The Dallas Cowboys and the Diamonds in the Rough


Jan 23, 2015; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback

Tony Romo

at Team Irvin practice at Scottsdale Community College in advance of the 2015 Pro Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have been really good at finding diamonds in the rough over the last few drafts. Take Tony Romo for example, undrafted to one of the best in the league. What is amazing about it is the ability to not only find role players, but starters in later rounds and undrafted guys who make an impact; Lance Dunbar, Patrick Crayton, and Cole Beasley are some examples. There are quite a few guys in this year’s draft that could be exactly what the Cowboys are looking for. Let’s have a look at some late round or undrafted guys the Cowboys could target.


Jerry Locklove – Prairie View A&M – He has the size at 6’4” 248lbs, and is more of the typical pro style QB in that he doesn’t take off and run unless he has to, but moves around the pocket really well, kind of like Romo. He has really good accuracy and actually turned some heads at the combine while everyone was staring at Winston and Mariota, Locklove showed he was a high quality sleeper pick. Where he played is a knock on him, but he did throw a 2:1 ratio of TD to INT. The flaws he would need to fix is he tends to stare down receivers a little too much and has a small case of happy feet. Both are coachable and if they are fixed he could be a great find as an undrafted FA.

Connor Halliday – Washington St. – Connor has dropped for a few reasons. One is that he broke his ankle and is on recovery. The other is he takes a lot of risks and throws some interceptions. This is teachable and when you watch him some of it is his desire to make a play and some of it is timing issues. He played mostly out of the shotgun and will need to work on taking snaps from center and the timing of those routes. He has the arm strength and good accuracy when he isn’t pressing and with some footwork mechanics he should be mechanically sound.


Corey Grant – Auburn – Let me start by throwing this number out, 4.28. At his pro day Grant ran a 4.28 40. That is some serious speed and has some great hands in the passing game. So why would someone like this be such a late round pick? Well, he was the backup in Auburn and is 5’9” 201 lbs. He has one flaw which is he relies on his speed to get to the outside instead of running between his tackles as often as many would like. With a line like the Cowboys he could flourish.

Raheem Mostert – Purdue – Now this kid is a gem of a sleeper. He was considered the fastest player in college football as he won a gold medal in the Big Ten track finals in the 60 and 200. He can flat out fly. He is a RB who is a huge return specialist and enjoys doing it. He is also unique in one other way, which is why he is ranked so low, at 5’10” 195lbs he is actually a converted WR who became a RB in the last year or 2. Which means he could be used well in the passing game, running game, and return game.


Jake Kumerow – Wiconsin Whitewater – First, yes he is a DIV III WR. However, he was a walk-on at Illinois and made the team before redshirting. He has 4.5 speed and comes from a football pedigree His father played for the Dolphins (was a first round pick in 1987), his uncle played for the Dolphins (first round pick in 1988), and you might know his cousin, a one Joey Bosa who is all-world right now at Ohio St. He has amazing route running and really good feet. He does need to figure out more on how to get around press coverage, but as a sleeper goes this could be one of the deepest and yet, might have the biggest upside.

DeAndre Smelter – Georgia Tech – One of the hardest thing to evaluate about Smelter is his route tree. He played in the triple option at G. Tech which makes what he was asked to do very minimal and hard to read. He has the size, hands, and feet, but will need to be evaluated on the route tree and his ability to get separation coming off of an ACL tear. He is a basketball player who was also a football player and his hands might be one of the best around. He will be late to undrafted but has the tools if he can come back form the injury.

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DEs –

Mike Reilly – William & Mary – I can’t figure him out to be honest. He will get swallowed up in plays, plays high, and can be taken off course. But every time I watched him he seems to have a nose for the ball and absolutely never gives up on a play even if he has been knocked to the ground. He will keep moving toward the QB and if he can take the corner he will have the corner with a burst of speed and gets low to the ground. He is rated low, but his tape shows a guy who can contribute on a rotation quickly.

Anthony Chickillo – Miami – While Chickillo is more of a tweener I think watching him, he might be a really good DE if he could add some size to his lower body. He has great hand technique and has a great ability as a run defender. He is a little under-developed as a pass rusher and will need some work in that area to be a force, but could step in right away as a rotational guy against the run.


JaCorey Shepherd – Kansas – He is the perfect slot guy. He has a tendency at times to get beat deep, but his problem is fixable, he relies on his amazing vision and athleticism. He deflected over 30 passes his senior year which means he times his jumps, hands, and reads well. If he could get used to playing and not relying on that amazing ability he has he could be a quality corner for years to come.

Tye Smith – Towson – If he could add some size to his wirey frame he has all the tools you look for in a CB. He has great range, vision, speed, and hands. He is too small at this point, but he has shown the ability to play. West Virginia had to throw a ton of hooks to keep his ability to get to the ball out of the game and use his size as a weakness. He will throw his body at the ball carrier fairly well, but again his size is the issue. Could be a steal if someone is willing to help him.

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Antoine Everett – G/T – McNeese St. – He projects as more of a G, but has the power to play as a T. He could be a decent swing tackle and backup at G. While he can get a little off on his angles and off balance at times, all of these things are fairly fixable to make him a high quality backup or potential starter.

Sam Carter – S – TCU – He was asked to be a box safety at times which isn’t really his style of play. He tends to look more like a center fielder in a zone style who can uses his ability to find the ball. He doesn’t get many penalties against him and is a natural leader. I would call him the poor man’s Kurtis Drummond, same skill set just can be had later in the rounds.

Derrick Lott – DT – Tenn-Chatt – Recognize the school? Yup Terrell Owens alma mater. What is interesting about Lott is he was a transfer from Georgia and while at Tenn-Chatt was so a man among boys it almost seemed unfair. He has a great brain for the game, drive, and skill-set. He is a sleeper because of the school he went to and had a really bad background that he has fixed up. If he can clean up some of his pass rush techniques that he didn’t need or learn in a small school this might be a steal we look at years from now as one of the best in franchise history.

Jordan Hicks – OLB – Texas – Hicks could go as early as the 5th round and as late as the 7th. People love his upside and he has the ability to become a starter. He will most likely be a coach later in life as his intelligence on football might be one of the best in the draft. He will need to add some serious size, but if he can do that and learn to play outside of the script a little he could be a steal, no matter where he is picked.

Terrance Plummer – ILB – UCF – Everytime I watched a game with UCF (yes I am that guy who seeks out games on the internet to review draft picks, don’t say it…) he was in the play and around the ball. It didn’t matter if it was a pass into the end zone on short or mid yardage, or a run play Plummer was a force to reckon with. He will need to add some size and some technique, but this kid looks to be the real deal and could be had later in the draft. Not many people are talking about him, but I think more should.

So there are some diamonds in the rough. Let me know what you think of them and who you would like to see as a late round or undrafted FA.