#94 Randy Gregory
Randy Gregory was born in Jacksonville, Florida on November 23, 1992. He played collegiate football as a Nebraska Cornhusker and is currently a defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys, who drafted him in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Randy Gregory spent his youth moving around seven or eight times before his family finally settled down in Indiana, where he attended high school at Hamilton Southeastern in Fishers, Indiana. While at Hamilton Southeastern, Gregory enjoyed a successful high school career on both the football field and the basketball court.
Growing up, Gregory mainly played on the offensive side of the ball as a running back, but he was switched to defensive end his sophomore season in high school. Randy Gregory had a breakout junior season at Hamilton Southeastern and recorded 92 tackles and 17 quarterback sacks. After his senior season, Gregory was considered one of the top 15 players in the entire state of Indiana and had numerous scholarship offers from colleges around the nation.
In addition to a plethora of scholarship offers for football, Randy Gregory also received several scholarships from Division I colleges to play basketball.
Randy Gregory initially committed to play college football at Purdue, but in what he describes as a bad case of “Senioritis” his grades began to slip. Which kept him from attending Purdue for academic reasons.
Due to Randy Gregory’s academic problems, he decided to continue his football career at Arizona Western Community College. As a freshman in 2011, Gregory accumulated 82 tackles, nine quarterback sacks, 21 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, and two recovered fumbles.
Unfortunately, Gregory suffered a broken leg that pretty much wiped out his entire 2012 season. Despite this, Randy Gregory was still considered one of the top-10 JUCO prospects — regardless of position — and was regarded as one of the best junior college defensive end prospects in the nation.
Randy Gregory received scholarship offers from dozens of programs including Iowa, UCLA, Missouri, Arkansas, Oregon State, Washington, Illinois, and West Virginia. He visited Iowa State and Nebraska before ultimately deciding to continue his collegiate career as a Nebraska Cornhusker.
In his first year at Nebraska, Randy Gregory started 10 of 13 games. He reported 64 tackles, 10 ½ sacks, and one interception that he returned for a touchdown against South Dakota State. Gregory’s 10 ½ sacks led the Big Ten.
In 2014, Gregory had 50 tackles and seven sacks. Following his 2014 season, Gregory decided to forgo his senior season and enter the 2015 NFL Draft.
Randy Gregory’s 2013 College Honors:
- National Sophomore Defensive Player of the Year (CollegeFootballNews.com)
- First-Team All-Big Ten (Coaches, Media, BTN)
- Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week (vs. Michigan)
- Most Sacks by a First-Year Husker
- Ted Hendricks Award Watch List (1 of 18)
- Nebraska Defensive MVP
Randy Gregory’s 2014 College Honors:
- Second-Team All-American (FWAA)
- Third-Team All-American (AP)
- First-Team All-Big Ten (Media, Coaches)
- Walter Camp Player of the Year Watch List
- Lombardi Award Watch List
- Chuck Bednarik Award Semifinalist (1 of 20)
- Nagurski Trophy Watch List
- Lott IMPACT Quarterfinalist (1 of 20)
- the Lott IMPACT Player of the Week (vs. Miami)
2015 NFL Draft
Randy Gregory was considered one of the best pass rushers available in the 2015 NFL Draft. His name even popped up as a potential #1 overall draft pick, but many draft analysts projected that he wouldn’t drop out of the top 10.
Unfortunately, Randy Gregory ended up failing the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine drug test, for marijuana, and his draft stock took a huge hit.
Gregory did not hear his name called on the first day of the 2015 NFL Draft and slipped out of the entire first round. He continued to slide in the second round until the Dallas Cowboys decided to use their second round pick (60th overall) to secure Randy Gregory’s services.
The failed drug test at the Scouting Combine for marijuana hurt his draft stock, but he was also being considered as part of the league’s substance abuse program. The next violation for substance abuse would mean a four-game suspension for Gregory.
Randy Gregory showed promise as a rookie during the Dallas Cowboys’ preseason. He recorded three quarterback sacks in three preseason games. In the season opener against the New York Giants, Gregory had three quarterback pressures in only 18 defensive snaps, but unfortunately, he suffered a high ankle sprain that would cause him to miss the next four games.
Gregory made his return to the field in Week 7 against the Giants, but the time away from the game really stunted his development. It wasn’t until Week 10 that Randy Gregory was finally able to register his first career tackle in the NFL, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He didn’t register a quarterback sack in the 2015 season, but managed 16 quarterback pressures (fourth on the team).
Randy Gregory will miss the first four games of the 2016 season under suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policies. He will have a lot to prove once he is able to return to the field in Week 5 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Randy Gregory is entering the second year of his rookie contract. The total value of Gregory’s contract is $3,814,936, but only $1,404,500 of that is fully guaranteed. Gregory will make an average of $953,734 per season. His contract makes him the 52nd highest paid out of 116 outside linebackers in the NFL.
