IRVING, Texas – With the rookie minicamp over and the OTA practices to begin next week, let's look at three questions that need answers.
What should we read into the signing of Ryan Williams for the running back position?
I have to say that I was surprised by the move that the front office did with adding Williams to the mix. But this has been consistent with what they have done in taking a look at players that do not have many years of service in the league but had quality grades on their draft board. They did it with Amobi Okoye and Brandon Weeden, so Williams fits in that same pattern. I have never faulted a scouting department for wanting to take a look at a player that might not have made it with another team. It's a low risk, high reward type of an opportunity. What will be interesting is if Williams out plays Joseph Randle for that third spot on the roster and the dynamic that would bring. With the direction of the signing, it tells me that if that in fact happens, this front office is more than willing to move on from Randle if that is the case.
Who do you like better at SAM linebacker, DeVonte Holloman or Kyle Wilber?
That is a great question because both are young guys that have seemed to have found a spot that they both could excel at. I was disappointed when Holloman missed seven games with a neck injury that he suffered in practice because he was well on his way to being that core special teamer and nickel linebacker that the staff could count on for quality snaps. Just to give you an example of potentially what was there, just go back and see how well he [embedded_ad] filled in for Sean Lee at the MIKE in those final two games of the season at Washington, then at home against Philadelphia. Wilber was really a forgotten man until injuries to the linebackers forced him to have to make the switch from defensive end to outside linebacker. Wilber would go on and start seven games that season at SAM and there was only one game where he didn't have five or more tackles which was quite impressive. If I had to give the nod to who might walk away with this job once we leave Oxnard in August, I feel that it will be a very close competition but I am leaning toward DeVonte Holloman to be that guy. The way that he plays the point of attack with power and his knack for handling coverage assignments does it for me.
With the current roster, what position will be the hardest for a rookie to crack?
I earlier wrote about the running backs and how I feel like that might shake out but we should also look at wide receiver as well. I believe that the front office could go into the season with six receivers but if they carry say an extra quarterback, offensive or defensive linemen-that might be hard. Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Dwayne Harris and Cole Beasley would be the four that I have on the team as we open camp with Devin Street as the lone draft pick that will most likely be in the mix. That leaves others like Tim Benford, Chris Boyd, LaRon Byrd, Jamar Newsome and L'Damian Washington hunting either that fifth or sixth spot. The offensive coaches have thrown a lot already at Street to see if he can handle it and to this point, he has. Byrd has game experience from Arizona, plus he has played special teams, so he has value. What would be interesting is if the coaches like one or two of these receivers value wise more than Beasley? I continue to believe that Derek Dooley will keep the pressure on Street to develop quickly.