Boys Stay Defensive with Final Pick

Cowboys select Auburn defensive lineman Jay Ratliff with their 7th round pick. <BR>

Jay Ratliff School: Auburn
Ht: 6-3.5 Wt: 275 40: 4.88 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Starter two of the past three seasons, posting 37/4/1 as a senior. Moved to defensive tackle as a senior after primarily playing the end position since his freshman campaign.

Positives: Undersized yet athletic lineman who improved his play as a senior. Leverage defender who stays low to the ground, quickly changes direction and displays the ability to immediately alter his angle of attack. Plays with balance, forward lean and rarely off his feet. Showed marked improvement reading and diagnosing the action last year. Works his hands to stay off blocks, pursues laterally and displays speed to the flanks. Fluid changing direction and makes plays up and down the line of scrimmage.

Negatives: Small for a defensive tackle, handled by opponents and turned off the line of scrimmage. Several durability issues prior to his senior campaign.

Analysis: A potential late bloomer, Ratliff capped off a fine senior campaign with an excellent showing in the East-West game this past January. Has the ability to backup at several positions in the NFL and could be used as a three-technique tackle or left defensive end. Must continue to stay healthy and progress, but has solid upside for the next level.

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