Dallas Cowboys 2014 Scouting Combine Stock Report
The Dallas Cowboys are still scouting prospects at the NFL combine, judging how their perceived stock might influence where the 'Boys can draft players they covet. The combine is interesting in that teams shouldn't necessarily root for players on whom they're bullish to "light it up."
No matter what NFL teams say, they care about the combine and measurables. When players dominate at the combine, it shoots them up boards. For that reason, it's often difficult to find value on players who are workout warriors.
If the Cowboys were really high on a player like Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans, for example, it's a bad thing that he had a really good combine showing. There's now little chance that Evans drops to Dallas in the first round, so despite the combine "proving" Evans' athleticism, it theoretically hurt the Cowboys if he is one of their targets.
With that said, let's take a look at some players whose stock is either up or down following the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine.
Stock Up: Boise State OT Charles Leno
Offensive tackle is an underrated offensive need for Dallas. As well as right tackle Doug Free played early in the 2013 season, he was just as poor down the stretch. Pro Football Focus (subscription required) tracked him as allowing four pressures in the first five games, followed by 30 in the final 11 contests.
The Cowboys might address the position in the middle rounds, in which case Boise State's Charles Leno could be an option. With 34.38-inch arms, Leno has the requisite length to excel at the next level.
If there were concerns over Leno's quickness, those should be gone; Leno's 4.40 short shuttle time was the second best among all linemen.
Stock Down: Notre Dame OT Zack Martin
Would the Cowboys consider an offensive tackle in the first round? Probably not if they stay put, but their options should increase if they trade down from No. 16. If they move to the back of the first round and grab an additional second-round pick, it makes it a whole lot easier to implement a true "best player available" draft strategy.
Notre Dame offensive tackle Zack Martin is probably going to get selected in that late-first range, but his stock could fall due to his short 32.88-inch arms. Only nine offensive linemen at the combine measured arms shorter than Martin's.
Stock Up: Mississippi WR Donte Moncrief
Mississippi wide receiver Donte Moncrief is a really interesting prospect, because in terms of measurables, he has everything you want. At 6'2", 221 pounds, Moncrief ran 4.40 in the 40-yard dash, jumped 39.5 inches vertically and recorded a ridiculous 11'0" broad jump. He ranked in the top three among receivers in all three categories, including first in the broad jump.
Moncrief is an explosive player, but the problem is that he wasn't very productive in college. In three seasons, he never had 1,000 yards in a single campaign.
Further, due to his speed, Moncrief is going to shoot up boards. The Ole Miss prospect would be worth the risk in the third round or later, but if he rises up boards, the cost could be too great in a class filled with talented wide receivers.
Stock Down: Penn State WR Allen Robinson
Penn State wide receiver Allen Robinson is the perfect example of how perceived stock doesn't necessarily resemble actual value; at 6'2", 220 pounds, you could argue that Robinson's stock improved at the combine despite the lackluster 4.60 time in the 40-yard dash.
Robinson's size is the main reason to not be overly concerned with his 40-yard dash but the other is that he was outstanding in the broad jump, jumping 10'7". Only two receivers were able to beat out Robinson. Since the broad jump is so strongly correlated with straight-line speed, it suggests Robinson is much more explosive than his 40 time shows.
If Robinson falls into the second round because teams deem him "too slow" to stretch the field, he's going to be a big-time value.
Stock Up: Towson RB Terrance West
The Cowboys should be in the market for a mid/late-round running back. DeMarco Murray will be a free agent after the 2014 season, and although he played well in 2013, it would be a mistake to give him another deal. Further, with 4.63 speed at 204 pounds, second-year back Joseph Randle isn't the answer.
Thus, the Cowboys' 2015 starting running back might not even be on the roster. Towson's Terrance West showed good speed (4.54) considering his size (225 pounds). Also, small-school backs have offered value in the past, outperforming their BCS counterparts after you account for draft round.
If the Cowboys are going to take a flier on a late-round running back, a small-school back with a quality weight/speed combination is a good choice.
Stock Down: Arizona RB Ka'Deem Carey
Arizona running back Ka'Deem Carey was highly productive at Arizona, rushing for 4,239 yards and 48 touchdowns in three seasons while also adding 77 receptions. We always need to be careful when analyzing running back stats, however, since their production is so dependent on the play of their offensive lines.
When it comes to finding value on running backs, we want size and speed. Well, Carey had one of the worst 40 times in the draft at 4.70. That basically makes him undraftable at any weight, but the fact that he's only 207 pounds makes it even worse.
Stock Up: Pitt DT Aaron Donald
All Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald did was run a 4.68 40-yard dash at 285 pounds. How impressive is that? It was the fifth-fastest time for any defensive lineman, including defensive ends, and Donald is a big man who plays inside.
Donald also posted 35 reps on the bench press and ran 7.11 in the three-cone drill. The latter measurable was the fourth best among all linemen.
We knew that Donald's game was based primarily on quickness, but these numbers are eye-popping. This could even be viewed as a negative for Dallas since Donald figured to be one of their main targets. There's a very real chance that he won't be available when the 16th overall pick comes around.
Stock Down: Missouri DE Michael Sam
Prior to his combine, it seemed like Missouri defensive end Michael Sam might offer value. He stands only 6'2" but has long 33.38-inch arms. Sam was probably going to drop a little bit because of his height when he shouldn't have.
Now, Sam's primary issue is that he showed he lacks explosiveness. At just 261 pounds, Sam ran a 4.91 in the 40-yard dash, jumped just 25.5 inches vertically and recorded only 17 reps on the bench press. Those are really subpar numbers for someone his size.
Sam initially appeared to be a value candidate, but now, there's a legitimate possibility that he goes undrafted. That situation would draw plenty of attention, of course, but it could truly be due to Sam's lackluster combine showing.
All stats via Sports-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.
All combine stats and measurables via NFL.com unless otherwise noted.