(Editor's Note: Heading into the upcoming NFL Draft, held May 8-10, DallasCowboys.com will take a closer look at the prospects, including some that could be potential fits with the Cowboys. Today's featured player is Furman offensive lineman Dakota Dozier).
Honors:Dozier started 14 games for the Paladins in 2013 and earned first-team All-America and first team All-Southern Conference honors at the FCS level. In 2012 he was a third-team All-American and first team All-SoCon in nine starts.
Key stat:You'd be hard pressed to find a more experienced left tackle in the college ranks. Dozier started a grand total of 44 games for Furman during his career, and he earned some kind of postseason honor after every season. That experience may not be put to much use, however, as Dozier is likely to be moved inside to guard after joining a team. As might be expected, Dozier's smaller stature and shorter wingspan make him a candidate to play guard.
Where He's Projected:Guard is not as highly prized a position as it was last year, with the likes of Jonathan Cooper and Chance Warmack headlining the class in 2013. That said, Dozier is still a bit under the radar as a second or third day prospect. The top guards in this class – guys like Xavier Su'a-Filo, Gabe Jackson and David Yankey – may not go until the second round. Dozier is projected to go behind them, perhaps as late as the fourth round.
How He Helps the Cowboys:It's no secret the Cowboys need bodies on the interior of the offensive line – there isn't a lot of protection behind the starting trio of Ronald Leary, Travis Frederick and Mackenzy Bernadeau. If you've followed along with the pre-draft buildup, you've likely seen names like Zack Martin or Su'a-Filo linked to Dallas as possible upgrades at guard. Dozier could serve the same purpose, though he could be had later on in the draft, allowing the Cowboys to focus on defense with their early selections.
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Scout's Take:Another tackle projected to play guard, though he did line up there in some games. He played guard full time in the East-West all-star game, but mainly saw action at Furman as a left tackle.
He has nice ease of movement and is able to kick to the outside and work hands with feet. Good punch. Does a really nice job of keeping his head out the block and will get the stalemate on the defender. Plays well in space, looks athletic on film.
I would like to see him do a better job of running through his man when he gets in space. Tends to catch and try to control. Can make the cut off or reach block with ease. He really works to finish his blocks and can get outside quickly. He will drive his feet on the down block and can quickly get the edge -- plays with balance and technique. Search for man, engage. Against some of Furman's top competition last year, he had a miss when he got over extended on quick move in the North Dakota State game.
He has to be careful not to over set – you can get away with these types of mistakes in Southern Conference games, but not in the NFL. He can adjust on the move and get to the second level block. Will take defender where he wants to go.
Dozier can adjust in his pass set when rusher tries to spin on him. For that reason, I would say he is a much better finesse player than he is a power one. It was rare to see him on the ground. Plays with knee bend. Nice fit for a team that plays in a zone scheme because of his ability to move and adjust. – Bryan Broaddus