Round Four – John Ridgeway – Defensive Tackle – Arkansas
Without knowing what the Dallas Cowboys will do with Brent Urban, John Ridgeway is a solid candidate to replace him should he not be retained. Ridgeway is about 6’5” 327 pounds and is almost a younger version of Urban. The Cowboys need help stopping the run, so even if Urban returns, Ridgeway would provide a lot of help in the middle of the defensive line as part of a rotation or aligned next to Urban in some situations.
Ridgeway gets off the line well, stays low, and can take on double teams that he makes look easier than it actually is. He uses a strong punch and good hand usage to disengage blocks and does really well to locate the ball. He holds his gap really well which allows linebackers to not have to guess and hit gaps. He is a true run-stuffing defensive tackle and could be a nose tackle as much as a 1-tech.
The downside to Ridgeway is he is not known as a guy who gets a lot of interior pressure. While he is able to move guys backward to help with pressure, he is not going to rack up a lot of sacks.
Teams who get him to move laterally a lot could decrease his effectiveness, but his strength is going to help overcome some of this. He has a role early and would help the Cowboys against the run immediately.