Connect with us

NFL Draft

Draft Target: Oklahoma WR Marquise Brown Has What the Cowboys Need

John Williams

Published

on

Film Notes: Marquise Brown has a lot of what the Cowboys Need

The Dallas Cowboys will likely be looking to add another wide receiver this offseason with the possible departure of Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams. While they could look to fill those positions from within with guys like Noah Brown, Cedric Wilson, or Allen Hurns, or via free agency, there is one player that will be in the 2019 NFL Draft that adds a speed element that the Cowboys haven't had since Terry Glenn. That player is Oklahoma Sooners Wide Receiver Marquise Brown.

Now, I am an Oklahoma fan, let me admit that off the top, but don't let that affect the way you see this player. He's got elite traits.

Marquise Brown was a two year starter at Oklahoma after transferring in from junior college before the 2017 season. In his two years with the Sooners he totaled 132 receptions for 2,413 yards, and 17 touchdowns. He averaged 18.3 yards per reception. He'll be 22 years old in June and according to Sports Reference, he comes in at 5-10, 168 pounds.

Obviously his size isn't great and would need to put on some weight and strength at the NFL level to not get bullied at the line of scrimmage against press coverage. Beyond size, there isn't much to dislike about "Hollywood's" game.

For this study, I watched the 2018 games against Texas and West Virginia as well as the 2017 game against Oklahoma State.

Notes

  • The first thing that jumps off the tape about Brown is his ability to get downfield quickly. Even when teams were playing 10 yards off the line of scrimmage against him, he was able to run by them and several times I noticed him having to wait on the ball. That's pretty incredible considering he played with Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray who have pretty strong arms.
  • Teams respected his speed so much that they wanted to play press man against him in order to disrupt the timing of his route, but his quick feet off the line of scrimmage gave him free releases nearly every time.
  • Because teams have to respect his over the top speed, he's able to win a lot on comeback routes. He creates a lot of separation at the top of the route because opposing corners fear him going deep. He gives his quarterback huge windows to throw the ball when angling back to the sideline. Because of the huge amount of separation, Brown is able to gain yards after the catch on comebacks.
  • His speed and quickness allow him to take shorter throws and gain significant yards after catch. On drags, bubble screens, and tunnel screens, he watches the ball into his hands and then turns up field quickly. On the screens, he gets up field quickly, but is also patient as he waits for his blocks to set up. Follows blockers with nice instincts.
  • Marquise Brown not only makes people miss, but he breaks tackles as well. He uses a nice array of stutters and jump cuts to make defenders miss to take the ball for more yards after catch.
  • Oklahoma didn't run him on many slants, but the several times he did, he used nice change of speed to set up the route and then take the ball for a big gain after the catch.
  • He has quick feet in and out of his breaks as well as at the line of scrimmage to set up his routes. He's polished as a route runner. You can see him use head and body feints and fake cuts to get his defender turned around. When he runs a post, he looks to get his defender thinking the outside comeback or a corner route, before angling deep over the middle.
  • He primarily played on the outside on the right side of the formation. Was seldomly used in the slot, but was targeted there on drag, wheel, and hitch routes.
  • He's a willing and effective blocker in the running game. Though he doesn't have great size, he gets his body in position to make the block. He doesn't give up on plays and several time went the distance with the running back, blocking all the way down field to allow the back to score.
  • Draws flags when waiting on the ball down field. Knows how to get his body in position to draw contact from the defender. Is excellent at tracking the ball downfield.
  • Though he tracks the ball well downfield, he did have some drops on over the shoulder plays and doesn't have the strongest of hands. It will be interesting to see what his hand size is at the NFL Scouting Combine.
  • He hasn't suffered any major injuries, but often times struggled with ankle injuries that would have him out for a play or two in game. It never seemed to inhibit his play, but something to take into account at the next level.

One of the biggest things to consider when looking at Marquise Brown is level of competition. The Big 12 struggles to play defense as a conference and Brown put up elite numbers against the Big 12. In three games against UCLA, Georgia, and Alabama, Marquise Brown put up 12 receptions for 202 yards and two touchdowns. Against Alabama he was shut out on five targets including two drops, but was suffering from an injury he sustained in the Big 12 Championship game.

