Saturday Mini-camp Insider

IRVING, TX. - The Ranch Report brings you all the inside info from Saturday's Rookie Mini-camp.

. One of the more impressive surprises at mini-camp has been RB Demetrius Summers (South Carolina). Summers is very quick and elusive, and has lost many would-be defenders in pass drills with a series of quick wiggles and fakes. In one Saturday drill, he came through the line toward LB John Saldi (Texas Tech) -- son of former Cowboy Jay Saldi -- and unveiled a stutter step that crossed up Saldi to the point that he ended up sitting down. It kind of looked like a power forward trying to stop an Allen Iverson crossover -- not going to happen.

. Perhaps the Cowboys' equipment staff also is auditioning new people: Saldi ran right out of both shoes on separate occasions Saturday, and two linemen lost their helmets in very light contact drills.

. Ex-Virginia LB Kai Parham is one of the more heralded undrafted free agents the Cowboys signed to a free agent contract. Reports his biggest shortcoming is speed, although those reports are curious, in that his reported time in the 40-yard dash ranged anywhere from the mid-4.5s to over 5 seconds. Based on the pass coverage drills in which he took part Saturday, the latter (slower) times appear to be more accurate, as RBs Keylon Kincade (SMU) and Summers repeatedly left Parham far in their wake.

. Top draft pick Bobby Carpenter (Ohio State) has been touted as a versatile linebacker who can stuff the run, cover tight ends and running backs on passing plays or rush the passer. While his tackling seems solid and his pass rushing skills have not yet been put on display, he struggled in coverage. TE Erik Gill (Pittsburgh) repeatedly burned Carpenter with speed and decisive cuts on pass routes. It's not like Carpenter was chasing WR Terry Glenn, either -- Gill is 6-foot-5 and weighs a less-than-svelte 275 pounds.

. The offensive line that got the most snaps in Saturday's workout featured some players at new positions, with Dennis Roland (Georgia) at left tackle, Matt Tarullo (who played center last year as a member of the Dallas practice squad) at left guard, E.J. Whitley (Texas Tech) at center after playing left tackle last year in Lubbock, Cory Proctor (Montana) at right guard, and Pat McQuistan (Weber State) at right tackle, a shift from the guard spot he played in college.

. Speculation that TE Anthony Fasano (Notre Dame) is nothing more than a buising blocker appears to be erroneous. The second-rounder from Notre Dame spent much of the session going in motion before going out on pass routes. He has good speed, is very quick in and out of his breaks and showed excellent hands when hauling in passes that weren't precisely on target. Perhaps Bill Parcells knew what he was talking about when he said he wanted another player with the same skills Jason Witten has. In a few matchups between the team's top draft picks, Fasano outran Carpenter on several plays, and also showed the strength to battle with the burly LB when fighting for the ball.

. QB Jaff Mroz (Yale), as mentioned yesterday, does not have a Drew Bledsoe-like cannon of an arm. But he is very adept at one of the hardest skills for a quarterback to master. Throughout the morning session, when he had a receiver running a deep sideline pattern, Mroz repeatedly dropped a deep pass over the receiver's outside shoulder, making it virtually unreachable for the DB covering on the play. On one such play, Mroz deftly dropped the ball over the outside shoulder of Skyler Green (LSU), who made a gorgeous one-handed catch. CB Quincy Butler (TCU) had no shot to make a play on the ball.

. In one-on blocking/pass rushing drills, DT Montavious Stanley looked good, TWICE forcing Tarullo to drop into a splits position as Stanley went by him. DE Jason Hatcher (Grambling State) was much too quick for Roland, but to be fair, he also raced past OT Pat McQuistan (Weber State) and Whitley, too. On one play, Whitley was able to slow down DE Myron Anderson (Arkansas State), but only by grabbing two handfuls of jersey so blatantly it looked like he was trying to steal Anderson's jersey.

. P Brian Clayborn (Western Kentucky) is in camp, perhaps to challenve incumbent Mat McBriar. Clayborn has a very strong leg, but was very inconsistent as he launched bombs downfield toward K Chris McMurtray, who absolutely will not be challenging Green or Jamaica Rector or Ahmad Merritt for the punt returner's job.

CowboysHQ Top Stories