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Cowboys Draft Scouting Reports: Joseph Randle, DeVonte Holloman, Brandon Magee

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Sorry for the lack of updates recently. I’ve been a little sick, but I’ve still been cranking out some scouting reports. At NBC, I published reports on Joseph Randle, DeVonte Holloman, and Brandon Magee.

On Randle:

What I Like

Randle was productive in the Big 12. He rushed for 38 touchdowns in the past two seasons, averaging 5.5 YPC over that time. He also caught 108 passes over the course of his three-year career, and that ability is surely one the Cowboys coveted.

Interestingly, despite his lackluster 40 times, Randle tested well in some other drills. He showed explosiveness in the broad jump (10-3) and short shuttle (4.25). Most backs who run in the 4.6s don’t have that sort of explosiveness in other metrics, so Randle has a chance to be one of the “slower” backs to overcome his lack of long speed.

What I Don’t Like

In addition to his 40 time, which is a concern no matter how you slice it, Randle also lacks an ideal build. The most successful NFL backs have traditionally been short and stocky. Randle is 6-0, 204 pounds; his long, lean build means he’s probably more susceptible to injuries than most other backs. He truly is Murray without the speed.

Here’s the whole scouting report on Randle.

On Holloman:

What I Like

I love that Holloman played safety in college. Even if he was average at the position, that equates to above-average movement for a linebacker. He’s also an aggressive player who fits well in a 4-3.

What I Don’t Like

At Holloman’s size, you’d like to see more explosiveness. If you’re a 6-1 linebacker, you better be able to keep up with running backs and tight ends, and I’m not sure Holloman can do that on a consistent basis.

Check out the full report.

On Magee:

What I Like

I like what the Cowboys are doing in trying to get smaller. By all accounts, it seems as though they’re going to field an extremely undersized defense—perhaps the lightest in the NFL. That could work out in their favor if they can force offenses to run the ball too much. In most cases, a defense should want an offense to run the ball on first-and-10, second-and-five, and in similar situations.

What I Don’t Like

Magee is so small that there almost seems to be no point in using him at linebacker over a safety. There are a few safeties in the league taller and heavier than Magee, so why not just play one of them as an outside linebacker in situations when Magee would be on the field? The reason is that Magee isn’t particularly explosive for his size. A lineup with Matt Johnson and J.J. Wilcox at safety and Barry Church at linebacker would probably be superior to one with an undersized linebacker who lacks safety-like coverage skills.

The full scouting report is at NBC.

I also took an analytical look at J.J. Wilcox and B.W. Webb at DallasCowboys.com:

J.J. Wilcox

There’s a really big difference between scouting small-school players versus those who played in a major conference. For certain positions, elite production in a big conference is the best predictor of NFL success. When a running back rushes for 6.0 yards per carry in the SEC or a wide receiver catches 100 passes in the Big Ten, for example, there’s good reason to believe that they’ll be effective in the NFL.

For small-school prospects like Wilcox, stats don’t matter as much. Playing against inferior competition, it really doesn’t matter how many interceptions or tackles Wilcox made in college. We’d of course like to see small-school prospects dominate games, but 1,500 rushing yards in the SEC is a bit different from the same amount in the Sun Belt.

That means that measurables are more vital when studying small-school players. A player like Wilcox might look outstanding on tape, but what do we really know about him when he’s playing against Old Dominion and Samford? We need to make sure players like that can make it in the NFL from a purely athletic standpoint before doing anything else, and there’s good reason to think Wilcox can do that.

Check out the rest.

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