Gregory’s base salary in 2016 is $608,406 and his cap hit will be $867,031. In 2017, Gregory’s base salary will be $781,812 and his cap number will be $1,040,437. In the final year of Gregory’s rookie contract in 2018 his base salary will be $955,218 and his cap hit will be $1,213,843. If Randy Gregory plays out his rookie contract, the Dallas Cowboys will then have to decide if they want to offer him a second contract or not.
Terrance Williams Was OK, But Cowboys Need More From Michael Gallup
Just yesterday, the Dallas Cowboys declined an option on Wide Receiver Terrance Williams' contract and ended his six-year tenure with the team. One reason the veteran was no longer in their plans was the presence of Michael Gallup, who the team has high hopes for entering just his second NFL season.
It's interesting to compare Gallup and Williams on several levels. Just as Terrance's time ends, having only made a few appearance last year in just three games, Michael was a fast learner as a rookie and emerged as the team's number-two receiver by the playoffs.
Both were third-round picks, with Williams (74th) being selected just seven spots higher overall in 2013 than Gallup (81st) was in 2018.
Terrance came to Dallas when Dez Bryant was firmly entrenched as the team's primary receiver. Michael was drafted less than a month after Dez was released, but Amari Cooper soon established himself as the number-one WR midway through the year.
In both cases, the Cowboys hoped that their third-round selection would yield a player who could at least play a complimentary role as a solid roleplayer, if not regular starter.
For all his warts Terrance Williams was ultimately a solid draft pick. He started in about 75% of the games he played in and was a proficient run blocker, helping both DeMarco Murray and Ezekiel Elliott have big years. He also made some highlight reel catches in his time.
But with those big plays came some big blunders. Terrance often had a bad drop for every good catch he made. A huge mental error may have cost Dallas the 2016 season opener against the Giants. And if the team wasn't already starting to turn on him, his 2018 arrest for public intoxication seemed to push them over the edge.
That said, the biggest issue with Williams was his inability to produce without other plays drawing attention. He didn't rise to the occasion when Dez Bryant was injured. He rarely even made defenses pay for giving Dez too much attention.
At his best, Terrance was a solid number-two receiver. Plenty of teams who've spent first-round picks on receivers wish they could they'd gotten as much in return. Nobody should be disappointed with how that 2013 third-round pick turned out.
But when it comes to Michael Gallup, Dallas should hope that Williams' career is the floor for Gallup's potential. As teams key on Amari Cooper going forward, can Gallup do damage in ways that Terrance rarely could?
Even more importantly, if Cooper were to ever get injured, could Michael step up and take on a larger role? Can Dallas finally have a number-two receiver with the capacity for occasionally taking the lead?
That may be putting too much pressure on young Mr. Gallup but it's really not an unfair expectation. Recent drafts have produced highly productive third-round receivers such as Keenan Allen, Cooper Kupp, Kenny Golladay, and Tyler Lockett.
Even more pressure comes if Cole Beasley leaves the team in free agency. While his role lessened toward the end of 2018, Cole remained one of Dak Prescott's favorite options in clutch situations. He was almost impossible to stop with just one man covering him, and that gave defenses a real dilemma once Amari Cooper arrived.
Can Gallup fill those shoes? Can he become a reliable target when the game is on the line?
In the end, all Michael has to do is be a solid starter to provide a great value for his draft selection. The Williams standard isn't a bad measure.
But if the Cowboys ever want to win more than just the occasional playoff game then they need another receiving threat who truly punishes opposing defenses. They need the next Alvin Harper, not the next Terrance Williams.
We can only hope, as the team does, that Michael Gallup is up to the task.
Cowboys Draft Target: Kentucky CB Lonnie Johnson Jr.
Since Kris Richard has taken over the back-end of the Dallas Cowboys defense, they have clearly shown a bias towards a "type" of cornerback. Richard, looking to build this Dallas unit in a similar form to his Seattle teams, has prioritized long corners both in height and arm length.
As his responsibilities within the organization increase, it's only fair to expect Kris Richard to have more say in who the Cowboys' defense acquires in terms of talent. This means we should anticipate more defensive backs who fit his type, such as Kentucky Wildcats cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr.
So why does Lonnie Johnson fit the mold of what Kris Richard tends to look for? Well, for starters, he is 6'3" and 206 lbs with 32 1/4" arms. He's a long corner with excellent size and the trait profile which indicates he could be the perfect candidate to play cornerback in Dallas.
But while he might look great on paper, the tape is always the most important factor for evaluating and projecting talent. And, for Johnson, the tape isn't all-that great. Despite his length, Johnson struggled mightily in press-man coverage at Kentucky. Too often he is late or ineffective with his hands, leaving him susceptible to being blown by by the opposing receiver. He often loses balance due to poor footwork, and is rather average with his hips and quick change of direction.