The Dallas Cowboys have done a nice job at retooling their wide receiver group in the last year with the additions of Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. Those two have given Cowboys Nation a lot of hope that the passing game can take another step forward in 2019. If you add Marquise Brown to the mix, it opens up a ton of room in the passing game for Gallup and Cooper. Despite not having ideal size for the NFL, his speed and quickness alone threatens teams downfield leaving a ton of room underneath for Gallup and Cooper to operate. If the Cowboys were to add Brown, he'd likely be their third receiver on the field. When the Cowboys were to go with three or more wide receivers, Brown would most likely play outside with Cooper moving to the slot, but Marquise would see some time in the slot as well.

Marquise Brown doesn't have the size that NFL teams generally look for, but with the success of DeSean Jackson and Tyreek Hill, teams could look at Brown as a similar type of player. He may be small, but he does everything really, really well. If he's there at 58, the Dallas Cowboys need to highly consider drafting him.



Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could. Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

Advertisement
Comments

NFL Draft

2020 RB Options for the Cowboys if Things Turn Ugly With Ezekiel Elliott

Brian Martin

Published

on

2020 RB Options for Cowboys if Things Turn Ugly With Ezekiel Elliott

The Dallas Cowboys could have a Le'Veon Bell-type situation on their hands in regards to Ezekiel Elliott. It's been reported Zeke is contemplating a holdout until his financial demands are met by way of a contract extension. This could put the Cowboys between a rock and a hard place.

Ezekiel Elliott is technically still under contract for two more seasons because of the fifth-year option he carries as a former first-round draft pick. Threatening to hold out seems a little premature, but Zeke has the Cowboys by the short hairs right now, meaning the leverage is on his side.

This is a situation that could, unfortunately, turn ugly, and quickly.

Check out Ep. 6 of Cowboys Weekly - Segment 1 for more discussion from Inside The Star on Ezekiel Elliott's Hold-Out situation:

The Cowboys have several other mouths to feed and Zeke may not be at the top the list considering his continued immaturity issues off the field. His on-field production is undeniable, but so are the red flags that keep popping up. It may be time for Dallas to look for his successor and fortunately, the 2020 running back draft class is a pretty good place to start.

Let's take a look…

Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

Jonathan Taylor

Wisconsin Badgers RB Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan Taylor (5'11", 219) would probably be the ideal candidate to replace Ezekiel Elliott for the Dallas Cowboys. He is one of the more productive collegiate running backs expected to enter the 2020 NFL Draft and has the intangibles that are eerily similar to Zeke as far as size, speed, and power are concerned. Unfortunately, that likely makes him a top 10 selection, putting him out of reach of the Cowboys.

Taylor doesn't come without his warts though. As a true Junior, he's seen a lot of action in his three years as the starting RB for the Badgers. That wear-and-tear is a cause for concern because it could lead to durability issues once in the NFL. He also has struggled with his ball security. He's put the ball on the ground 12 times in the last two seasons, which will need to be cleaned up at the next level. But, there's no denying his talent.

D'Andre Swift, Georgia

D'Andre Swift

Georgia Bulldogs RB D'Andre Swift

D'Andre Swift (5'9", 215) is one of my favorite RB options in the 2020 draft class to replace Ezekiel Elliott if things turn ugly with the Dallas Cowboys. He doesn't have the same kind of production as Jonathan Taylor and is still somewhat under the radar because he's been stuck in a committee with the Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, and Elijah Holyfield the last two years. But mark my words, he will be the next great RB to enter the NFL out of Georgia. Swift could be as ideal of a candidate to replace Zeke as there is.

Dallas likes an inside runner with zone vision as well as someone who can be a threat in the passing game, and D'Andre fits the bill. Despite being a little smaller in size than Zeke, he still possesses the power to run inside. Then throw in his receiving ability, 32 catches for 297 yards and three touchdowns last season, and you have someone who is more than capable of replacing #21's offensive production. He's projected to be a late first-round pick, which could put him within striking distance of the Cowboys.

J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State

J.K. Dobbins

Ohio State Buckeyes RB J.K. Dobbins

J.K. Dobbins (5'10", 214) could be someone who is already on the Dallas Cowboys' radar as a potential Ezekiel Elliott replacement. They seem to have a liking for Ohio State running backs (Zeke, Rod Smith, Mike Weber) and could turn to another Buckeye to carry the rock. Dobbins, an all-purpose back and native Texan (Houston, TX) checks all of the boxes the Cowboys typically look for in their featured back.

