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Ball’s Nose For The End Zone Is Just What The Cowboys Need

Posted Apr 23, 2013

Name: Montee Ball

Position: Running Back

College: Wisconsin

Height/Weight: 5-10/214

Age: 22 (born Dec. 5, 1990)

Honors: Wisconsin has a history of churning out big-yardage backs, but Ball was something special even with that pedigree. He was named a first-team All-American by five publications and a second-teamer by another two. He was also a consensus first-team Big-Ten selection as the league’s top back. He won the Big Ten Championship Game MVP with 202 yards and three touchdowns in Wisconsin’s 70-31 pasting of Nebraska.

Key Stat: In the history of major college football, nobody did a better job of reaching the end zone than Ball. His 83 career rushing touchdowns are the most by any player at the FBS level. He rushed for 22 as a senior, 33 as a junior, 18 as a sophomore and four as a freshman. Ball took over the starting job with four games left in his sophomore season and proceeded to start 32 straight games – a testament to his durability.

Where He’s Headed: Despite his college performances, Ball doesn’t quite possess the measurables that make NFL scouts drool. His 40-yard dash clocked out at just 4.66 seconds, and he managed just 15 reps on the bench press. His game film could bump him into the second round but a third or fourth round selection seems more realistic.

How He Helps the Cowboys: Consider Ball just another on the list of sturdy running backs who could help Dallas’ ground game. The Cowboys need someone who is dependable enough to take reps behind DeMarco Murray and potentially see an increased role if the starter gets hurt. They also need someone who can get into the end zone. Ball should be able to help on both of those fronts.

Scout’s Take: Plays with quickness. … Will drive his legs on contact. … Has some lower body thickness. … Can turn the corner. … Works inside then out. … Will bounce off tackles. … Contact runner. … Is physical with the ball in his hands. … Likes to attack the hole. … Can plant, then make the cut. … Shows some balance when he gets bounced around. … Will spin to gain extra yards. … Zone, stretch type of runner. … Gets through the hole. … Will lower his shoulder to take on tacklers. … Has a nose for the goal line. … Will work through the trash. … Thought his hands were consistent. … Catches screens and underneath routes. … Did have a drop in the Nebraska game inside when he didn’t adjust to the ball well. … Will step up as a blocker. … Used to chip on certain schemes. … Will stay square and make contact but have seen him go low and try to cut. … Has the awareness to help in protection. … Of the running backs that I studied, he was the best of the group when it came to blocking. … Has some completeness to his game. … Plays like one of those backs that you can hand him the ball a bunch and he is going to be okay. – Bryan Broaddus

>>View photos of the draft's top RB's and their projected rounds.

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