Round 4, Pick 116
Breeland Speaks, DT, Mississippi
Just like every pick made so far, Speaks is a player the Dallas Cowboys have been scouting heavily in this pre-draft process. He flashed this past season averaging a sack-per-game in his last six contests.
As one of the most physically gifted interior defensive linemen in this draft, Speaks projects best as a 3-technique defensive tackle in Rod Marinelli’s scheme. He’s quick through the gap and can be a disruptive force in the backfield.
At 6’3” 285lbs, Speaks has the size and athleticism to play in the NFL on a high level. His handwork looks natural and it appears with a little coaching it could develop into a real asset for him. Speaks has true position flex and could be used in a variety of ways if called upon.
It’s important to point out, Lance Zierlein spoke of some emotional baggage that comes with adding Breeland Speaks to your team. He has trouble keeping his emotions in check and was even ejected from two games in college. It’s safe to say he needs time to develop (in a couple ways) in order to reach his vast potential.
On the Dallas Cowboys, Speaks would be given a full season to learn behind under tackles David Irving and Maliek Collins (Yes, I still consider Collins a natural 3-tech who will play both DT spots in 2018). With Irving a free agent in 2019, Speaks could join the new under tackle rotation making the departure less painful.