The last pick is all about potential. It’s a Hail Mary of sorts – in much the same way the Cowboys picked Noah Brown last season. Matt Elam is a backup defensive tackle playing for Kentucky. He’s had a disappointing career that all-too-often saw him regress rather than progress.
So why draft him?
Because as we stated earlier, you can’t teach size. Matt Elam stands 6’7” 360lbs. He’s a road block. The problem is he plays uninspired and lazy. Two things Rod Marinelli will not tolerate. It’s extremely possible even Rod Marinelli couldn’t break through and get this kid playing hard. But it’s also possible Rod could light a fire under him and make him the impact player everyone thought he could be.
The experiment will only cost a seventh round pick and since seventh round picks are highly unlikely to make an NFL roster anyway, I’m good with the gamble.
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When it comes down to it, players like Matt Elam are why Rod Marinelli is with the Cowboys anyway. It’s not for Rod’s ground-breaking scheme or creative defensive looks, after all. If Elam could catch on as depth, he could be a beast on special teams blocking field goals alongside the 6’7” David Irving.