Dallas Cowboys in Round 5
Landon Young, Kentucky
The former five-star recruit has had a long career in Lexington, Kentucky. He’s started every season and has played over 50 games, 26 of which he’s played after a meniscus injury sidelined him for the 2018 college season. At 6-foot-7, 321 pounds Young is clearly a very big person. That girth is evident in his play strength, but it does leave him in weird situations as a pass protector.
Young displays adequate athletic ability with marginal agility and adequate lateral quickness and change of direction. His upper and lower body are split pretty evenly but he just doesn’t display the explosiveness that others near his build might have. (Pan to D’Ante Smith or Alex Leatherwood)
Young displays good competitive toughness, that combined with his play strength allows him to win at the point of attack in the run game. On gap runs, he is good at driving defenders backward and steering them away from the ball carrier. He isn’t the greatest mover, but he does display solid pad height to out leverage defenders in the run game.
In pass protection, his marginal agility prevents him from consistently maintaining a half-man relationship with his defender. When he feels he’s getting out leverage, he’ll lean in at the waist in an attempt to engage at the point of attack. His hand placement is solid but inconsistent punch timing prevents him from latching onto the defender and using his good grip strength to stymy the pass rush.
It is very possible that Young finds himself play guard at some point in his NFL career because his play strength and anchor are likely good enough to deal with interior pass rushers. With his wrestling background, he likely could be a natural fit to out leverage bigger interior defensive linemen as opposed to quicker and more explosive edge rushers.
This could weirdly work out for the Cowboys if they were to draft the Wildcat. The Cowboys still incorporate a heavy gap-running offense and with Connor Williams potentially leaving next free agency, Young could be the backup guard the team needs next to likely impending starter Connor McGovern.
It’s just a thought…