Dobbins has the size, speed, and vision to be a featured back in the NFL. He has rushed for over 1,000 yards his last two seasons while splitting time with Mike Weber and has averaged about 200 receiving yards during that time span as well. He's not the most physical back, but he keeps moving his feet upon contact. He also needs to improve in pass protection in order to become a true three-down RB in the NFL. But his vision, shorter area quickness, elusiveness, and patience as a runner are all top-notch.

Travis Etienne, Clemson

Travis Etienna

Clemson Tigers RB Travis Etienna

The breakout season of Quarterback Trevor Lawrence, unfortunately, overshadowed the Heisman-worthy year Travis Etienna (5'10", 200) had in 2018. In his first year as a starter, he rushed for 1,658 yards and 24 touchdowns, all the while averaging an impressive 8.1 yards per carry. If he can follow that up in 2019 he could become the most coveted back in the 2020 draft class and become a really intriguing option for the Dallas Cowboys.

Etienne will probably need to add a little bit more "good weight" and muscle to his frame if he wants to be considered a featured back in the NFL. If he can accomplish that and not lose any of his elusiveness or speed he should climb up draft boards. If not, he may not be of much interest to the Cowboys because they already have a similar RB in Tony Pollard. He does possess plug-and-play talent though, making him a potential Ezekiel Elliott replacement.

Najee Harris, Alabama

Najee Harris

Alabama Crimson Tide RB Najee Harris

Najee Harris (6'2", 230) is yet another big, physical running back who has had to remain patient and wait his turn at Alabama, but 2019 could be his breakout season. With Bo Scarbrough, Josh Jacobs, and Damien Harris ahead of him on the depth chart the last two years, Najee saw limited playing time. But, when he did receive the opportunity to showcase his skill set he didn't disappoint. His physical talent could make him a top-5 running back come draft time.

Despite his limited playing time last the two seasons, he averaged over 6 yards a carry. He rushed for a career-high 783 yards and four touchdowns on just 117 carries in 2018 and should easily surpass those totals this season. In doing so he should become one of the more sought after RBs in the 2020 draft class. With the Cowboys, as Zeke's potential replacement, his physicality would pair nicely with Tony Pollard's slashing style. A Harris/Pollard duo could be just as productive as the Cowboys running game has been in the past.

Honorable Mention

The above five running backs are all potential Ezekiel Elliott replacements who I really like and will likely receive the most national attention due to the programs in which they play. But, they are only a few in what looks like a really strong 2020 RB draft class. Here a few honorable mentions you should also keep a close eye on as well.

  • Cam Akers, Florida State
  • Eno Benjamin, Arizona State
  • Kennedy Brooks, Oklahoma
  • Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt
  • Kylin Hill, Mississippi State

I believe any of these running backs mentioned above at any point in the article could be in play for the Dallas Cowboys if they choose to play hardball with Ezekiel Elliott over his want for a contract extension. The 2020 running back draft class has a plethora of potential starters and this could be in the back of the Cowboys mind when they're determining where they want to spend their money. Paying top dollar for an RB might not fit in their budget, even for one as talented as Zeke.

Do you like any of these potential RBs as replacements for Ezekiel Elliott?



Continue Reading

NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: Reviewing Kansas DT Daniel Wise

Kevin Brady

Published

on

Cowboys Draft: Kansas DT Daniel Wise

Throughout the post draft media process, the Cowboys' decision makers have been adamant that they found multiple draft-able players in undrafted free agency this year. Each of which, of course, will have an opportunity to compete for a roster or practice squad spot this summer.

One of those players who almost certainly had a draft-able grade despite fall through all seven rounds, is Kansas defensive tackle Daniel Wise.

At 6'3" and 290 pounds, Wise projects as a 3-technique in the NFL, and should compete for that very role on the Cowboys defense. Wise is not an overly bendy or athletic player, but he has a good initial quickness which allows him to penetrate gaps well. Wise plays with excellent effort, having the type of motor that I'm sure Rod Marinelli valued highly during the pre-draft evaluations.

A strong and powerful interior presence, Wise can offer some upside as a pass rusher as well. He has quick, active, and heavy hands. When combining his hands with his get-off, Wise is a real threat as a pass rusher. Maybe his most impressive pass rushing quality, however, is the effort which he plays with. Never giving up on a play, you'll have to block Wise until the final whistle or he will threaten for effort sacks.

