Draft Day Target: CB Chris Gamble

Ohio State cornerback Chris Gamble is another quality defensive back that should be there for the taking in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft. The question remains, do the Cowboys really want him?

CB Chris Gamble
6-1.5, 192, 4.47
Ohio State University
Projected Draft Position: Late 1st Round

The Dallas Cowboys have improved their secondary in each of the last two years of the NFL Draft. In 2002 it was Oklahoma safety Roy Williams. In 2003, it was Kansas State cornerback Terence Newman.

What about 2004? Could the Cowboys go after another defensive back in the first round?

According to several sources, that indeed could be the case. Of course, speculation about any potential draft day decision is wide spread the week before the draft, but it would make sense for the organization to at least give the cornerback option serious consideration.

It almost goes without saying that when Dallas lost Mario Edwards to the Tampa Bay Bucs two weeks ago, the need to find another quality cornerback was immediately pushed to the forefront.

One name now being prominently mentioned in draft circles is Ohio State corner Chris Gamble.

Gamble was an All-Conference selection last year after posting 41 tackles to go along with 3 interceptions and 12 passes broken up.
Gamble elected to forgo his senior season in Columbus after posting 41 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 12 passes broken up this past season.

"Gamble is an athletic prospect with a good degree of upside for the next level," notes NFL Draft Expert Tony Pauline. "He's quick footed off the line and flips his hips in transition. He has the speed to easily run downfield with opponents, and displays an explosive break on the ball and good closing speed."

Gamble was one of three Buckeyes to work out during their "Pro Day" earlier this month, and interestingly enough, Cowboys' consultant Paul Warfield was in attendance.

While most reporters were interested in RB Maurice Clarett, you can't help but figure that Gamble also made a lasting impression.

Gamble is a player that has unlimited athletic ability. He has ample speed, he's aggressive, has outstanding size, and good instincts on the field. However, the one area in which he falls "short of the mark" is when it comes to the playbook.

"He's still not the finished product," adds Pauline. "Gamble is a prospect whose athletic skills are way ahead of his mental abilities."

For the Cowboys, Gamble is one of the top corners on the board for several reasons. One, his aggressive style of play is well suited for a defense that needs to create more big plays.

Two, when you add a player like Gamble in the mix with established players like Roy Williams and Darren Woodson, not to mention an up and coming rookie like Terence Newman, good things are bound to happen.

He's also a player that should be there for the taking when the Cowboys go on the clock with the 22nd overall selection.

The millon dollar question of course, is what direction will the Cowboys go with their first round selection. Will it be on the offensive line, at running back, or at corner.

If it's corner, you can bet that Gamble will be one of the top prospects on the board.

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