As we continue to profile draft targets in the 2019 class we now focus on the defensive line, where the Cowboys have one of their bigger needs. Dallas should look to improve both at 1-technique and under tackle this offseason, and can accomplish at least one of these goals through the draft.
There is a plethora of defensive line talent in this draft class, and Texas A&M’s Daylon Mack made his presence felt during Senior Bowl week. Mack primarily played as a nose tackle in college, though at just 6’1″ tall he is considered undersized for the position.
Still, we have seen shorter tackles thrive in recent years (see: Poona Ford (NT), Aaron Donald (3T)), potentially giving teams the ability to look past the size issues if the other traits can compensate for it.
Daylon Mack is explosive, let’s get that out of the way first. His best trait is his get-off, with an excellent first step allowing him to get right into the offensive lineman’s chest and control him from the start. He also plays with good leverage and body control, two traits which could be attributed to his lack of height to a certain degree.
Daylon Mack was a 5-star recruit coming out of high school, and his athletic traits show why. While he didn’t live up to those 5 stars in college by most measurements, he still has the profile to fit that original billing.
Mack is a strong player as well, keeping blockers off his frame with his power at the point of contact. On tape he showed the ability to bench press guards and centers off of him, controlling them with his hands and keeping his own pads clean.
While he has proven to be a capable run stuffer, who can even make splash plays against the run in spurts, Mack isn’t going to offer much as a pass rusher to the team which drafts him. Rarely did I see him get much of a rush at all, as he lacks a diverse set of pass rush moves. He has good hand technique, but he can improve as a rusher if he added some more moves to his repertoire.
Simply put, the Cowboys need talent at the defensive tackle spot, and Daylon Mack is exactly that. Though he had a bit of an up-and-down collegiate year, and most would argue he didn’t live up to his high school hype, the fact remains that Mack was a 5-star recruit and one of the most sought after defensive linemen in his recruiting class.
He is still that disruptive and talented defensive tackle, even if he needs fine tuning to be productive at the professional level. He has impressive traits, a fantastic get-off, and above-average power through contact. This skill set makes him an excellent draft target for the Dallas Cowboys this Spring.