vertical jump and 9'6" broad jump were pretty pedestrian for a running back as well. These numbers are concerning in more ways than one considering how good his tape is, but it could help him slide right into the Dallas Cowboys lap in the mid-round range. He has a chance to redeem himself at his Pro Day, but for now his poor performance at the Combine could make him an intriguing option as Zeke's backup.

Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia

The bad luck for Georgia players continued with Riley Ridley and the way he performed at the NFL Combine. Unfortunately for him, he tested like an average to below average athlete in nearly all of the events, but it was his embarrassing 4.58 40-yard dash that raised eyebrows. He is still likely a Day 2 prospect, but he wasn't supposed to be on the board for the Dallas Cowboys at 58 before the combine. The Cowboys could be in the market for a receiver that can play both in the slot and on the outside, and Ridley is someone capable of doing just that.

Isaac Nauta, TE, Georgia

I promise you I'm not picking on Georgia players purposely, but it seems like nearly all of their skill players had a poor performance at the NFL Combine. Isaac Nauta was supposed to be in that next tier of tight end prospects behind Noah Fant, T. J. Hockenson, and Irv Smith, but with the way he tested it could cause him to slide a little further. There were no questions about his ability as a blocker translating into the NFL, but there were concerns about his athleticism and pass catching ability. His 4.91 40-yard dash was a huge fail, and unfortunately he finished as one of the worst TE performers in the other events as well. If the Cowboys still like him though, they could get him at a discounted price.



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: Film Notes on Iowa State Cyclones WR Hakeem Butler

John Williams

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Cowboys Draft Target: Iowa State Cyclones WR Hakeem Butler

The 2019 NFL Draft is light on a lot of the offensive skill position players at the top of the draft. There are a couple of wide receivers that are making noise in the first round, but I'm surprised to see that Iowa State Cyclones Wide Receiver Hakeem Butler isn't one of them.

Is he a perfect NFL prospect coming out of the Big 12? No. But this year, there isn't a perfect NFL wide receiver prospect, in my opinion.

Hakeem Butler measured in at 6-5, 225 with 35 1/4 inch wingspan, and 10 3/4 inch hands. He's a big receiver and generally, the type of wide receiver that the NFL looks for when they're attempting to build their receiver corp.

Here are his measurements, courtesy of Mockdraftable.com.

And here is his Spider Graph, if you're into that sort of thing.

As you can see, Butler moves the needle on the spider graph in the strength and athletic testing. He didn't run the short shuttle or the 3-cone drill at the NFL combine, which isn't surprising as those would be lesser traits to his game.

For his size, Butler runs an excellent 40-yard dash at 4.48 seconds. That puts him at the same time as Carolina Panthers Running Back Christian McCaffrey. Former Dallas Cowboys great, Dez Bryant ran a 4.52. The 40-yard dash helps measure straight line speed and it's helpful, it just isn't the be all-end all. Sure, you'd like a receiver to be faster, but Butler's size-speed combination makes up for being a touch slower than the guys running in the 4.3's.

Film Review

In order to get a handle on Hakeem Butler, I watched his games against Iowa, Oklahoma, West Virginia, TCU, Baylor, and Washington State. Believe me, watching the Iowa State offense was no small task. Quarterback much?

Here's what I saw from Hakeem Butler.

  • Is able to create separation on a variety of routes and against press coverage. Ran posts, slants, ins, outs, curls (both in and out breaking), double moves off of slants (sluggo and hitch and go), and nine or go routes.
  • Moves well for size, could use some more quickness.
  • Hakeem Butler is at his best when thrown back-shoulder fade routes. He's an excellent ball tracker and shows great anticipation for the ball being thrown under the route for him to come back to the ball.
  • Quarterback play at Iowa State was an issue. I counted three, maybe four different quarterbacks that he had to work with throughout the 2018 season. Though Butler was able to bail them out at times, he and the rest of the Cyclones receiving corp dealt with poor ball placement.
  • Butler is a physical blocker at the point of attack and away from the ball. He uses route feints to set up the defender so he can get square on them and uses good technique to secure his man and plays till the whistle.
  • Was lined up all over the field in the games watched including the slot, the middle receiver in bunch formations, and in tight sets as a single receiver to one side.
  • Is very physical against press coverage and fights to get free throughout the route.
  • The two games he struggled the most were against TCU and Iowa where they used more zone coverage than Iowa State's other opponents. Those teams kept him bracketed, which left him little room to work in the zone and forced him into more contested catch situations.
  • He had bad drops in both the Iowa and TCU games, but also came up with excellent catches.
  • Butler is very physical after the catch and uses his size and agility to break tackles and create yards after the catch. Against the Sooners, he broke three or four tackles after the catch to take one the distance for the touchdown.

