INDIANAPOLIS –As the NFL scouting combine is now underway, here are 10 players that have caught my eye either on tape or at the Senior Bowl. So I'll be keeping tabs on them, this week while we're here in Indy.
T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh:
Depending what happens at offensive tackle with Doug Free and Jeremy Parnell there is a good chance the Cowboys will be in the market for a replacement. Of the ones that are potentially available, Clemmings is my favorite one. He played right tackle for the Panthers but has left tackle feet. Can get movement off the ball in the running game but also has the ability to win one-on-one battles in his pass sets.
La'el Collins, OT, LSU:
Played as a left tackle for the Tigers but has also lined up as a guard. Powerful man that works to finish his blocks. Has a nasty side to his game. Is one of those players that will climb his blocks and physically beat his opponent up. Doesn't have the athletic ability of some of the other tackles in this draft but his toughness is impressive. Will need to play inside or at right tackle.
Bud Dupree, DE/OLB, Kentucky:
Have a feeling that he will be gone before the Cowboys select at 27 because of his ability to stand up and play on his feet which makes him a possibility for 3-4 teams looking for an outside linebacker that can rush or a 4-3 scheme that will put his hand on the ground and let him rush. At 6-4, 267 he is the ideal height and weight for a just that job. Could see him as a left end fit with the Cowboys.
Alex Carter, CB, Stanford:
At 6-0, 200 he is a stout looking player on tape. There is nothing really flashy or fancy in the way he goes about his job but he is technique sound and it is rare where you see him miss an assignment or be out of position on a ball. He is comfortable playing in man coverage or backed off. Is the type of player that Rod Marinelli has played with for years in his secondary and had success with.
T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama:
My favorite running back in this upcoming draft is Todd Gurley but if you asked me to name another that I would like to have on my squad, I would have to go with T.J. Yeldon. It's not that I am not a fan of Tevin Coleman, Duke Johnson or Jay Ajayi but I just feel like that you can do more with Yeldon as that complete back much like what DeMarco Murray does for the Cowboys. I don't see him just as that 3rd down guy. He has had productive games carrying the ball against quality SEC teams and it's that kind of ability I want from my running back.
Trey Flowers, DE, Arkansas:
Earlier I wrote about Alex Carter from Stanford and how I felt like he wasn't flashy or fancy in the way that he played but very steady in the way he went about his job. Trey Flowers is very similar in the way that he plays the game. You are not going to see the huge burst or explosive quickness but what you are going to see is a guy that is always around the ball and in the middle of piles. He is going to be stout on the edge and when the ball heads in his direct, he is going to make the tackle. I don't expect his combine numbers to be great but I am interested in how he does test out.
Grady Jarrett, DT, Clemson:
I would compare this player to a Poor Man's Aaron Donald. Traits wise they are both similar in height and weight but also share that explosive first step off the ball. Like Donald, Jarrett is also very good on the move and extremely active in the way he plays. When he can get the corner, he can be difficult to block. There were several snaps in games I studied where he was in the backfield before the blocker had a chance to react. Could see the Cowboys take a look at him as a disruptive under tackle. Height will scare folks off but not Rod Marinelli.
Anthony Jefferson, S, UCLA:
Is a player that I first watched play at the Senior Bowl earlier in the year and came away impressed in his ability to not only play with range out of the middle of the field but in one-on-one coverage as well. Once back at Valley Ranch, I sat down and watched him not only play safety for the Bruins but I also saw him line up at cornerback and carry Arizona State's fine receiver Jalen Strong all over the field and hold him in check. There is a lot to like about his game because of how he can play two spots in the secondary.
Markus Golden, DE, Missouri:
Has a stout build to him with explosive quickness. Can put pressure on a blocker right now. Very quick with his hands and feet. Will work through traffic and chase from the backside. When he can capture the edge, he can be a hard man to block. If he has problems it is when he rushes down the middle and he doesn't always show the power to throw blockers off but you don't see him get bounced around as much as one might think at 6-2, 260 pounds.
Todd Gurley, RB Georgia:
Would be a Top 10 player in this draft regardless of position if he were healthy. Will not be able to work out for the scouts at the Combine but news will travel fast in Indianapolis of how far along his injured knee has come since November. Will have the knee checked out again in April before the draft. Is one of those players that you would consider taking a chance on if you get the okay from the medical staff.