Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell is one of the bigger names in this year's draft. As likely the biggest outside play maker, his name has been thrown around Cowboys conversations with the fourth overall pick to add a dynamic target for Tony Romo across from Dez Bryant.
With Bryant locked up on a franchise deal, it's time the Cowboys found a legitimate long-term #2 target to maximize the production they get out of Dez. While WR isn't the most glaring need for Dallas, the following clips from Treadwell stand for themselves in displaying his talent ceiling - which is high enough to make things interesting with his name on the board and the Cowboys on the clock.
Without further introduction, let's enter the film room on Laquon Treadwell:
The above clip is the perfect place to start with watching Treadwell. You get a feel for his overall smoothness in route running, as he gets himself open and then secures the catch firmly with his hands (cough cough, Terrance Williams). He then breaks away from the defenders and - on sole individual effort - gets to the end zone.
The first thing you notice with Treadwell is that he is ALWAYS trying to make a play. Whether it's turning a short pass into a long gain, taking the top off the defense, or run blocking in the below clip.
While the first catch shown from Treadwell was a relatively low degree of difficulty, he certainly has no problem making contested catches. After a gruesome injury suffered in 2014, Treadwell bounced back in his final collegiate season to record 1,153 yards and 11 touchdowns in 13 games.
For good measure, let's watch Treadwell complete a pass! If only he was here in 2015, and could throw the ball instead of Cassel and Weeden - to himself. Anyway, this strike was right on the money!
This next play features some very solid coverage against Treadwell. Asides from the safety getting over late, this is played well by the secondary of Oklahoma State. Laquon is able to make the defense pay for a small mistake, snagging a touchdown while making it look effortless. While he may struggle to get such free releases early in his NFL career, in time, he has the chance to be one of the most balanced receivers in the league.
Treadwell has drawn comparisons to Dez Bryant, and this play here has to remind some people of #9 throwing to #88. The last-minute adjustment Treadwell is able to make for this ball is something that can't easily be taught - but seems to come naturally to the 6' 2" target.
As an SEC WR, Treadwell consistently went up against some of the best defenses in the country. Here he is in 2014, doing THIS against Alabama.
Did I mention Treadwell reminds people of Dez Bryant?
While the prospect of the Cowboys welcoming Tony Romo back to training camp and assuring him he's not seeing double when looking at Dez Bryant and fourth overall pick Laquon Treadwell is more than awesome, there are a number of other talented receivers for Dallas to add in the later rounds.
I will begin to take a look at those as we move forward in draft coverage here at Inside the Star, but for now we can contimplate if Laquon Treadwell is a viable pick at fourth overall.
What do you think? Let me know with a comment below, or let's talk draft on Twitter @ShoreSportsNJ!
Report: Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch Visiting Cowboys
As the 2018 NFL Draft draws closer, teams are beginning to hold their official visits with prospects of their own choosing. The Cowboys have already met with a few different prospects thus far, and they've reportedly added a linebacker to that list this week.
Multiple reports are saying the Cowboys will meet with Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch this week, adding him to the list of 30 potential visits.
BoiseState LB Leighton Vander Esch will be a pre-draft visitor for the #Cowboys. Add him to your list of 30, per Tony Pauline.
Vander Esch is a bit of a controversial prospect in the draft world. As I've stated before, he tested like a freak athletically, and his combine profile alone would put him in the discussion on day one. The problems I have with Vander Esch have nothing to do with his athleticism, however, and everything to do with his actual football-playing ability.
On film, I see a player who struggles to get off blocks and will have trouble finding a home with the Cowboys. Still, I wouldn't mind the Cowboys drafting Vander Esch - that pick cannot come in the first round though.
Vander Esch is a long, rangy, and athletic linebacker who is at his best playing laterally and tracking down plays. As a blitzer, Vander Esch has some rather clear issues. He often runs directly into blocks and is unable to shed at the point of attack. I also don't think he is as instinctual a player as some of the other linebackers in this class, such as BYU's Fred Warner or Alabama's Rashaan Evans.
The way things are looking, however, Vander Esch is going to be a first round pick. And if not, he'll almost certainly be a top 50 pick. I wouldn't be very comfortable taking him at 19, and I'd have to think twice before even taking him at 50 for that matter.
2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott
With more pressing needs on offense at guard and wide receiver, and defensively at DE or LB, the Cowboys' concerning lack of proven ability at safety has taken a backseat in this offseason's roster build. With the expectation that new Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard will elevate the play of the entire Cowboys' secondary, the team is doing their due diligence on safeties available in the 2018 NFL Draft - starting with Texas' DeShon Elliott.
It appears Texas S DeShon Elliott is visiting the #Cowboys today
With 63 tackles and six interceptions in his final season at Texas, Elliott took full advantage of being a starter in the Big 12 for the first time in his career, flying onto the NFL Draft scene.
Elliott is a well-balanced, average athlete with the upside to be targeted late in April's draft and make a difference.
If they had to play a game tomorrow, the Cowboys would be rolling with Jeff Heath, Xavier Woods, and Kavon Frazier at safety.
Finding an expanded role this season for Frazier should be a priority in Dallas, as should supplementing Heath and Woods with additional talent. DeShon Elliott would fit this group well, along with the Cowboys' scheme, given his range and disruptive ability.
Should Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown, and now Byron Jones help the Cowboys reach their full potential at CB, the Cowboys safeties will not be tested in single coverage up the field often. This is an area that Elliott was exploited in at Texas plenty of times, performing better as a true free safety or second-level player.
Continuing to add young talent at the right price is key to the Cowboys' ongoing rebuild on defense, now visiting with a local safety prospect that should be available to them in the later rounds. Texas' DeShon Elliott is officially a name to consider come draft week in Dallas.
Cowboys Draft: PSU WR DaeSean Hamilton Fits Cowboys’ “Type”
Last week, I detailed what the Cowboys tend to look for when drafting a wide receiver. In terms of a combine profile, Dallas clearly has a "type" of wide-out they like to target.
The Cowboys certainly need to upgrade their receiving corps, but with the plethora of other holes to fill, they may not be able to do so until the 3rd or 4th round. Luckily for the Cowboys, there is at least one receiver which both fits their profile and should be available early on day three.
That player is Penn State wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton.
Working on something for @InsideTheStarDC... here's the height, weight, 40 time, and 3 cone for every WR DAL has taken since 2010.
First, let's re-examine what the Cowboys like to look for. As you can see from the above graphic, the Cowboys draft targets all seem to fit a similar profile. If we treat Dez Bryant as their "ideal" draft pick, the trends become even clearer. Dallas wants to find a wide-out who is about 6'1" 205 pounds, runs nearly a 4.5 40 yard dash, and about a 6.9 three come time.
DeaSean Hamilton, coincidentally, is 6'1" 203 pounds, ran a 4.47 40 yard dash at the Penn State pro day, and ran a 6.84 three cone at the combine. Penn State's all time receptions leader stole the show at the 2018 Senior Bowl, putting all of "Draft Twitter" on notice to his talent.
An efficient and smooth route runner, Hamilton looks natural coming in and out of breaks, creating separation with his precise routes. The Cowboys don't have many receivers on their roster who can win with their route running, and adding a player like Hamilton would greatly help third year quarterback Dak Prescott moving forward.
With the ability to play in the slot, as well as potentially being a Z receiver for the Cowboys and a replacement for Terrance Williams, Hamilton would be an excellent draft target in the third or fourth round. And, keeping in mind how nicely he fits their typical draft profile, I'd expect Dallas to target Hamilton during the 2018 NFL Draft.
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