The DC Times

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

By Jonathan Bales

Dallas Cowboys Potential 2012 Draft Pick: Alameda Ta’amu, DT, Washington

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Jonathan Bales

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.

Previous Scouting Reports

Michael Brockers, DT/DE, LSU

Devon Still, DT/DE, Penn State

Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama

David DeCastro, G, Stanford

Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina

Quinton Coples, DE, UNC

Janoris Jenkins, CB, Florida/North Alabama

Mark Barron, SS, Alabama

Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois

Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia

Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia

Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia

Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson

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One Response to Dallas Cowboys Potential 2012 Draft Pick: Alameda Ta’amu, DT, Washington

  1. Error404 says:

    Ta’amu would be a great pick up. He looks like a real 3-4 NT, he takes up two guys and handles it with no problem. 3-4 DL doesn’t really get the sack nor the credit they deserve, they really just guys who take up space so the LB’s can get in and sack the QB. Ta’amu just like that, guy who takes up a lot of space and can handle himself with two guys on him and if you don’t he can push around one guy well enough to force you to put two guys on him.

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