Round Two, Pick #45 overall: Kendall Reyes, DE, UConn
There are plenty of options here and I really considered Ronnell Lewis. However, I think Anthony Spencer is probably going to get a long deal. Spencer has been deficient in pass rush but that is more due to a lack of help from the defensive line. Reyes is a fast rising 3-4 end with great pass rushing ability. At the Combine Reyes posted a 4.7 40-yard dash and 36 bench press reps. He’s good value here and the Cowboys will love to nab him.
Strengths: Explosive off the snap. Extremely strong upper body makes him tough in the trenches. At 6-4, 300 he has good size that makes him very versatile. Speed doesn’t match size, will create monster mismatches. Strong off the snap and possesses effective power moves and is good at shedding blocks. Good work ethic, high motor.
Weaknesses: Raw, will need good coaching to help his development. Hasn’t delivered in terms of pass rush numbers, but ability is there. Must improve technique and hand placement during rush.
Fit: Reyes isn’t the sexy d-line pick everyone wants. He does offer size, speed, strength, and talent to a line who needs help. He might not start right away but he has Pro Bowl potential and is offered some good coaches in Dallas. The Cowboys need an upgrade here and Reyes is a start.
Round Two, Pick #49 overall- Alameda Ta’amu, NT, Washington
(Mock Trade: Received from San Diego Chargers)
The Cowboys have toyed with the idea of moving Jay Ratliff to an end position but have lacked a legitimate NT replacement. Ta’amu is a good selection as far as players available who fit Dallas’ scheme. Ta’amu is 6’2 348 and was really impressive at the end of the season. Once considered a lazy 5th round prospect, his size and strength have made him a solid 2-3 round prospect.
Strengths: Good run stopper. Controls gaps and strong off the snap. Considered very football savvy, understands what offenses are doing. Good conduct on and off field. Strong and nasty. Elite potential.
Weaknesses: Can be distracted, needs to stay football focused to achieve potential. Needs to improve technique. Can be thrown around when he allows pads to rise. Needs help staying in shape.
Fit: The Cowboys are starting to develop a reputation for taking guys with talent and high character. This choice would fit right along with that. Ta’amu can be a force in the league with good coaching and motivation. He’ll be on a line with Jay Ratliff who will push him to be better and teach him to dominate. This is a situation where Ta’amu could land and become a very good player.
See the next pick, on the next page…