Where Johnson was his best in college was in zone coverage, playing his deep third of Kentucky's cover-three look. Rarely did he allow receivers behind him in zone coverage, and displayed good instincts when deciding whether to jump routes or play more conservatively when playing in that deep third. He was not nearly as comfortable underneath, and Kentucky didn't ask him to play in that role too often. Because of how big he is, Johnson is able to contest at the catch point regularly, yet he only deflected 9 passes in 2 years.
What gives me the most hope for Lonnie Johnson as a prospect (besides his length) is his Senior Bowl performance. Johnson impressed daily at the Senior Bowl, looking more comfortable in man coverage and playing much better in his press technique.
Was this Johnson becoming more comfortable over time and a sign of things to come at the next level, or was it an anomaly that we shouldn't read too much into? The answer to that question is up to the individual teams, but his combine performance will play a huge role in how those teams answer.
As I've discussed already, Lonnie Johnson Jr. fits what Kris Richard tends to look for in his cornerbacks. He is long, tall, and relatively athletic, making him a clay piece for a coach like Richard to develop.
The question is, however, how much development can really occur? The highs for Johnson are rather high when he maximizes his natural abilities on the field. But too often he is sloppy in technique, or looks lost in man coverage. Whether or not Richard can "fix" Johnson completely may never be seen, but teams (especially this one) could fall in love with him as a prospect for what he can become if it all comes together.
Cowboys Draft Target: Oklahoma Sooners RB Rodney Anderson
NAME: Rodney Anderson
CONFERENCE: Big 12
POSITION: Running Back
CLASS: RS Junior
JERSEY: No. 24
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
Rodney Anderson || 2017-18 Highlights ᴴᴰ || Oklahoma Like, Comment, and Subscribe for More! Follow my Instagram: @szhighlights Songs: - "Don't Know Me" by Trae Tha Truth - "Better Days" by Trae Tha Truth I do not own any of these highlights or music clips.
Before we get into the player, we should really try to get to know Rodney Anderson the person. He attended Katy High School in Katy, Texas, one of the powerhouse HS football programs in the state. He was a four-star recruit who received offers from Auburn, Baylor, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma. He originally committed to Texas A&M, but changed his mind and decided to go to Oklahoma instead. He had an up-and-down career on the football field at Oklahoma because of injuries, but did graduate with a degree in Arts and Sciences in May 2018 and is pursuing his Master's in Human Relations.
Rodney Anderson has the ideal size and athleticism to become a featured back in the NFL. He shows good patience and vision on film to allow his offensive lineman to secure their blocks before sticking his foot in the ground and exploding through the hole. He runs behind his pads and shows good strength, loose hips, and balance to run through arm tackles. More than capable of picking up those "dirty yards" and is surprisingly slippery as a runner in the open field.
Anderson is capable of playing in a power scheme or a zone heavy scheme like the Dallas Cowboys deploy. He has been featured in a number of rushing concepts including gap/power, read action, and power sweeps. His talent also carries over to the passing game. He possesses soft hands and looks natural catching the ball both out of the backfield and down the field as a receiver. Solid in pass protection, but this is an area of his game where he can improve.
The biggest negative about Rodney Anderson is his injury history at Oklahoma. He is basically a one-year wonder because of three separate season-ending injuries, but bad things happen in three so maybe that's behind him. Durability will be a question mark entering the NFL though.
His vision is sometimes questionable, especially on inside and outside zone reads. Has a tendency to to try to bounce runs to the outside too often or cut back too quickly. Shows good explosiveness, but only average burst through the hole. Seems to have adequate long speed on tape, but is 40 yard dash time will be heavily scrutinized if he's able to run at the NFL Scouting Combine.
In the passing game he needs to improve his route running and pass protection if he wants to be a three-down back in the NFL. The talent is there, just not the production and consistency. Will also have to prove he can be productive against stacked boxes at the next level since he rarely saw any in college due to Oklahoma's spread offense.
If the Dallas Cowboys are looking for a running back capable of being a featured back in the NFL, while also spelling Ezekiel Elliott from time to time, then Rodney Anderson is there guy. His combination of power, balance, explosiveness, and scheme diversity could come in handy as their RB2. Not only would he provide a good insurance policy if the unthinkable were to happen to Zeke, but he could take over if they decide not to give No. 21 a contract extension.
There is a lot to like about Rodney Anderson's game and his ability to contribute in the running and passing game, but he is not by any means a clean prospect. Despite his immense talent, his injury history and lack of consistency in college is bothersome. But, as a mid-round pick the reward far outweighs the risks. Paired with Elliott, the Cowboys could have a formidable one-two punch in their backfield and could pound opposing defenses into submission.
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