Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys: Grading the Ben Gardner Pick

Even though the Dallas Cowboys selected a pass rusher in the second round in Demarcus Lawrence, drafting a lte-round prospect like Ben Gardner was too hard to pass up on. Coming out of the best pass rushing team in the nation, Gardner is an NFL-ready prospect who has a ton of potential. A pectoral injury hurt his chances into blossoming as a stud at Stanford, but Gardner is a smart football player who should have an easy transition to the NFL. After watching tape on him, Gardner shows the potential to develop into a double-digit sack type of guy. If he doesn’t pan out, Gardner, at worst, will be a solid rotational player in Rod Marinelli’s defense.

Judging by how they drafted and what they did in free agency, it looks like the Cowboys will use a rotational defensive line. Instead of using the same four players over and over again, the Cowboys have a ton of players who can come in and produce. This is a smart idea because it keeps everyone healthy and it gets the most out of every player too. Although he has short arms, which is becoming a good indicator of success for college pass rushers, Gardner has a great football-IQ and he is an explosive player with a 39 1/2 vertical jump.


The Cowboys had five seventh-round picks to work with and Gardner was, in my opinion, the best of them. As I said earlier, Gardner’s ceiling is a guy who can develop into a double-digit sack type of guy, but his is floor is a guy who will be a nice rotational player for an NFL defense. Coach Marinelli gets the most out of his players and it will be fun to see what he could with Gardner. Getting a guy who was a defensive end for Stanford this late in the draft never hurts. Gardner will be a fun player to monitor as training camp nears.

Final Grade: A+

Click here to see our grade on the Zack Martin pick.

Click here to see our grade on the Demarcus Lawrence pick.

Click here to see our grade on the Anthony Hitchens pick.

Stay tuned for our grade on seventh-round pick Will Smith.


Tags: Ben Gardner Dallas Cowboys Demarcus Lawrence Rod Marinelli

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