Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Cavanaugh: Did Anthony Nelson do enough at the combine to get the Cowboys’ attention?

Collapse
X
Collapse
First Prev Next Last
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Cavanaugh: Did Anthony Nelson do enough at the combine to get the Cowboys’ attention?


    By Jeff Cavanaugh 1h ago

    I​ hope​ everyone enjoys having​ Amari Cooper on the team.

    Itís​ all his fault that over the next few weeks​​ Iíll be profiling a lot of defensive linemen that the Cowboys could potentially target and none of them will be Quinnen Williams, Nick Bosa, Josh Allen, Montez Sweat and on and on. Without a first-round pick by the Cowboys, I want to give a glimpse of the names that could be realistic when Dallasís first pick comes after 57 other players have been selected.

    The positions and players I choose to profile could change some as we continue to find out the prospects the Cowboys have out at The Star as part of their 30 official pre-draft visits. These are the names we have so far:



    Thatís a pair of safeties, a defensive tackle and a defensive end. As we continue to get more names itíll help us focus on the proper positions and potential fits for Dallas. What happens with the potential acquisition of Robert Quinn or the potential long term contract (or maybe even trade?) of DeMarcus Lawrence could certainly affect this at any moment.

    Today I want to focus on a guy who really helped himself at the combine with a heck of a workout. Anthony Nelson óDE ó #98 ó Iowa


    Height: 6í7″
    Weight: 271
    40 Time: 4.82

    Take a look at this chart. What you have is all the measurements from the combine and how that stacks up to other defensive line prospects over the years.



    Nelsonís athletic profile is outstanding. To be able to run the 3-cone drill in under seven seconds as a 6í7″, 271 pounder is awesome. Combine that with the jumps (which tell us how explosive a playerís lower body is) and arm length and you have the beginnings of a really promising NFL prospect.

    Youíre not going to be able to ding him for his production numbers either. Theyíre not elite but theyíre rock solid. Last year Nelson had 9.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss.

    All of that is well and good. Itís also not nearly as important as how well a prospect plays football. To the tape we go. He will be the left defensive end on every play I show you.



    This is what we call length. Youíll hear coaches and front office folks talk about length all the time when they discuss defensive linemen. The poor right tackle canít even reach Nelson to try to block him. All he can do is try to back up as slowly as possible. Thatís 6í7″ with almost 35″ arms fully extended, playing with proper forward lean thatís going to make it tough for most blockers to be able to get their hands into his chest.



    The two clips weíve seen are the beginnings of a useful NFL pass rusher. Being able to play with a good forward lean and quality extension as a big guy can help you bull rush. Flashing the ability to push-pull like this and slingshot your way by a blocker is a nice secondary tool to have in the bag.



    On this play he gets a really nice jump off the snap of the ball and has enough initial quickness to win inside on the tackle and disrupt the pocket enough to get a teammate a sack. The subtle thing to notice here is that his initial two steps are threatening the outside shoulder of the offensive tackle before Nelson dives back inside to beat him. This stunt isnít even designed to get him to the quarterback, itís designed to occupy blockers so No. 40 can swing around and hopefully be the free man. He just happens to get off the ball well enough and play with a nice pad level that makes it hard for the guard to pick him up.



    This is where we see the 3-cone drill on display a little bit. With his long limbs, itís supposed to be a little bit of a challenge to change direction and pursue. The end result of the play certainly isnít a positive for his team but that ability to redirect and chase after the ball is pretty rare for a guy so tall.



    Here that same ability to hit the brakes and explode in the other direction helps get him a piece of a sack.

    If all of the tape on Nelson was as good as these few clips, he obviously wouldnít be available when the Cowboys get to finally pick. He does have his limitations on tape that heíll have to improve on if heís going to become an NFL starter (which I think he can do). Some of those are:
    • Too often he gets hung up on blocks. The flashes where he uses his length well and wins with hand placement are encouraging but it needs to be more consistent. Also, he needs to get stronger. Once heís engaged or cut off by an inside blocker on a run away from him, he needs to be able to shed that blocker.
    • For a guy with the measurable athleticism that he has, he doesnít win the corner against blockers with bend. His 3-cone time hints that the ability is in there for it to happen, itís not on tape often.
    • Against the run he needs to more consistently be able to anchor against offensive tackles.

    If a defensive end has great tape, great measurables and great production, he gets picked in the top ten of the draft. When weíre talking about picking players at 58 or 90 weíre looking for the best combination of what theyíve already shown and what they can be with NFL coaching. Nelson has pretty solid tape, solid production and great measurables. With natural progression with an NFL team, he can become a quality starter in the NFL by his second year. Iíve graded him as a third-round player and a name thatís certainly worth knowing for the Cowboys.
    2016 DCC LOTY Fantasy Football Champion

  • #2
    projected 4th rounder.
    defense wins championships

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by p1_ View Post
      projected 4th rounder.
      I don't think he will go in the fourth round but who knows. Things happen on draft day that we don't expect.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Cowboysrock55 View Post

        I don't think he will go in the fourth round but who knows. Things happen on draft day that we don't expect.
        You think higher ?
        defense wins championships

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by p1_ View Post

          You think higher ?
          I think he will go second/third but I could be way off.

          Comment


          • #6
            18 reps on bench is very sub-par for a big guy. Not that it's necessarily a red flag. But I would think that you're looking for good upper body strength in a lineman.
            Just a thought

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Couchcoach View Post
              18 reps on bench is very sub-par for a big guy. Not that it's necessarily a red flag. But I would think that you're looking for good upper body strength in a lineman.
              Just a thought
              He is extremely long. Those guys tend to struggle on the bench press. Long arms makes it a lot harder.

              Comment

              Working...
              X