The DC Times

A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football

By Jonathan Bales

Dallas Cowboys Potential 2011 Draft Pick: Sam Acho, DE/OLB, Texas

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Jonathan Bales

In my initial 2011 Big Board, I rated the defensive ends as follows:

  • 1. Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, UNC
  • 2. Justin Houston, DE, Georgia
  • 3. DaQuan Bowers, DE, Clemson
  • 4. Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
  • 5. Brooks Reed, DE/OLB, Arizona
  • 6. Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
  • 7. Sam Acho, DE/OLB, Texas
  • 8. Jabaal Sheard, DE, Pitt
  • 9. Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

In my opinion, Bowers, Clayborn, and Kerrigan would be poor fits for a 3-4 system.  The others would all transition to outside linebacker.  It’s worth noting that defensive coordinator Rob Ryan thinks highly of the Cowboys’ current outside linebackers, as he should–I graded Ware, Spencer, and Butler as the team’s first, ninth, and third-most efficient players in 2010, respectively.

To me, Quinn and Houston are a cut above the rest.  I know I’m much higher on Houston than just about anyone, but he appears to be a much safer pick than second-tier players such as Bowers and Clayborn, both of whom have concerns about their body.

My second-tier has also remained the same, but after studying more of today’s feature, Sam Acho, I have dropped the Texas product to ninth below Ryan Kerrigan.

Scouting Report

Acho is a workout warrior, running a 4.68 40-yard dash at the Combine, including a 1.66 second 10-yard split–a tremendous time.  However, I don’t see that sort of burst or initial explosiveness on tape.  Acho has an average “get-off” despite his measurables.

Acho isn’t stout against the run at all.  He fails to get off of blocks and doesn’t utilize his strength.  Acho also fails to properly break down in space.  A 3-4 outside linebacker who isn’t a run-stuffer but won’t be an elite edge-rusher is bad news.

The reason Acho timed so well is that he’s a solid straight-line athlete.  I liken him to a player like Ted Ginn–great straight-line speed, but an inability to break down or make quick cuts.  Thus, Acho has a difficult time securing sacks from the front side.  When he’s on the back side and the quarterback is unaware of his presence, Acho is a far superior player because he doesn’t need to break down and react.

Acho is by no means an awful player, however.  He displays great effort and hustle.  Despite being poor against the run, he doesn’t miss many tackles when he does get in proper position.  He’s very smart and a tremendously hard worker.  There are zero character concerns with Acho.  He won the 2010 William V. Campbell Trophy for a combination of academics, community service and on-field performance, as well as the 2009 and 2010 Arthur Ashe Award (national award for minority student-athletes).  His parents live in Nigeria, and he travels overseas for medical and religious missions.

Overall, however, I don’t think Acho’s awesome character and measurables make up for being an average football player.

Projection

Acho could get selected anywhere from the second to fourth-round.  In my opinion, he’s a mid-to-late-round talent who will get overvalued because of his athleticism.  I wouldn’t take a serious look at Acho until about the fourth-round, but he will probably be gone by then.  With Rob Ryan’s favorable reviews on the current outside linebackers and Acho’s mediocre tape, I think he’s a longshot to land in Dallas.

Other Potential Dallas Cowboys Draft Picks in 2011

Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

Cameron Jordan, DT/DE, Cal

Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, UNC

Cameron Heyward, DT/DE, Ohio State

Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

Tyron Smith, OT, USC

Brandon Harris, CB, Miami

Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA

Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor

Aaron Williams, CB, Texas

Muhammad Wilkerson, DT/DE, Temple

Corey Liuget, DT/DE, Illinois

Martez Wilson, ILB/OLB, Illinois

Casey Matthews, ILB, Oregon

Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois

Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

Brandon Burton, CB, Utah

Nick Fairley, DT/DE, Auburn

Jaiquawn Jarrett, FS, Temple

Ben Ijalana, OT/OG, Villanova

Drake Nevis, DT/DE, LSU

Dontay Moch, DE/OLB, Nevada

Brooks Reed, DE/OLB, Arizona

Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State

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9 Responses to Dallas Cowboys Potential 2011 Draft Pick: Sam Acho, DE/OLB, Texas

  1. willis says:

    another good article…. any chance you cando J.J. Watt? He has been on a couple of Mock’s going to the cowboys at no 9. Personally I think that mght be a bit of a reach, but as I said earlier this year I wouldn’t mind getting him if we trade down.

    On a different note, what do you think of P. Petersons potential at F.S. He kind of reminds me of Darren Woodson

  2. willis says:

    ok… that might be a reach. But he is awesome!

  3. Willis–I will definitely look at Watt a bit more and post something. I think PP has FS potential, and it’s one reason I have him No. 1 on my board.

  4. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    Sadly, the more I look at the crop of DEs (that is guys designated as DE or OLB) for Dallas, the more I’m convinced none of them are #9 pick worthy. Jonathan, I agree that Quinn is a 1st round talent (I actually think his ceiling might be that he turns out to be elite) but he has health concerns. Houston is the next best thing (outside of JJ Watt who hasn’t been analyzed yet as you mentioned) and he’s probably a low teens to early 20s type of pick.

    The real “money” in this draft is actually DB and DT when it comes to worthiness of a #9 pick that actually fits a Dallas need. That would be Dareus, PP and possibly Fairley or Amukamara (I’m still not convinced either Fairley or Amaukamara is #9 worthy even in this weak draft). Von Miller is certainly 9 worthy but doesn’t fit a need (unless Spencer is traded).

    Therefore, I would expect Dallas to either trade up to get Dareus or PP or trade down to the teens and explore a plethora of possibilites (Tyron Smith, Ijalana, Watt, Phil Taylor, Carimi, Solder, Heyward, Costanzo, etc.) Personnally, I like the trade UP option in that PP and Dareus are 2 of the 5 prospects that I think might be elite in this class. If you’re gonna have a top 10 pick then you need to do what you can to get someone elite at that point (if that means you gotta trade up to do so, then so be it).

  5. If Houston somehow falls into the second-round, I want Dallas to jump all over him. He’s No. 5 on my board–I know that is WAY higher than most, but I see an elite player in him. Your trade scenarios are exactly what I see as well….PP and Dareus can make immediate impacts but neither figures to be available at No. 9. I wouldn’t mind Tyron Smith at No. 9, but I’d probably prefer a trade down for Castonzo or Ijalana (unlikely).

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