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NFL Draft Notes Vol. I: Five I Like

By Cory Mageors | @inthemageors

105.3 THE FAN -- 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 the information I see. Otherwise, I'm going off speculation and what I read. I'd rather not just give you somebody else's opinion though.

So to start things off, I'll take a look at the defensive line, a place where we can all agree we would like to upgrade the Cowboys' roster.

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.

5 I Like

Alvin Dupree – DE - Kentucky – Height: 6-4 Weight: 267

Put a big heart next to this guy. Great speed, closing burst and acceleration. Love his stop-start, if he blows by an offensive tackle and the quarterback moves up in the packet has ability to turn on a dime to get back for a sack, or pursue in the run game. Good tackling, wraps up at the waist and strikes with explosive impact at the point of attack. Good instincts in the run game. He has the speed to track down a running back from the other side of the line. Also has an array of pass rush moves. Overall, I think he moves up and would love to have him on the Cowboys roster, but right now CBSSports.com has him at No. 17 overall.

Nate Orchard – DE – Utah – Height: 6-3 Weight: 251

Great wrap-up tackler. Smooth body control, as in doesn't look like the fastest guy but doesn't waste any movement between point A and Point B. Great moves in 1-on-1 and can shake an offensive lineman with size and strength as well as moves. Signed as a wide receiver at Utah then played D line, linebacker and special teams. Thick through the hips and anchors pretty well. Good instincts around the QB and in the run game, probably needs to get stronger, but has flexibility to move around on field.

Eli Harold – DE/OLB – Virginia – Height: 6-4 Weight: 235

Speed Speed Speed. Lateral, speed. Straight line, speed. Short distance quickness, SPEED! One thing you can't teach is speed. I know it's cliché, but when you have speed, you have so many advantages in the league. The ability to catch-up, close gaps, and flat out limit the opponent's field. Not a great tackler at the point of attack, but great burst and gets through the line of scrimmage quickly. Slippery defender who can float through a mine field of linemen and blockers. Great hands and simply explosive. Somehow needs to add bulk up top and down low without losing quickness. Unlike Orchard, sometimes wastes movement off the line and in pursuit of the QB.

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Markus Golden – DE/OLB - Missouri – Height: 6-3 Weight: 260

Looks smaller than he's listed. But has such a stocky build through his legs that he can anchor himself really well at the line. Really good solid tackler, great strike ability and just an all around playmaker. Sheds blockers really well and has tremendous body control. When you're moving in and out of traffic the way he does, inside and outside of offensive tackles, through pulling guards in the run game and back in pursuit body control becomes very important, and he can maneuver double teams pretty well. Probably one of the best instinctual players on this list with great awareness. Not JJ Watt type shot blocker, but knows how to get his hands up, which is just another tool in his arsenal.

Danny Shelton – DT – Washington – Height: 6-2 Weight: 332

Absolute tank. He is a wrecking ball to offensive lines. Put him in the middle and he is a trunk, almost immovable. Great instincts in the pass and run game, moves the center and guards back enough off the line that he's in the face of the QB before they step up into the pocket. Because he is in the backfield, he causes chaos in the running game not allowing them to get their stride through a hole, and able to shed blockers to get sacks and stuff the run. Great awareness with a great football mind. Understands when to pressure, when to wait on a screen, and even saw him play center on a few snaps where he was a solid blocker. Plop him on your line and you are going to be better.

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