I like Hakeem Butler as a pro prospect. He has some nuanced route running to him and is more than just a jump-ball specialist, red zone threat. He has the skills to be a lead receiver for a team in the NFL and could even be used as a big-slot receiver much like the New Orleans Saints use Michael Thomas. Despite some drops, I think he has really good hands and with his size and physicality would be an excellent addition for the Dallas Cowboys.

I'd be surprised if he was available for the Cowboys at pick 58 of the second round, but if for some reason he was there, I wouldn't hesitate to select him. You can use him on the outside and move Amari Cooper to the slot or put Butler in the slot and use Cooper on the outside. His ability to run routes from all over the formation is an asset that a smart team will take advantage of.



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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft Target: Central Florida DT Trysten Hill

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Draft Target: Central Florida DT Trysten Hill

NAME: Trysten Hill

POSITION: Defensive Tackle

SCHOOL: Central Florida

CONFERENCE: American

CLASS: Junior

JERSEY: No. 9

RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star

HT: 6'3"

WT: 308

D.O.B.: 3/25/1998

Tackles Tackles Tackles Tackles Tackles Def Int Def Int Def Int Def Int Def Int Fumbles Fumbles Fumbles Fumbles
Year School Conf Class Pos G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
*2016 UCF American FR DL 9 11 4 15 5.0 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 1
*2017 UCF American SO DL 12 9 11 20 4.5 2.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
*2018 UCF American JR DL 12 20 16 36 10.5 3.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career UCF 40 31 71 20.0 6.0 0 0 0 0 0 1

Highlights:

Trysten Hill UCF Highlight

Uploaded by Micah Wade on 2019-02-22.

Pros:

The first thing that jumps off the tape when studying Trysten Hill is his first step quickness at the snap of the ball and his burst to get upfield. He is scheme diverse, but projects better as a 4-3 defensive tackle. Can play the one-technique or the three-technique in a 4-3 defense, but is at his best as a one-gapper.

Hill plays with a nonstop motor and high energy down after down. Doesn't take any plays off. Shows the ability to fight off blocks. Always working his hands and feet to free himself. Is equally disruptive harassing the quarterback as a gap penetrator and in the running game playing sideline to sideline.

Shows good agility and flexibility to bend and finish tackles behind line of scrimmage and in the open field. Can anchor down against double teams, but needs to improve his overall play strength. Uses a twitchy arm over and spin counter move to penetrate the gap as both a pass rusher and run defender.

Cons:

There are questions about Trysten Hill's maturity, work ethic, and coach ability. He found himself in the doghouse last year at Central Florida and only started one game. Was he demoted because of the new coaching staff or are the character concerns about him factual? This is something teams will have to dive deeper into.

Needs to do a better job of playing under control. Will run himself out of gaps at times, which causes him to lose his gap responsibility. Can get washed out of the play by down blocks. Needs to develop a better feel and response to keep that from happening.

Can anchor down against double teams, but needs to add functional strength in order to become more consistent. Drops his head at times on his initial punch. Needs to develop a more diverse pass rushing repertoire. Relies too much on arm over and spin move.

Cowboys Fit:

Trysten Hill is a versatile defensive tackle capable playing the one-technique or the three-technique in the Dallas Cowboys 4-3 defensive scheme. Due to his first step quickness and high motor, he is likely better suited to play the three-technique. He has starting potential, but would likely be a rotational piece on the DL as a rookie behind Maliek Collins. His ability to play on the other side of the line of scrimmage and sidelined the sideline would be a welcomed addition along the Cowboys defensive front. He projects as a late Day 2 or early Day 3 draft pick, and that's exactly where the Dallas Cowboys would likely have to target him to acquire his services.



