(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 UTEP guard Will Hernandez.)
- Name: Will Hernandez
- Position: Guard
- Height/Weight:6-3 / 340
- Honors:The first UTEP student-athlete, in any sport, to receive back-to-back All-American honors. Hernandez was a second-team All-American in both 2016 and 2017.
- Key Stat:Never a backup, Hernandez started in all 49 games at the left guard position. In that span, UTEP had 27 games with no more than one sack and 12 different times without allowing a single sack.
Where He's Projected:
He'll either be the second or third guard off the board, which has him at the end of the first round or top of the second. Talent-wise, he could easily be a first-round pick. Guards don't always go that high and UTEP players typically don't as well. So there might be some skepticism of taking Hernandez that high. But the teams that truly do the homework and study the tape, won't have any concerns taking him that high.
How He Helps The Cowboys:
Not that the Cowboys didn't line up five first-round talents on the line last year, but Hernandez would likely give them an even better starting left guard, although Jonathan Cooper played well last season. Hernandez, if anything, makes them younger across the line, and probably stronger.
- Massive, powerful blocker.
- Light on his feet and nasty finisher.
- Is one of those guys that is difficult to move.
- When he sits down on you, you're done.
- Surprising how well he moves for such a large man.
- Doesn't labor at all in his movements.
- Can use him in space on the edge or on the second level. Is capable of finding his target and finishing his man.
- Where rushers did occasionally get him was on the edge with a quick move.
- During the Senior Bowl practices had a couple issues with that but I would call it a huge concern.
- Depending on how people rank him, could be one of the top three guards in this draft.