Draft Day Target: RB Lee Suggs

With the departure of Emmitt Smith, it seems only natural that the Cowboys will be looking to add a young running back to the mix this offseason. One of the names that should be available in the early second round is Virginia Tech's Lee Suggs.

While Troy Hambrick and Micheal Wiley will both try to make their claim as the Cowboys' running back of the future, the organization will still try to bring in some additional help in the backfield next season.

Of course, Bill Parcells is already targeting several names in the free agent arena, but if that falls through, the 2003 NFL Draft will be where the Cowboys grab their running back of the future.

We've already identified the potential pool in the first round. Kansas State's Terrence Newman, ASU's Terrell Suggs, Washington State's Marcus Trufant are just three of the names that appear to be on top of the Cowboys' draft board.

But what about the second round? Who can we expect to be available when the Cowboys go on the clock later in the day on April 26th?

A major knee injury shelved Lee Suggs for almost all of the 2001 season, but he quickly got back to form during his senior year, rushing 257 times for 1329 yards and 22 touchdowns.
How about Virginia Tech running back Lee Suggs, an explosive speedster that has unlimited potential and an incredible work ethic.

"Suggs is a quick, shifty back," says NFL Draft expert Tony Pauline.

"He's an explosive runner with quickness through the hole and a burst of speed in the open field. He also is a patient runner that waits for his blocks to develop, and then sets-up defenders and makes them miss, side-stepping opponents with his ability to quickly cut it back."

Suggs is coming of major knee surgery that limited his effectiveness later in his career, but most experts still have him rated as a late first to early second round selection.

"He breaks down well playing with forward lean and gives effort blocking. He's best on the interior and a north-south runner that weaves through the traffic, breaking arm tackles and working his runs," added Pauline.

The downside with Suggs is that he has only average hands, and tends to lose momentum running in anything other than a straight-line.

And obviously, there is concern about his health after he tore his ACL in the first game of the 2001 season. He sat out the rest of the season that year, but he quickly got back to form in 2002, rushing 257 times for 1329 yards and 22 touchdowns.

As a sophomore, he rushed 222 times for 1207 yards a mind-boggling 27 scores.

While Suggs performance on the field has been well documented, his work ethic in the weight room is unparalleled. He's also a quiet guy that lets his play on the field do the talking- something that will be much needed at the running back position next year in Dallas.

Suggs, who was relatively quiet at the combine last week in Indianapolis, had a Body Fat Percentage of 6.2- one of the lowest of any athlete there.

Questions still remain about his knee, but he's clearly worth the risk. He has unbeatable character and unmatched skills at the running back position. Simply put, he could develop into one of the top backs of the 2003 class should he continue to work hard and stay injury free.

The Cowboys should also be in a prime position in the draft to gain his services. By either trading down for additional picks late in the first round, or by grabbing him early in the 2nd- he'll be there for the taking.

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