The Dallas Cowboys selected Nebraska defensive tackle Maliek Collins with their third round (No. 67 overall) selection on Friday night. Find out more about him below:
Height, Weight: 6-foot-2, 311 pounds
Rankings: Scout.com ranks Smith as the No. 69 overall player on the board, and the No. 8 defensive tackle on the board.
The skinny: Collins was a two-year starter at Nebraska who managed seven career sacks and 21 tackles for loss in 2014-15. Elected as a team captain in 2015, Collins was a two-time All-Big 12 selection by multiple outlets, a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and the Huskers co-Defensive MVP in 2014.
What Cowboys are getting: At Nebraska Collins earned a reputation for stuffing the run and emerging as a pass-rush threat inside. That makes him a solid candidate to be the three-technique tackle in a Cover 2 defense. Scouts have keyed on his explosiveness off the line of scrimmage and not his 40-yard dash time (just over five seconds). He showed some real strength in the bench press at the combine, but some scouting reports show concern that the strength on the bench press hasn't necessarily translated to strength on the field. He spent his junior year playing on the strong side of the Huskers' defensive alignment, so the Cowboys will appreciate the position versatility that Collins provides. While scouts show concern about his strength, his 48-0 record as a high school wrestler his senior year of high school may indicate he has room to grow.
CowboysHQ.com Grade: C+
Postins’ Take: Collins becomes the fourth 300-plus defensive lineman to join the Cowboys' roster, so it's clear his place will be inside. The explosiveness scouts tout off the line of scrimmage plays better at the under tackle role currently occupied by Tyrone Crawford. But his ability to stop the run and stuff gaps means he can play opposite Crawford, too. Because of the Jaylon Smith selection, there's a touch of pressure on Collins here to prove he can make an impact on the Cowboys this season. If he can, that may soften the blow of the Cowboys taking a player that can't play in 2016. That's not fair, but it's not far from the truth. If his quickness is legit and he can prove that NFL centers and guards won't shove him around consistently, Collins can claim a role in 2015. In fact, given the shallow number of 300-pound defensive linemen on the roster, the Cowboys may be counting on it.
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