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Scout’s Eye: Further Film Study On The LB Class

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FRISCO, Texas – All through the pre-draft process, it feels like there are players you could be doing more work on.

The Cowboys’ activity in undrafted free agency proves exactly why. On Saturday night, they signed seven different free agents with draftable grades on their board – which should provide even more competition on the roster when this group reports to training camp.

To familiarize myself – and you – with the newcomers, I’ll be brushing up on my tape and writing reports on these guys over the next few days.

My reports continue today with two more linebackers

Name: Andrew Dowell

Position: LB

College: Michigan State

Height/Weight: 6’0/225

Scouting Report:

  • Watching the tape, this guy seems to play more like a strong safety than a linebacker.
  • He’s not afraid to fill when it comes to tackling. Will stick his nose in the action.
  • Plays the ball well in coverage. Has a feel for how to drive on it to contest the catch.
  • Like a lot of undersized linebackers, he needs to get off blocks quicker. I’d also like to see him play with his hands better.
  • He seems to have good instincts, and I think it’s because he does well playing with his eyes. He does a nice job of reading the play.
  • Sometimes his size helps him, as he will run under blocks to get to the ball.
  • He can be a bit reckless. Needs to be under better control when tackling.
  • I’d like to see some better quickness when he is redirecting.
  • Again, a size issue – it can be a mismatch when he plays down low. He gets bounced around some.
  • There are snaps where he misses the ball when it comes right at him.

Name: Nate Hall

Position: LB

College: Northwestern

Height/Weight: 6’2/224

Scouting Report:

  • He knows how to use his hands to extend on the blocker, but he still needs to get off the blocker quicker.
  • There is some stiffness in the way that he does move. He plays with a knee brace on his right knee.
  • Not afraid to throw his body around, but I would like to see him play with better body control and balance.
  • He can be hit/miss on how he arrives at the ball. There are snaps where he puts himself in good position, then others where he guesses wrong and finds himself in trouble.
  • Works to be as disruptive as possible.
  • Can be physical when he finishes.
  • He needs to keep things in front of him if he's going to have any chance in pass defense. He doesn’t show the ability to carry a receiver or back up the field.
  • That said, he did have several nice interceptions where he was able to play the receiver underneath.

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