Cowboys Pro Day Premium: Five NFL Draft Players to Watch

The Dallas Cowboys are checking out pro days this month. These five players helped themselves quite a bit during pro days this past week.

Pro days are underway across the country. For many of these college players who were unable to get to the National Scouting Combine, it's a chance to get noticed. Periodically CowboysHQ.com will take a look at players who have distinguished themselves during the pro day process and what that might mean to the Dallas Cowboys, and the rest of the NFL, on Draft weekend.

WR D.J. Foster, Arizona State

Foster was one of many players who earned an invitation to the NFL Scouting Combine last month, but his 40 time wasn't exactly stellar. He ran just 4.57 seconds. The Sun Devils' pro day last week gave him a chance to show he could get closer to that precious 4.4 mark and he did. Foster told SunDevilSource.com, Scout's Arizona State site, that scouts told him he ran between 4.42 and 4.46. That's much better for a 6-foot, 195-pound receiver-back combo that needs to be able to show he can burn downfield. Scout.com has him as the No. 39 wide receiver (No. 291 overall) on the board, which means he's a borderline draft selection right now. But he has multiple skills. He was considered a running back for three seasons at ASU, and his junior year was stellar — 1,081 yards rushing on 194 carries and 62 receptions for 688 yards and three touchdowns. Career-wise, Foster rushed for 2,355 yards and 18 touchdowns and caught 222 passes for 2,458 yards and 14 touchdowns. The value he possesses to teams is in being able to rush and receive, to be used as a sort-of "joker" type of player. He can be an inside receiver, an outside receiver and a third-down back. That's an awful lot of versatility to be claimed late in the draft. Now that he's shown off his speed, his stock should rise a little bit. He might be worth a late flier for the Cowboys, who could use him multiple ways, including on returns.

Jeff Hanisch - USA Today

CB Daniel Davie, Nebraska

The Cowboys are in the market for cornerbacks, and that shouldn't be restricted to the first round. Davie (6-foot-1, 185 pounds) wasn't a NFL Scouting Combine invitee, but he's taken advantage of both his pro day and a regional scouting combine earlier this winter. His results at the pro day was eye-opening — a 4.31 and 4.37 40-yard dash, according to Davie. I wasn't able to track down the official time, but if those times are accurate they're better than the 4.45 40 he ran at the regional combine. His vertical (39 inches) at the pro day was better than his 38-inch jump at the regional combine. So why didn't Davie earn a NFL Scouting Combine invite? According to the Omaha World, Davie had a rough 2015, as he struggled with injuries and the new defensive scheme. He was even benched briefly. His junior year, in 2014, gives us a glimpse of what he can do. Then he had 41 tackles, two interceptions and five pass breakups. Davie doesn't register on the scouting map right now. But the Cowboys will be looking for about 30-40 undrafted free agents after the draft in May, and Davie might be worth a flier. His speed, vertical leap and height should all get him another look, as we are now in an era of tall corners.

DE Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky

Spence backed up his candor about his off-the-field issues at the Scouting Combine with a slightly improved performance at his pro day. Spence came in at 248 pounds and ran a 4.75 and 4.79 40-yard time during the pro day (he went 4.8 at the Combine). Spence did so without the benefit of Lucas Oil Stadium's dome, as the temperature at EKU was 39 degrees. The combination of Spence's work off-field at the Combine and on-field at the pro day should solidify his stock as a first-round pick. But he certainly isn't worth a first-round pick by the Cowboys at No. 4 and I'm not sure, at 248 pounds, if he would be a good fit for the Cowboys' 4-3 scheme (the Cowboys already have an undersized pass rusher in Randy Gregory). Most scouts see him as a 3-4 outside linebacker/pass rusher type of player, and I sense the Cowboys might avoid him completely, unless there's a trade-back scenario that allows the Cowboys to move into a position in the middle of the first round.

RB Brandon Burks, Troy

Players from the Group of 5 conferences really have to work to stand out, if they don't have the measurements NFL teams are looking for. At 5-foot-10, 207 pounds, some scouts are going to overlook Burks, who in 2015 became just the eighth back in program history to rush for 1,000 yards or more in a single season. But at his pro day he did something to stand out — a 4.41 40-yard dash time. Had he been in Indianapolis last month, Burks' time would have been the second-best among all running backs and his stock probably would have seen a serious spike. Meanwhile, Burks posted bench press, vertical leap and three-cone drill performances that would have put him among the Top 5 running backs at the Combine, had he been there. With just 14 different scouts at Troy, there's no guarantee the Cowboys caught a glimpse of Burks. But that time alone will get him noticed. With Lance Dunbar set to hit free agency, the Cowboys might be in the market for a speedy, change-of-pace back. There is no guarantee the Cowboys will draft one, and Burks likely won't be drafted next month. But as an undrafted free agent, he might be worth a flier.

DE Tyler Roberts, Troy

Here is another Trojan that helped himself immensely at his pro day. The 6-foot-2, 240 pound defensive end posted a 40 time of 4.63, which would have put him among the top two at defensive end at the Combine. The same went for his bench press, vertical jump and three-cone drill performances. Roberts was a three-time All-Sun Belt selection and had seven sacks and 17 tackles for loss his senior year. His performances will earn him a second look among teams that are looking for 3-4 pass rushers. But in terms of him joining the Cowboys, it seems unlikely. He is too undersized to play on their defensive line and doesn't seem to have the skills to play at outside linebacker.

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