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Draft Notes Vol. II: Five More I Like, But One You Can't Have

By Cory Mageors | @inthemageors

105.3 THE FAN -- I'm still looking at linemen close to the Cowboys pick, but there are a couple of other guys who are interesting to look at. There's also one guy we would all love to be on this team, but it won't work unless the Cowboys make huge moves to leap to the top of the draft.

This bunch is more likely to be available at 27 and could provide the Cowboys with an upgrade on the defensive line.

5 I Like

Mario Edwards Jr.– DE – Florida State – Height: 6-3 Weight: 294
This guy has a great push at the line, very beefy but I like his awareness at the line. He's got thick hips and not really great speed, and he's slow to accelerate. He shakes offensive linemen well, and I like his instincts in the run game. I don't like his body control. He gets to the QB and then his legs fly out from under him wildly. He kind of reminds of Jay Ratliff, so maybe he could be a Tyrone Crawford type who puts on some weight and moves inside where he can provide good pass rush as well as run stuffing.

MORE: NFL Draft Notes Vol. I

Preston Smith – DE – Mississippi State – Height: 6-5 Weight: 270
Prototype defensive end size and uses that size to his advantage. I like his bull rush, but he has a few more polished moves to add as a pass rusher. If you're a Cowboys fan, you know you want more guys with moves other than to push a guy backwards. He doesn't have the pure speed to take him to the next level like Ware had, and his closing burst leaves something to be desired. If you try to run to the outside though, he anchors the edge really well at the point of attack, but needs to work on his tackling. Mostly though I like that he collapses the pocket. Any time you can tighten up the pocket and force a quarterback to step one way or another it is a positive in my book.

Malcolm Brown – DT – Texas – Height: 6-4 Weight: 320
Everybody I've talked to loves this guy. Just absolutely loves him. I think there is a combination of two things: he's pretty good at a position the Cowboys would like to upgrade, and he might be right there for the picking in the draft. There are a couple of guys better than him in this draft, but he would definitely fit in perfectly with Marinelli. Probably the best run game instincts in the draft, just absorbs everything that gets near him. Great closing burst and body control and in short area can move from point A to point B quickly. Wouldn't want him chasing anybody 30 yards down field, but they probably won't get past him anyway.

Michael Bennett – DT- Ohio State – Height: 6-2 Weight: 288
When I watch him play, he looks bigger than he is. He looks 6-5 310, but then I look at his measurable and I can't figure it out. Love his size, strength and speed combo. He's got a number of pass rush moves at a position. I like when a tackle is more than just a hole plugger, because in this Cowboys defense, chaos up front is essential to creating havoc in the secondary and ability to make the linebackers big play makers. He's a really athletic dude who is constantly in the backfield and always creating problems for quarterbacks, never allowing them to feel comfortable.

Leonard Williams – DT – USC – Height: 6-5 Weight: 298
Clearly the most athletic and most impressive defensive tackle in the draft. He plays with all the ability of Aaron Donald with a little more size. Beefy, great pursuit speed, great burst and acceleration. His balance is amazing. Leaps offensive linemen on the ground and can use that move to get up in the air to bat down passes. Great tackling ability and body control. If he was a Cowboy, Marinelli would find great ways to run stunts to take advantage of his speed from the tackle position. Most likely not going to be available for the Cowboys because he might go first or second in the entire draft.

I'm not a scout or personnel by any means, I leave that to the greatness of guys like Will McClay and Bryan Broaddus. I do, however, want to exercise my scouting brain. I'll watch as many players as I can and use my basic understanding of football to tell you who I like after seeing the players with my own eyes.

I feel like when I watch something, then I can truly give an opinion on a guy based on otherwise I'm going off speculation and what I read. I'd rather not just give you somebody else's opinion though. Also, I reserve the right to readjust based on combine structure -- where you find out if a guy is actually as strong or fast as he looks on film.

Cory Mageors is Co-Host of the K&C Masterpiece 7-11 weeknights on 105.3 The Fan.


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