If we are to believe the talk surrounding the Dallas Cowboys about wide receiver, they feel good about Michael Gallup returning to pre-injury form (they restructured him today) and believe Jalen Tolbert will take a step forward after what amounted to a red shirt rookie year.
While many believe the team still needs to do more at wide receiver than relying on a guy who was physically hampered and a guy who couldn’t see the field, odds are the Dallas Cowboys could wait until the middle rounds to add to the corps. Nathaniel Dell, is seen as a guy who could go anywhere from the second to the fourth (mostly because of his size), so he fits the bill.
Regardless of how people view Dell, the Cowboys could use the playmaking of Dell. While Dell was expected to run faster than he did at the combine, his change of direction and time at Houston have people wondering what he will be at the next level. While there are some concerns, creative usage of Dell could help him become a playmaker at the next level, but it won’t be easy early on.
The Dallas Cowboys could use a playmaker like Nathaniel “Tank” Dell, but concerns over size may limit what he can be at the next level.
When watching Dell the first thing you notice is his short area quickness. Due to his lower center of gravity and smaller frame, Dell can stop on a dime and change directions quickly. When running routes he snaps in and out of breaks which helps him create separation.
While he doesn’t have the fastest straight-line speed, his acceleration allows him to make a move and pick up yards quickly. He can be a weapon at wide receiver or running back, which will help him find a home at the next level.
The big issue with Dell is his size. Standing at just 5’8″ and weighing in at 165 pounds, Dell will probably be relegated to the slot for most of his snaps in the NFL.
Against bigger corners, Dell can get knocked off route easily which means whatever teams grabs him will have to help him create separation off the line. His testing at the combine did not help him with a 4.49, 40 time and a short 10′ 1″ broad jump, thus lowering his stock where he was thought to go in the top 100. He did not do any other agility drills, so unless he blows the doors off at his pro day, Dell may find himself drafted later than he wanted.
Dell fits, but where he fits will remain to be seen. There is no doubt that with the ball in his hands he can do some electric things, but how will his size work against him at the next level is going to be the big question teams will have.
If the Dallas Cowboys want to add Dell, they could look to use him much like they intended to use Turpin out of the slot and backfield. They may pass, due to having Turpin on the roster, but Dell shouldn’t be discounted as an option, especially if he falls below the fourth round.