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Cowboys’ Potential Draft Picks: Sio Moore, Gerald Hodges, and Montee Ball

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My latest scouting reports are on UConn linebacker Sio Moore, Penn State linebacker Gerald Hodges, and Wisconsin running back Montee Ball.

On Moore:

When you watch Moore on film, the first thing you need to do is locate him before each play; he lines up all over the field—as a middle linebacker, on the weak side, as a pass-rusher, and even in the slot. The Huskies used Moore in a variety of roles throughout his career, and he did an amazing job of learning and thriving in each.

Moore is actually a talented rusher, but as his size (6-1, 245 pounds), he won’t be doing as much of that in the NFL. I think whichever team drafts Moore should consider using him often as a blitzer because he’s that good, however. He’s probably best suited as a Will linebacker in a 4-3—a spot from which he can rush the passer, drop into coverage, and read and react. I even think Moore could move to defensive end in nickel situations.

Read the rest at NBC.

On Hodges:

Hodges is a small linebacker at 6-1, 243 pounds. He added 30 pounds after coming to Penn State, and it doesn’t appear like he’ll be able to add that much more weight. From that standpoint alone, you’re probably looking at a guy who can play only as a 4-3 linebacker, and most likely as the Will (weak side). That’s fine, but it will drop his stock since most 3-4 teams won’t be interested.

Hodges ran a 4.78 at the Combine, and he elected to not run the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day. Long speed is obviously an issue for Hodges, but it’s not like he’s too slow to play linebacker. He also jumped 35.5 inches and ran a 4.25 short shuttle, showing he has a little burst in short areas.

Check it out at NBC.

On Ball:

I’ve broken down primarily mid and late-round prospects because that’s where you can find the most value on runners. Actually, a running back’s draft spot has zero predictive ability in terms of NFL efficiency. Yes, late-round picks have been just as effective in the NFL as early-rounders, so there isn’t much incentive for a team to draft a running back early.

That’s why I haven’t broken down Wisconsin running back Montee Ball—a probable second-round pick who many believe could now be the first running back off of the board. I just don’t think the Cowboys will burn a second-round pick on a running back, but I could be wrong. Let’s examine Montee Ball. . .

Scouting Report

The first thing that stands out about Ball is his production. He ran for over 5,000 yards at Wisconsin, including over 3,700 in the past two seasons. Ball had nearly 1,000 career carries, yet still managed 5.6 yards-per-carry. That’s a good mark for a player who had so many touches. Ball’s 77 career rushing touchdowns are eye-popping. A lot of scouts ignore college production, but it’s meaningful. Using college stats alone, a simple algorithm can typically identify successful running backs better than NFL teams (in regards to where the players were drafted).

Ball is somewhat paradoxical in that he was so productive, yet his measurables suggest he’s going to have a really tough time in the NFL. The same was the case with fellow Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne, who has averaged 3.8 YPC as a pro. Ball has decent size at 214 pounds, but his 4.66 40-yard dash and 4.40 short shuttle were poor. A few running backs in those ranges have played well, but the majority have fizzled out.

Head over to Dallas News for the full report.

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