Draft Day Target: DT Randy Starks

There's little doubt that the Cowboys will look to improve on their number one ranked defense next season, but where could additional help come from? That's easy, on the defensive line and in the secondary. Today, we take a look at a run-stopping specialist that should be available near the end of the first round- Randy Starks.

DT Randy Starks
6-3.5, 308, 5.08
University of Maryland
Projected Draft Position: Late First Round

The Cowboys finished the 2003 regular season at or near the top of most statistical categories. However, if Bill Parcells and company want to stay at the top on the defensive side of the ball, they'll need to bring in additional help this year either through the draft, free agency, or both.

One prospect that should be available near the end of the first round is Maryland defensive tackle Randy Starks.

Starks is a player that consistently commands a double team and would undoubtedly help take a way the attention in the middle from current Cowboy DT La'Roi Glover.

The end result of such a combination could put the Cowboys' defense in a position to increase their number of big plays by getting more pressure on the quarterback and by shutting down the opposition's running game.

Starks commanded a double team throughout his career and registered 74 tackles, including 14 1/2 for a loss in earning All-ACC honors during his senior season in College Park.
"He's a big, athletic space eater in the middle of the defensive line," notes NFL Draft Expert Tony Pauline. "He's quick off the snap and combines a nice first step, closing burst of speed as well as explosiveness flashing on the scene. Starks plays low with good pad level and displays solid hand technique, warding off blockers. He also collapses the pocket or wedges up the field between blockers."

Starks earned All-ACC honors after putting up 74 tackles, including 14 1/2 for a loss during his senior season at Maryland He also registered 17 1/2 career sacks, including 7 1/2 last season.

"He is a developing, young lineman with great potential for the next level," adds Pauline. "He's more of a run stuffer, and he could be used as a wide body in a four-three scheme or even in a two-gap lineman."

The latest mock drafts out of most of the major services around the country are projecting Starks to go somewhere near the end of the first round. That would naturally put him somewhere on the Cowboys' board, even if the team may be thinking more about a defensive end first.

"If they go with defense in the first round, it would seem likely that they'd want a player that could help them more to the quarterback. Starks could be that player, but they may also see what's available at defensive end as well," a source told SilverStarDigest late last week.

"Willie Blade did some good things in the eyes of Bill Parcells last year and we all know about La'Roi Glover," added the source. "Starks would be hard to pass up, but I would think they are looking harder for someone to replace a guy like Ekuban."

Incidentally, Oklahoma's Tommie Harris and Miami's Vince Wilfork are two defensive tackles that some are suggesting could go ahead of Starks in the draft.

Note also that Starks hails from the University of Maryland, the same school as former Cowboy, and Hall of Famer, Randy White.

Starks was supposed to be a rising senior this fall at Maryland, but he elected to enter the draft after learning that he'd likely be a first round pick.

As starter in all 14 games as a sophommore, he finished third on the team with 93 total tackles, second on the team with 6.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss. He also led the team with 17 quarterback hurries and batted down 6 passes in being named to the All-ACC second team.

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