Cowboys’ Potential Draft Picks: OT Brennan Williams and RB Michael Ford
At NBC, I published a scouting report on UNC offensive tackle Brennan Williams.
At 6-6, 318 pounds, Williams has great length. He’s perhaps a bit leaner than you’d like in your right tackle, but he has a frame that could easily add 10 pounds. Williams is an athletic player with quick feet; he gets into his pass drop quickly and he explodes off of the ball in the running game.
Williams often used his athleticism to make up for poor technique at UNC. He started only 22 games at UNC, so he’s still learning the fundamentals of the offensive tackle position. Despite possessing good strength, Williams often gets blown back in pass protection because he doesn’t maintain a good base. He really needs to work on using better positioning in all aspects of his game, because at times he “wastes” his athleticism. Those inefficiencies will be exploited in the NFL.
At Dallas News, I posted my take on LSU running back Michael Ford.
If you haven’t noticed by now, I support a “contrarian” style of drafting, i.e. purposely going against popular opinion to acquire value. Many of the NFL’s best drafting teams are contrarians, emphasizing specific traits that other teams overlook. It’s not that “the masses” are wrong in what they’re seeking, but rather that if almost every team is searching for the same things, the ability to obtain a competitive advantage by seeking those traits disappears.
For example, many NFL teams disregard a running back’s college efficiency and instead pay for bulk stats. They’re more likely to jump on Wisconsin running back Montee Ball and his massive career output than a back like today’s feature—LSU’s Michael Ford. Ford received only 243 carries during his three-year career at LSU, but he averaged 5.7 yards-per-carry—slightly higher than Ball’s average. Most teams will have Ford rated much lower than Ball on their boards, but maybe they shouldn’t.
Ford is an excellent athlete with good speed; he ran a 4.50 at the NFL Scouting Combine and a 4.44 at LSU’s Pro Day. Although speed is a trait teams emphasize for most positions, they actually don’t do it enough for running backs. As I’ve mentioned in the past, slow running backs or even those with moderate speed have had a rough go of it in the NFL.
See the whole Ford report at Dallas News.