Scout Now: Who Are The Defensive Playmakers?

Robert Allen takes a look at who some of the prospects on the Cowboys defense who will be asked to step up in 2016.

As we’ve mentioned several times, Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy has taken up residence during most of the spring practices upstairs at the top of the Sherman Smith Training Center where he can catch the panoramic view of his squad’s spring progress. It is kind of like seeing the practice on video before getting back to his office and firing it up on his computer.

Something Gundy is looking for is defensive playmakers. When you are close to seeing defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah become the seventh first-round pick in the NFL Draft during your time as head coach, and Ogbah and fellow NFL prospect Jimmy Bean combined for 41.5 sacks and 76 tackles for loss in their Cowboy careers, then you had better hope for a new generation of defensive playmakers.

"So we need Cole (Walterscheid) and Jarrel (Owens)l and Trey (Carter) and some of those guys to make plays for us out there,” Gundy said of his young defensive ends. “We're certainly not going to look the same in the first half of the season because they don't have the experience that those guys had, but we need them to start to play at a higher level once we get into conference play, and hopefully they can continue to improve as we get to the latter part of the season.”

The good thing is that the ends won’t have to do it alone. Inside at defensive tackle you have Vincent Taylor, who has developed into a major playmaker, and Vili Levini returns from a season-depriving injury and is expected to be back in form. While he is now a tackle, Levini started out as a defensive end at Oklahoma State. He has some explosion.

Linebackers like Jordan Phillips, Devante Averette (pictured above), and star linebacker Jordan Burton can pitch in. At safety, you have Jordan Sterns and now eligible Auburn transfer Derrick Moncrief (6-2, 220) that can both some play down hill and make plays in the backfield.

Also, remember that junior college standout Tralund Webber (6-5, 270) from Blinn College could bring some Ogbah-type size and speed to the equation when he reports this summer.


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