Cowboys Draft Profiles: WR DGB Vs Devin Smith

Eight of the Cowboys draft picks over the last two years were brought in for official visits. We take a look inside the potential of two wideout visitors to the Ranch with entirely different methods of domination.

While there is always going to be mystery when it comes to the NFL Draft, over the years the Dallas Cowboys have done their fans a bit of a favor and tipped their hands so to speak. Not only have they (not once, but twice) given us a look at their draft boards after that year’s draft was completed, but in their actions they’ve also alerted us to some key tells about their actions. In our must-read post from earlier in the off-season,"6 Draft Tendencies and Tells” we listed the following:

    5. Dallas uses their Valley Ranch visits very wisely, and will most often select players throughout the draft that visit team headquarters through the 30 National invites of Dallas Day visits.

This is by no means an end-all be-all list. Morris Claiborne wasn’t invited to the Ranch, and Dallas spend two picks to acquire him. Maybe the lack of development their helped guide their hand recently, as eight of their picks over the last two years were in for official visits. In that vein, we’ll be bringing you in-depth looks at the draft candidates that Dallas schedules for visits, so that you can be better informed about the small sample size many of the next group of Cowboys will likely come from.

WR Devin Smith


Name: Devin Smith
Position: Wide Receiver
School: Ohio State University
Height: 6’0”
Weight: 196 LBs
Intangibles/Honors:
Honorable Mention All-Big 10 (Media & Coaches) – 2014
Also competed in track and field (100m, 4x100, & High Jump)
2nd Place (tie) High Jump at Big Ten Outdoor Championship - 2014
GEICO Play of the Year – 2012
pSparq Score: 120.1 Z-Score: 0.4 NFL Percentile: 65.1

pSparq is an approximation of the “Sparq Score” metric invented by NIKE (with the help of former USC and current Seattle Seahawks Head Coach, Pete Carroll), designed as a way to standardize athletic testing of High School athletes and interpret their athleticism with a sport specific formula. By standardizing a single metric composed of multiple athletic test results, it becomes possible to compare players to the athletic testing scores of players in past draft classes, and to provide context as to how a player will compare athletically to his peers at the NFL level. The Z-Score represents the number of standard deviations (sigma) above or below the mean at a particular position that player falls, 84% of players will have a Z-score of less than 1, 98% will have a Z-score of less than 2, and 99.87% will fall below a Z-Score of 3. There are currently a total of four players who are “3 Sigma Athletes” in the NFL, JJ Watt, Calvin Johnson, Evan Mathis, and Lane Johnson, along with one from the 2015 draft class, Byron Jones. For more on pSparq,(and the man behind the math Zach Whitman) check out 3sigmaathlete.com

Measurables vs others at his position:

Note: This spider graph provides a visual representation of a players’ measurable traits, and combine results. The filled in area of the chart, as well as the number in the light grey circle represents the percentile among the player’s peers by position. A score of 85 here represents that out of every 100 players at his position, the player has a better result in that test than 85 of those 100.

Games Studied: Michigan State, Illinois, Cincinnati, Wisconsin

Passing Game:

Devin Smith is one of if not THE premier deep threat receiver in the 2015 draft, he has an inate ability to track the ball in the air, and has the “my ball” mentality when it’s in the air. He high-points the ball and finds ways to out-position defensive backs and make the play. He has a graduate level understanding of the nuances of running deep routes, in how to stack on top of the corner, and provide his QB plenty of room to throw the ball. He runs more of the route tree than he gets credit for, making plays on the corner, the dig, the hitch and the comeback, along with his typical go routes from the outside, and the seam from the inside as well as the fade from the slot. He is an extremely natural hands catcher, (one concentration drop in 4 games trying to run before the catch), and shows ability after the catch, although he doesn’t have many opportunities due to his role going deep in the offense.

Run Game:

Smith showed the willingness to be a part of the run game as a blocker, and although he isn’t an impact blocker when asked to crack back, he is good enough as a stalk blocker outside to be viable as a first and second down player.

