* (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 Oregon State Sean Mannion.) *
Name: Sean Mannion
College: Oregon State
Height/Weight: 6-5 / 229
Honors: The only three-time captain in OSU history, Mannion started four years at Oregon State and twice earned All-Pac 12 honors. Mannion won the 2014 Manning Passing Academy Air-It-Out Challenge in July 2014.
Key stat:Mannion set the Pac-12 record for career passing yards, finishing his career with 13,600 yards – eighth-most in NCAA Division I history. Mannion's school records including 83 passing touchdowns.
Where He's Projected:Because the quarterback class drops off considerably after Winston and Mariota, it's hard to project the second and third tiers of quarterbacks. Several teams could use a good, young quarterback so evaluations of such players could be all over the map. Mannion is likely to go on the third day, maybe as high as the fourth round. But then again, after Petty and Hundley, he could be the fifth-best quarterback in the draft and considering how many teams could use a developmental quarterback, Mannion might sneak into Friday's third round.
How He Helps the Cowboys:If the Cowboys are going to take a quarterback in the early-to-mid rounds, he should be able to unseat Brandon Weeden either this year or next. Mannion has ideal height with good pocket awareness. He's a smart player with 43 career starts, meaning he should be able to at least be the No. 3 quarterback right away, and settle into the backup spot before too long. He'd be an upgrade over Dustin Vaughan and should battle with Weeden.
Scout's Take:Is one of the few quarterbacks that actually plays under center the majority of his snaps. When he stands in the pocket he looks like Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens with his height. Really winds up to throw the ball. Big time over the top throwing motion. Would say that he has adequate to good arm power. Is not afraid to work the ball in some tight windows but has to be careful when he does this because there were snaps where he was late on the read and it resulted in a negative play. Thought he threw the ball well when it came to the slants. Didn't matter whether it was the quick one or deeper down the field. Did a nice job of giving his receiver a chance to make a play. Showed the ability to make a throw off play action on the slant in the red zone. Shows the toughness to hang in there and make a throw with a man in his face. Beat an all-out blitz for a touchdown in the Washington State game down the middle of the field. Appeared to have more confidence throwing the ball down the field when he Brandin Cooks as an option. Really missed his play making ability. His biggest flaw would be his lack of mobility and without that mobility it makes him look mechanical. There are snaps where he needs to speed up how he plays and get rid of the ball instead of holding it – then trying to make a throw. When he becomes hesitant is when he gets in trouble. Had a bad interception under pressure against California when he should have eaten ball. Was a four year starter at Oregon State and comes from a football family where his dad is a head coach. Is always going to prepare and work hard to become better at his craft. Never going to have to worry about him in that regard. Will go in the 3rd day of the draft in the 5th or 6th round.
-- 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
Randy Gregory - DE - Nebraska
Chaz Green - OT - Florida
P.J. Williams - CB - Florida State
Damarious Randall - S - Arizona State
Duke Johnson - RB - Florida State