(Editor's Note: While the start of the 2018 NFL Draft isn't until April 26, it's never too early to profile some of the key participants. The staff of DallasCowboys.com intends to preview the landscape of the draft's top prospect, with an emphasis on possible Cowboys draft picks – from the first round to the last. Today's featured player is Oklahoma's Mark Andrews.)
- Name: Mark Andrews
- Position: Tight End
- Height/Weight:6-5 / 256
- Honors:Andrews made first-team All-Big 12 in each of his final three years at Oklahoma, and in 2017 he added first-team All-American honors and the Mackey Award (nation's best tight end) to his list of accolades.
- Key Stat:Andrews averaged 15.8 yards per catch in 40 games at Oklahoma, proof of his ability as a downfield pass-catching threat.
Where He's Projected:
Most draft observers view Andrews as a Day 2 selection, though some believe he could sneak into the late first round because he fits the NFL's new tight end prototype as a mismatch nightmare receiver. Andrews reportedly was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was nine years old and has been able to manage the disease throughout his football career.
How He Helps The Cowboys:
The Cowboys are committed to making the offense "Dak Friendly" – so what about adding another pass-catching tight end prospect to develop behind seemingly ageless Pro Bowler Jason Witten? Andrews was the go-to guy for top quarterback prospect Baker Mayfield, and nearly 20 percent of his 112 career catches at OU went for touchdowns, according to the Sooners' official web site. The question is whether Andrews can develop into a complete tight end. His blocking isn't a strength, and the Cowboys ask a lot from their tight ends in a run-first system.
- Physically impressive guy on tape. Will occasionally line up as an inline player. Plays with some pop.
- Knows how to position himself in order to keep his man from the ball. Works hard to extend and control. Knows when to release his hands from the outside of the defender.
- Can stay with his block on the edge. Not bad in space. Stays in balance.
- Does a good job with his escape. He's not the quickness guy up the field. Takes him some time to get in and out of his routes.
- Soft hands, catches the ball easily. Knows how to find space in the red zone. Would not call him the most athletic tight end but causes problems due to his size.