(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 Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro).
College: Texas Tech
Honors:Amaro was a first-team All-American and a first-team All-Big XII pick in 2013. He was a semifinalist for not only the Mackey Award, which is given to college football's best tight end, but also for the Biletnikoff Award, which is given to the game's top receiver.
Key stat:True to Texas Tech's pass-happy identity, Amaro's 2013 stats read more like a wide receiver than a tight end. He caught 106 passes for 1,352 yards -- an FBS record for tight ends.
Where He's Projected:Based on his NFL Combine numbers -- 4.74 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 33-inch vertical -- Amaro doesn't have the same elite athleticism as a potential first-round tight end like Eric Ebron. His credentials as a receiver still make him an intriguing prospect, though, and it's doubtful he'll fall past the second or third round.
How He Helps the Cowboys:It would certainly be interesting to see the fan reaction if the Cowboys were to select Amaro. They took a very similar prospect in Gavin Escobar with the No. 47 overall pick last year. Much like Escobar, Amaro is an accomplished receiver who will need to work on his blocking and likely doesn't project as a traditional tight end. He could be a valuable addition to the passing game, but he'd have his work cut out for him with Jason Witten, Escobar and James Hanna already on the roster. [embedded_ad]
Scout's Take: This is yet another tight end that can line up in the slot or play inline. He can quickly work in the flat after delay blocking and can get up the field.
One of the things that separate him from the top of the position: he doesn't have the smoothness in routes that Eric Ebron does. But he will go across the middle to grab the ball, and is able to adjust behind him. He's good with ball in his hands. Can leap over tacklers. Amaro had a fumble in the Oklahoma game trying to fight for extra yards.
At 6-5, 265 pounds, he can be a load to bring down when he is going up the field with the ball in his hands . Has stop-start quickness, can put pressure on the defense. He's a very good receiver on the move. Will take a shot and hold onto the ball. Stays on his feet to block. In the red zone, he caught ball at high point and was able to keep both feet in bounds. Had a touchdown against Baylor on an out and up in the red zone. On that same play, he was able to turn the safety around.
As a blocker, he can show some pop with his hands. He doesn't have great leaping ability, as evidenced at the Combine. But he can adjust to make the low catch.
He spent a great deal of the time detached from the formation in college. Runs a ton of routes across the middle of the field. Used as a blocker on the edge when they throw quick screens. Push-shove blocker. In my mind, he looks like a player from the past, Dallas Clark, in the way he plays.