Dallas Cowboys Potential 2012 Draft Pick: Alameda Ta’amu, DT, Washington
I recently posted my 2012 defensive tackle rankings, so many of you know I think Washington’s Alameda Ta’amu is overrated. In addition to being REALLY disappointed if he comes to Dallas and I have to continually type his name, I think Ta’amu is a late third or early fourth-round talent. Here is part of my report (you can see the whole thing here):
At 6-3 and 347 pounds, Ta’amu has elite size to be a 3-4 nose tackle. He carries the weight pretty well, not looking particularly soft. Actually, I thought he was about 320 pounds when I first started watching him. Ta’amu plays the way you might think, rarely getting blown backward and holding his ground against double teams pretty well. He will be excellent in short-yardage situations in the N.F.L.
Unfortunately, I don’t think Ta’amu has much versatility or upside. He isn’t quick off the ball. Washington had Ta’amu stunt at times — see at the 37-second mark below — but his limited lateral quickness and athleticism will probably prohibit a lot of that in the N.F.L. Ta’amu is a space-eater, and only a space-eater. Some other analysts disagree and say he could play in a 4-3 defense, but I think Ta’amu’s lack of quickness and inability to garner penetration will limit him to playing the nose in a 3-4.
While most defensive tackles don’t play three downs nowadays, I think Ta’amu will have to come out in all passing situations. When potentially investing a second-round selection in a player, you want him to do more than one thing well. Perhaps I am mistaken, but I don’t see Ta’amu excelling at anything other than run defense in the big leagues. He has a limited pass rush repertory and simply won’t gain pressure on a consistent basis.
In terms of a potential fit in Dallas, I don’t really see one. While I think the team could benefit from moving Jay Ratliff to end a bit more, Ta’amu’s lack of versatility makes his likely second-round price tag too much to pay for a team with more than a couple holes.
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