Before the AAF folded for good just weeks into its inaugural season, players across the professional football league made names for themselves on the national stage. Many of these players have been invited to NFL training camps this Summer, looking to earn roster spots in the big leagues.
Shakir Soto is one of those players. The defensive lineman formerly of the San Diego Fleet made waves during the league’s limited life. Soto was one of the best defensive players in the entire league, tallying up 4 sacks and 6 quarterback hits for the Fleet in 2019.
Soto earned himself that invite to join the Dallas Cowboys, and has reportedly been moved around the defensive line at multiple spots during OTAs and minicamps. Soto can play both as the 3 and 1 technique on the interior, but will have an uphill battle to make the Cowboys final roster.
As has been talked about before, Dallas spent a good amount of assets looking to acquire defensive tackles this offseason, including their first selection of the 2019 draft. With guys like Maliek Collins, Antwaun Woods, Tyrone Crawford, Christian Covington, Trysten Hill, etc. already in the fold, Soto’s place on the Cowboys roster is very much unclear.
DallasCowboys.com’s Bryan Broaddus likes Soto as a player, though, as he wrote about for the team site last week.
“(Soto) Has shown the flexibility to play as the nose and under tackle. Best trait is his ability to play on the move. Active in the way he attacks the gap…Doesn’t quit on the play.”
That last piece about Soto’s motor might be his best way to win over Rod Marinelli, as we know how highly he values players who give great effort. Effort won’t do everything for you, though, of course. The skill has to be there as well.
The former undrafted free agent, Shakir Soto should get his opportunity to prove his worth during the second halves of preseason games this August. And while he may be a long-shot to make the final cuts, he’s certainly a guy to keep an eye on in competition for final roster spots.