What are the Cowboys getting with Mike Weber and Jalen Jelks?
A backup running back and a defensive end/linebacker.
Much of the draft process, Stephen Jones had mentioned he wanted a running back who could handle the load all the time. I suppose going back to Ezekiel Elliott‘s old stomping grounds to find his backup would generally yield a running back with Ezekiel Elliott’s game.
Weber is an average athlete but his production is decent. In his sophomore season, he rushed for over 1000 yards and 9 touchdowns. In his senior season, he rushed for over 900 yards and 5 touchdowns. These stats coming from Sports Reference.
Weber isn’t going to wow you, but he does everything you need a running back to do in the NFL. In the 7th round, the Cowboys found great value on a running back who isn’t expected to log many snaps while in Dallas.
Jalen Jelks is an interesting pick. Jelks should’ve gone higher in the draft but fell to the Cowboys in the middle of the seventh round. Jelks is a pass rusher but possess lean frame. If he does play defensive end in the 4-3 scheme, he would need to put on some mass. He isn’t fast enough to be a speed rusher so he’ll need to use his power to get by offensive tackles. I suppose it would help to be strong when beating a tackle with power?
However, with gaining some mass the hope is he doesn’t lose his quickness or agility. When weighing at 256 pounds at the combine, he didn’t test particularly well. I’d assume his playing weight his around 247 pounds which is fine for a pass rusher. (Randy Gregory only weighs 240 pounds for those of you saying 240 pounds isn’t enough to play defensive end)
In fact, Gregory and Jelks have similar builds. However, coming out of college Gregory was: faster, more agile, more technically sound, and more creative. Jelks will need some development in order to hang around a crowded edge room but I think he possesses more upside than Joe Jackson.
Jelks landing in the seventh was really unprecedented and I’m quite happy the Cowboys grabbed him because he has the tools to become a consistent backup to Lawrence or Quinn in pass rushing situations.
Who else was at play?:
At this point I’d imagine the Cowboys were looking for depth. With Ezekiel Elliott being the only running back locked into a role this season, the Cowboys needed another running back with Tony Pollard. There were some available but I’d imagine they were fine with Weber in the pre-draft process to pull the trigger on him come the seventh round.
In regards to Jelks, I’m not sure there was a player rated above him. I was surprised he fell this far and the Cowboys probably felt the same way. There is always edge talent available that late in the draft but none “as polished” as Jelks.
In all, this draft process was one to remember as the Cowboys made some solid picks without the first round pick. However, I’d like to think the Cowboys will be just fine with Amari Cooper. This will be my last draft article this off-season, I hope you enjoyed reading my content as much as I enjoyed writing.