(Editor's Note: Heading into the upcoming NFL Draft, held April 30-May 2, 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 Nebraska pass rusher Randy Gregory.)
Name: Randy Gregory
Position: Defensive End/Outside Linebacker
Height/Weight: 6-4 / 235
Honors: A first-team All-Big Ten selection for two straight years. He led the conference in tackles for loss (19) and sacks (10.5) as a sophomore in 2013. He was a second-team and third-team All-American from several media outlets in 2014.
Key stat:Gregory blocked two kicks in one game in 2014 against Minnesota. But his best trait is getting to the quarterback. Gregory finished his career with 17.5 sacks, ninth in school history. But he's the only Husker in the Top 10 in sacks to play less than three seasons.
Where He's Projected:This is a tough one because of Gregory's reported failed drug test at the combine. If Gregory indeed has a substance-abuse problem, there's a good chance he could drop in the first round. Without that, he could've been a solid Top 10 pick. So with Gregory, it's tough to gauge how other teams view his off-the-field issues. Plus, he's a tweener in the 4-3, 3-4 schemes. He's probably a little better suited to play in a 3-4 scheme because of his 235-pound frame.
How He Helps the Cowboys:If he falls to the Cowboys in the first round, there's no doubt his off-the-field issues will be one of the reasons. Coupled with some of the circumstances surrounding the Cowboys' players this season, it would make for more headlines about non-football issues. But from a fit-standpoint, Gregory would likely play defensive end for the Cowboys as a speed-rusher off the edge. Considering Greg Hardy could be facing a suspension, the Cowboys need more depth at the rush position and Gregory's playmaking ability would be an added bonus.
Scout's Take:Gregory has initial quickness off the snap. Explosive player. Thought he needed to show more counter moves off the snap. There are snaps where he gets tied up on blocks. Will go find the ball. Can redirect. Will work down the line. Tries to fight power. Will get washed when he is not in position to take on the blocker. Was able to get his hands down to play the low block. Can get to corner, but would like to see him capture it more often. Arm-over has been best move. Works to keep outside arm free. Has a burst when going to the ball. Can get blockers weight up the field, then rush inside. Plays his assignments. Gets hooked at times. Better job of using his hands to snatch the blocker. Has a hard time throwing the blocker. Would like to see him close hole better. Blockers can widen him out. Has some bend to him. Best trait is his burst. Doesn't have great upper body strength. Physically looks like a 3-4 outside linebacker. Tall, thin and lean but could see him play as a right defensive end for the Cowboys. Works down inside. Has played on both left and right sides. Showed power in Miami game – was able to walk the tackle back. Some snaps as a standup guy and his rushes were better. Worry that I don't see him breaking down tackles on his rushes. There are some snaps where he plays lazy, especially on the goal line. Doesn't always play on his feet. Jumped over cut block stayed on feet and got sack. No question a first round talent, but some off the field questions of failed tests and if you are willing to work around that could provide some juice off the edge. -- Bryan Broaddus
-- Other Possible Picks --
Bryce Petty - QB - Baylor
Carl Davis - DT - Iowa
Eric Kendricks - LB - UCLA
Todd Gurley - RB - Georgia
Owamagbe Odighizuwa - DE - UCLA
Shaq Thompson - LB - Washington
Jalen Collins - CB - LSU
Devin Smith - WR - Ohio State
Melvin Gordon - RB - Wisconsin
Tevin Coleman - RB - Indiana
Byron Jones - CB - UConn
Ty Montgomery - WR - Stanford
Eli Harold - DE/LB - Virginia
T.J. Yeldon - RB - Alabama