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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft Target: Nebraska WR Stanley Morgan Jr.

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Draft Target: Nebraska WR Stanley Morgan Jr.

NAME: Stanley Morgan Jr.

POSITION: Wide Receiver

SCHOOL: Nebraska

CONFERENCE: Big Ten

CLASS: Senior

JERSEY: No. 8

RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star

HT: 6'0"

WT: 202

D.O.B.: 9/7/1996

Receiving Receiving Receiving Receiving Rushing Rushing Rushing Rushing Scrimmage Scrimmage Scrimmage Scrimmage
Year School Conf Class Pos G Rec Yds Avg TD Att Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
*2015 Nebraska Big Ten FR WR 11 25 304 12.2 3 0 0 0 25 304 12.2 3
*2016 Nebraska Big Ten SO WR 13 33 453 13.7 2 1 0 0.0 0 34 453 13.3 2
2017 Nebraska Big Ten JR WR 11 61 986 16.2 10 1 2 2.0 0 62 988 15.9 10
2018 Nebraska Big Ten SR WR 12 70 1004 14.3 7 1 4 4.0 0 71 1008 14.2 7
Career Nebraska 189 2747 14.5 22 3 6 2.0 0 192 2753 14.3 22

Highlights:

Stanley Morgan Jr Nebraska WR ULTIMATE 2018 Season Highlights!!

"Where I come from ... I had to block for Leonard Fournette, I played on the same team as Tyrann Mathieu," Morgan said. "It's just guys like that around me that made me want to work harder, just to keep going and give it my all. It's something that I was born with."

Pros:

Stanley Morgan Jr. was a consistent and productive wide receiver during his time at Nebraska. He projects as a "Z" receiver in the NFL, but is probably better suited to play in the slot because of his skill set. Might be the best route runner in the entire 2019 WR draft class.

There's no questioning his toughness and competitiveness. His passion for the game shows up on tape. Unafraid to carry his routes across the middle of field. Possess good separation ability due to his precise route running and his ability to change directions on a dime. Has an understanding of how to temper his routes as well and has a way of lulling defensive backs to sleep and catching them off guard.

Has soft natural hands and shows good technique at the catch point. Shows the ability to make contested catches. Large catch radius. Excellent catch focus and body control. Shows the ability to climb the ladder and high point passes. Unfazed with DBs draped on him and shows good spatial awareness along the sideline. Has a little wiggle to be a threat after the catch, but doesn't have homerun ability.

Cons:

Stanley Morgan Jr. could be labeled as "just a guy" as a wide receiver prospect. There is nothing really special about his game and he has just average speed and athleticism. Despite his productivity and consistency at Nebraska, he may have already reached his peak.

Morgan may be nothing more than a slot receiver in the NFL. He doesn't possess the necessary speed to be a threat down the field and doesn't show a lot of burst out of his breaks. Average speed will limit his big-play ability as well. Struggles to beat press coverage, which could cause cornerbacks to sit on underneath routes.

Doesn't offer anything on special teams. Had a handful of opportunities at Nebraska as a kick and punt returner with very little success. Doesn't show a lot of functional strength on film. Lack of strength and power limits his blocking ability in the passing game. Arrested for marijuana possession in May 2017.

Cowboys Fit:

Although Stanley Morgan Jr. has the ability to play the "Z" position with the Dallas Cowboys, they would likely move him into the slot full-time as Cole Beasley's replacement now that he's officially moved on to the Buffalo Bills. He may not have the same kind of change of direction skills as Beasley, but Morgan's precise route running ability immediately makes him a threat in the Cowboys aerial attack as a rookie.

Morgan unfortunately doesn't offer much, if anything, on special teams. He returned a few kickoffs and punts during his time at Nebraska, but had marginal success. He will probably never be more than a WR3 and might have already reached his peak as a prospect, but he is the type of WR who can have a long career in the NFL. As a potential mid-round draft pick he is an intriguing slot option for the Cowboys, but probably won't help fans forget about No. 11 anytime soon.



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