Over the next two weeks, Dallascowboys.com dives deeper into the talented group of undrafted rookies that will battle for a roster spot this offseason.
- Name: Azur Kamara
- Position: Edge rusher
- School: Kansas
- Height/Weight: 6-3/242lbs
- Awards & Recognition: Senior Bowl Participant, Honorable Mention All-Big 12; Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll and Athletic Director's Honor Roll
The Good: Looking the part of an elite athlete is not a problem for Kamara. The NFL Combine provided an opportunity for a raw player on film to prove he belongs, athletically, in the NFL. His length is impressive (70.5 in wingspan), the speed is borderline freakish for a player at his size (4.59 second 40-yard-dash), and his ever-growing football IQ were all on display. While much of his game was raw, his pass rush was a strong point in his one season as a starter for the Jayhawks. Five sacks and 17 total hurries put him on the NFL radar, and his 17%-win rate (according to PFF) was impressive against Big 12 competition.
The Project: Unfortunately, Kamara is extremely unpolished in his overall game. While his athleticism is apparent, his lack of fundamentals are too. He seldomly uses his hands in a pass rush and is overpowered for it at the point of attack. While he has a quick burst off the line of scrimmage, Kamara tends to get too high and takes away any power that he would have in the lower half. When I watch Kamara, he is so thin for the edge rusher spot that I wonder what it would be like to move him permanently to linebacker. His change of direction would need an uptick to do so in a 4-3, but his head hunting and downhill ability translates more to a 3-4 outside linebacker role rather than a 4-3 end. Foreshadowing multiple schemes again? Who knows?
The Summary: Kamara is an interesting signing that is still in the relatively early stages of his football career after moving from the Ivory Coast and playing soccer his whole life. A JUCO transfer that didn't play football until his freshman year of high school. The amount of impact expected is quite limited for an inexperienced project that is entering a crowded room at edge rusher. If there was a place for Kamara to shine in Dallas, it would most likely be on special teams with the straight-line speed and length each playing a large role in where he fits.
The Cowboys have a rich history in signing undrafted rookies from Drew Pearson to Tony Romo. Check out this year's group of 15 rookie free agents that have agreed to terms.