IRVING, Texas – You might be tired of hearing about it, but the dominant line of conversation this week has centered around the running back position – or specifically the lack of a new one after last week's draft.
With that in mind, I put together another group of scouting reports for the Cowboys' rookie minicamp – which begins in a mere 24 hours. There won't be any draft picks running the ball, but the Cowboys have brought in an undrafted free agent to help share the load. Here's a look at Georgia Tech running back Synjyn Days, as well as some of the Cowboys' undrafted offensive linemen who will be working in front of him.
Synjyn Days RB Georgia Tech
Plays like a fullback in their option attack. Plays really tight in his alignment to the quarterback and with his hand on the ground. Straight ahead runner with power. Finisher. Showed a little burst off the snap. Will bounce off defenders. Finds the hole then works through it. Will line up as a wing and get the ball on the toss sweep. Is not going to "Wow" you with his speed or quickness around the corner but is a downhill runner. Runs extremely hard. Not going to run away from or show many moves in the open field. Takes the ball from the quarterback then works his way up the field. Will punish tacklers in the open field. Is a hard man to bring down one-on-one. Will lower his head and finish. Scheme limits the opportunities he has to catch the ball and also preform as a pass protector. Has toughness to be good in this area.
Shane McDermott C Miami
Smooth to get away from the line. Nice position to get his hands inside on pass block. Will pull when uncovered. Can mirror his man in pass set. Can reach a one technique tackle. Manages to get his head across and run with man. Good job of finishing his block. Some push-shove but stays after it. Alert for the twist stunt. Can get to the edge when he pulls and out space. Does a good job of staying in position when he blocks back. Can adjust on the second level. Nice job of matching the power of the big Florida State defensive linemen. Gives a step or two on his pass block then is able to anchor down. Plays with some good balance on contact. Good body control and balance. Physically is a tough player.
Dan Quave OG Louisiana-Lafayette
Wide base player. Plays with some upper body power to hold defender off. Doesn't always play in balance. Needs to do a better job of staying on his feet and getting to man on second level. Tends to be a step slow on his pull and securing his blocks. Not going to get much movement. Works hard to try and sustain his blocks but not always successful. Is aware to help across the pocket when uncovered. Push-shove blocker. Tends to reach if he has to deal with a rusher with quickness. Doesn't adjust well in space. Plays with good effort but is really limited what he can do athletically.
Jon Davis TE/H-Back Illinois
Will play on the line as a tight end but there are also snaps where he is in the backfield as a running back and fullback. More of an "H" than anything. Will come in motion and block inside. Push shove type of a blocker. Will hit with some initial pop then he will lose his sustain. Needs to play with better balance when he takes on the defender. Will work up the field as a route runner but doesn't have the burst to run away or separate. There are snaps where he has to block defensive ends and he will stay with them. Will stay in as a pass protector. Have seen him step up and pick up his man but has to be careful not to cut block. Appears to move and run better than his 40 yard dash time. Not a polished route runner. Doesn't have an idea how to use his size to get open but they ask him to run option routes like he knows how to. Gives effort as a blocker but is not always successful. Better athlete to be on the ground as much as he is.
Ray Hamilton TE Iowa
Will line up in the slot and inline. Nice size to shield the defender from the ball. Will finds ways to get open up the field. Arc release then work off defender. Will use his hands to push and shove. Ball is not always thrown in a spot for him to catch. Is having to adjust entirely too much to make plays and is struggling to bring those balls in. Understands how to avoid coverage. Works through the safeties in zone. Keeps working when quarterback is in trouble. Would not call the most athletic route runner. Is going to have trouble separating in routes. Up field speed is not idea. Was able to make some contested catches. Will catch the ball in his hands. Better initial quickness in the red zone. Work his man to the outside as a run blocker. Can adjust in space to pick up second block. Leans into his man more than extends. Stays after his blocks. Gets movement with his size. Can reach his man on the edge.