Sunday was a good day for Cowboys fans to watch the combine. Defensive line and possibly linebacker will be positions of need in the draft, depending on the results of free agency. Various mock drafts and analysts have linked some names with the Cowboys, let’s check in on some.
Vita Vea had an impressive start with a good bench press (Saturday) and a good 40-time today, but a tweaked hamstring kept him out of the rest of the drills.
Vea ranked second among defensive linemen in the bench press event Saturday with 41 reps at 225 pounds. He then turned in a 40-yard dash of 5.10 seconds, outstanding for a player of his size (6-foot-4, 347 pounds). Entering the combine, he was rated the No. 9 player in the draft by NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah.
Another defensive tackle that has been discussed in regards to Dallas’ 19th pick is Da’Ron Payne, who showed his athleticism. Maybe he will show enough “3-tech” skills that Stephen Jones will consider him in the first.
Mike Mayock on Payne:
Da’Ron Payne, Alabama: After a dominant performance in the College Football Playoff, Mayock listed Payne as the No. 2 interior lineman in the 2018 NFL Draft. Mayock seemed just as impressed with his 40 run. “Wow, wow, wow, wow — 4.91 at 311 pounds. And he’s showing people he can affect the quarterback.”
Affect the QB? That sounds like 3-tech talk in a 1-tech body.
Another defensive tackle.
Taven Bryan, Florida: Mayock said the buzz surrounding Bryan is being pegged as a defensive tackle and has the movement skills of All-Pro honorees Fletcher Cox and J.J. Watt. A 5.08 40 time was more good than great, prompting Mayock to liken him to Gerald McCoy. Then Bryan ran a 4.98. “There you go,” Mayock said. “That’s what I was looking for.”
Of course, the name most linked with Dallas in mock drafts was Michigan’s Maurice Hurst. He was unable to participate after being diagnosed with a heart condition. We’ll have to see how that ends up affecting his stock.
There has also been some talk about adding another edge rusher, even though they picked up Taco Charlton last year. One name that keeps popping up is Marcus Davenport.
UTSA’s Marcus Davenport had to have gotten teams’ attention when he ran a 4.59 official. He added a 33.5 vertical. He’s almost 6’6 and weighs 264 pounds, which makes it even more remarkable.
Marcus Davenport, UTSA: You might not have heard of him. But he was a big topic of conversation at the combine, and you’ll hear of him again on Day 1 of the draft. Mayock’s second-ranked edge rusher ran a 4.58 40. “I can’t tell you how impressive that is. That puts him in-between [Jadeveon] Clowney (4.53) and [Ezekiel] Ansah (4.63). He’s more raw than Clowney but this kid’s special. … You talk about Ansah as a freak. You’ve got to put Davenport, physically, in the same category.”
Another name is Harold Landry.