Cowboys’ Potential Draft Picks: DE Corey Lemonier and QB E.J. Manuel
Lemonier is quick off of the edge, routinely beating offensive tackles. He has a great first step and uses it to his advantage in both the passing and running games. As a rusher, Lemonier was rarely forced to use any moves other than his speed rush. He’ll need to work to develop counter-moves in the NFL. In the running game, Lemonier uses his explosiveness off of the line to drive blockers into the backfield. Combined with his raw strength, Lemonier is very stout at the point. As a run defender, Lemonier plays like he’s 280 pounds.
Lemonier can be undisciplined at times, overrunning plays or failing to break down in space. His motor is outstanding, but Lemonier needs to learn to play with more control. When he’s engaged with a blocker, Lemonier can have some trouble getting free. The biggest question mark surrounding Lemonier right now is simply consistency. He was outstanding in 2011, but he posted just one half of a sack in Auburn’s final eight games in 2012.
Read the whole Lemonier report at NBC.
Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel has been a polarizing figure thus far in the draft process, intriguing many with his impressive physical tools while also drawing criticisms that he’s not prepared to run an NFL offense. Over the past two seasons, Manuel posted a 66.7 percent completion rate, 8.7 yards-per-attempt, and a 41-to-18 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
On paper, Manuel has everything you’d want in a quarterback. He’s 6-5 and 237 pounds with 10 3/8-inch hands. Manuel ran an impressive 4.65 40-yard dash at the Combine, coinciding with the mobility he displays on tape. There’s no doubt that one of Manuel’s biggest strengths is buying time in the pocket when things break down; he does a nice job of taking off when needed but still keeping his eyes downfield to make plays.
Manuel’s decision-making is his biggest question mark. He obviously has the physical tools to succeed, but it’s worth wondering if Manuel can run an NFL offense. Can he go through multiple progressions and accurately deliver the football on a consistent basis?
The best evidence that Manuel can succeed in the pros is that he performed well in college. His efficiency was outstanding. Manuel needs to improve his footwork and decision-making, but the idea that he “can’t” run an NFL offense is silly. If NFL coaches astutely molded their schemes to accommodate talented players instead of stubbornly searching for an entire team of specific players who fit their rigid schemes, players like Manuel might not be wrongly downgraded.
Check out the rest of the Manuel write-up at Dallas News.
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