In college, Wise was often asked to be a two-gap defender from the 5-technique, but that's just not where he'll be at his best. Rather, he should be used in the role the Cowboys likely envision for him, allowing him to play with power at the point of attack and disrupt the running game.

But what are Daniel Wise's chances of even making the team?

The Cowboys made a concerted effort to improve their defensive line this offseason, specifically on the interior. By adding free agents like Kerry Hyder and drafting Trysten Hill 58th overall, Dallas has improved what was considered a weakness during the postseason a year ago.

Not all of these talented defensive tackles will make the team, though, it's simply a numbers a game. And cutting an undrafted free agent will certainly be easier to do than cutting someone who will be owed real money, or was acquired through premium draft capital.

Regardless, Daniel Wise will have the chance to prove his worth during training camp and the preseason. And based on how he projects through his college tape and physical attributes, he'll likely make those final decisions very difficult on the Cowboys' staff.



Continue Reading

NFL Draft

Pre-Draft Visitors Highlight Dallas Cowboys 2019 Rookie Class

Brian Martin

Published

on

Pre-Draft Visitors Highlight Dallas Cowboys 2019 Rookie Class

The Dallas Cowboys are "officially" adding 21 rookies to their roster, eight of which they drafted and the remaining 13 are undrafted free agents. The number of rookies the Cowboys are bringing in isn't all that surprising, but what did surprise me was how many of them were pre-draft visitors.

You may or may not know, but the NFL allows 30 allotted pre-draft visits for each team around the league. Teams don't have to use all 30 visits of course, but the majority of them take advantage of the opportunity and generally use up all 30 visits. It's a chance to introduce these rookies into the atmosphere they could be playing in and work them out in more of a one-on-one basis.

The Dallas Cowboys of course are known as a team who take their 30 pre-draft visits very seriously. Over the past several years they've drafted several players who were brought in for pre-draft visits, and 2019 was no exception.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, paying attention to the Dallas Cowboys 30 pre-draft visits is a good idea because the odds of them drafting one or more of them is pretty high. That's why I decided to run a pre-draft tracker this year, and because of it I was able to confirm 27 of the possible 30 pre-draft visitors for the Cowboys.

Here are 2019 pre-draft visitors currently on the Cowboys roster:

  • DT, Trysten Hill
  • RB, Tony Pollard
  • RB, Mike Weber
  • WR, Jon'Vea Johnson
  • CB, Chris Westry

If you're doing the math, 5 out of 30 equates to 17% of the players the Dallas Cowboys brought in as pre-draft visitors. But, if Dallas only brought in 27 that percentage rises to 19%. To say that the Cowboys value these pre-draft visits would be an understatement, at least as far as 2019 is concerned.

The first three of Trysten Hill, Tony Pollard, and Mike Weber were of course all draft picks and have the best chance to stick around on the final 53-man roster, but I wouldn't rule out Jon'Vea Johnson and Chris Westry. Both were draftable players, but somehow fell through the cracks right into the lap of the Cowboys as UFAs.

I don't really know if it's a good idea the Dallas Cowboys are so transparent with how valuable the treat these 30 pre-draft visits. We've seen teams time and time again trade up right in front of them to draft a player the Cowboys could've possibly been eyeing, and this year was no exception.

After drafting Running Back/Wide Receiver Tony Pollard with the first of their fourth-round draft picks, it looked like the Dallas Cowboys had their sights set on small school Defensive End/Defensive Tackle John Cominsky out of Charleston with their second pick in the fourth. Unfortunately, the Atlanta Falcons traded up a spot ahead of them to draft Cominsky.

This of course isn't the first time the Falcons have done this, which begs the question as to how they knew the Cowboys could have possibly been targeting Cominsky. We can throw a conspiracy theory out there that Atlanta might have been inside source, but that's highly unlikely. More plausible theory is they were paying attention to Dallas' 30 pre-draft visitors as well.

It may be time for the Dallas Cowboys to deploy a little more smoke and mirrors when it comes to who they bring in for pre-draft visits in the future. But regardless, there's no denying the Cowboys pre-draft visitors highlight their 2019 rookie class.

Are you surprised the Dallas Cowboys added so many pre-draft visitors to the roster?



Continue Reading



Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! Get started here

Trending