The Cowboys have had recent success with undrafted rookies, with more than a handful winding up on the roster in each of the last two years.
Football analyst Bryan Broaddus has scouted more than 200 players who were eligible for the draft, so here’s his breakdown on some of the top players the Cowboys will sign in the next few days.
Name: Taylor Reed
College: Southern Methodist
After drafting outside linebacker
Top stat: He notched 101 stops in 2011 and finished just four shy of that in 2012 with 97. More impressive than that was his ability to get takedowns behind the line of scrimmage with a combined 24 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks in his junior and senior seasons.
Strengths: Gets to the ball quickly. … Is a physical, wrap-up tackler in space. … Had over 33 tackles for loss in his career. … Was able to get Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel on the ground. … Is aware for crossing routes in the passing game. … Will disrupt routes inside in zone coverage. … Very active. … Plays with balance. … Can plant and redirect. … Able to carry the tight end up the field out of the slot and knock the ball away in one-on-one coverage. … Plays with some quickness. … Works down the line. … Keeps himself free from blockers. … Has some pop at the point. … Will drive when he sees it. … Will work around blocks. … Effort is outstanding. … Always around the ball.
Weakness: Doesn’t have great height or length. … Not the most effective blitzer. … Used on the cross blitz and struggled to get off the block when he got engaged. … Gets to the ball well, but is not the smoothest moving athlete. … Watched his Pro Day workout and there is some stiffness when he has to turn and run. … Takes him some time to get going.