Conclusion/Cowboys Projection:

Devin Smith is widely known as a deep threat speed wide receiver, and that is a trait of his game that will immediately carry over to the NFL, and I believe if he’s asked to do more he is fully capable of succeeding in multiple areas of the field and with the entire route tree. He is likely to be selected late in the first or the second round of the draft, and will be an impact weapon from his first minicamp practice in the NFL. If he is still available at the 60th pick he is likely to be an option for the Cowboys in the 2nd round, and he would create a rotation at the #2 WR role with Terrance Williams, and would add a speed dynamic that the Dallas offense has been missing for a number of years.

WR Dorial Green-Beckham


Name: Dorial Green Beckham
Position: Wide Receiver
School: University of Oklahoma/University of Missouri
Height: 6’5”
Weight: 237 LBs
Intangibles/Honors:
Second Team All-SEC (AP) – 2014
Honorable Mention Freshman All-American (College Football News) – 2012
Number One overall prospect in his recruiting class – 2011
Transferred from Missouri to Oklahoma in 2014 after being dismissed from the Tiger’s program after multiple off-field concerns, including domestic violence accusations.
pSparq Score: 115.2 Z-Score: 0.0 NFL Percentile: 48.4

pSparq is an approximation of the “Sparq Score” metric invented by NIKE (with the help of former USC and current Seattle Seahawks Head Coach, Pete Carroll), designed as a way to standardize athletic testing of High School athletes and interpret their athleticism with a sport specific formula. By standardizing a single metric composed of multiple athletic test results, it becomes possible to compare players to the athletic testing scores of players in past draft classes, and to provide context as to how a player will compare athletically to his peers at the NFL level. The Z-Score represents the number of standard deviations (sigma) above or below the mean at a particular position that player falls, 84% of players will have a Z-score of less than 1, 98% will have a Z-score of less than 2, and 99.87% will fall below a Z-Score of 3. There are currently a total of four players who are “3 Sigma Athletes” in the NFL, JJ Watt, Calvin Johnson, Evan Mathis, and Lane Johnson, along with one from the 2015 draft class, Byron Jones. For more on pSparq,(and the man behind the math Zach Whitman) check out 3sigmaathlete.com

Measurables vs others at his position:

Note: This spider graph provides a visual representation of a players’ measurable traits, and combine results. The filled in area of the chart, as well as the number in the light grey circle represents the percentile among the player’s peers by position. A score of 85 here represents that out of every 100 players at his position, the player has a better result in that test than 85 of those 100.

Games Studied: Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Kentucky, Auburn, Indiana (all from 2013)

Passing Game:

Dorial Green Beckham is a rare weapon in the passing game, his size, speed, leaping ability and hands make him a dynamic player down the field, and in the red zone, while he skill running after the catch makes him a dangerous guy underneath and in the screen game. He lines up primarily as the X receiver in the Tigers Offense, but will line up in the slot or as the #3 receiver in a trips set as well. He doesn’t run the full route tree, but guys at his size in the NFL rarely do. He runs the slant, dig, post, hitch, and go, as well as the bubble, and tunnel screens, and makes plays in all areas of the field. Defensive backs really have their hands full covering him, as he is one of those receivers who is open, even with a DB in his hip pocket because of his ability to use his body to box out the defender or his height and leaping ability to elevate above the defense for a big play. He doesn’t shy away from contact and is physical in the way he runs routes. He is a tough guy to bring down when he’s got the ball in his hands, as he bounces off tackles, and gets the extra couple of yards after contact.

Run Game:

One thing I noticed about Green Beckham that I didn’t think I’d see was just how good of a blocker he his on the outside whether in the run game or the screen game. When he’s stalk blocking for an outside run he tracks his guy well, uses his hands and engages, and once he gets his guy, he doesn’t lose him. The only time he may struggle is when his assignment is a smaller, quicker CB who can beat him to the spot.

Conclusion/Cowboys Projection:

Dorial Green Beckham is going to be one of those players that will help shape the outcomes of this draft. If he were a clean player off the field, he would likely be the top WR in the class and a lock as a top ten pick, however, due to the off-field issues, there’s a possibility that he could fall all the way through the first round. It only takes one team to select him to make him that top level draft pick, but if he does fall out of the first, and somehow makes it to the 60th pick, the idea of putting Green Beckham with Dez Bryant, giving QB Tony Romo two uncoverable targets to throw to sounds extremely intriguing. He may be in consideration, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable taking him at 27 which is what makes him an option at 60.




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