Recently the Football All Star Challenge was held in Indianapolis to showcase 12 NFL prospects in a variety of skill and challenges.
Now keep in mind these drills are done in shorts and don’t always mean they can be good football players in the NFL. I imagine that Bobby Carpenter was very impressive in this kind of stuff but when he got on the field, well Cowboys fans will tell you “he looked like Tarzan but played like Jane.”
In my view, Melvin Ingram (South Carolina), who must be on the Dallas Cowboys’ radar as a first round pick, stood out as the best overall athlete considering speed, quickness, strength and agility. RESULTS
Melvin had the best time in the Lineman Challenge. After an early struggle pushing the sled at the first of the obstacle course, he blazed through the rest of the course displaying exceptional quickness for his position. He went on to win the defensive team competition too that had him teamed with Keenan Robinson (Texas) and also led his team to the win for the full team competition that had four on a team. In the full team competition, Melvin anchored the last leg and powered his team to victory.
Then as if that wasn’t impressive enough, after the event Melvin started tossing footballs into a basket down field with an equal accuracy to that of the three QBs in the competition just to show he could I guess. Is that why he wears #6?
Now remember this is the same defensive lineman that took a fake punt for a score against Georgia. Melvin is an athlete and you can always use guys like that on defense so I hope the Cowboys are taking a look at this guy.
It’s fairly likely that Melvin will still be on the board when the Cowboys step up at #14 and as I watched him run effortlessly in a circle moving the bean bags, it was very easy to picture him flying around an offensive tackle and putting an oppossing NFC East QB on their back. That’s something the Cowboys could use wouldn’t you agree?
Quinton Coples also competed in the lineman challenge and while not as agile as Ingram he is very strong and in my view the most impressive thing is his height. He will be a force at DE and I predict he will be very effective at tipping passes with his height. The next best thing to a sack on a QB, is to knock down the pass. No defensive lineman gets to the QB every time so being able to tip a pass or alter a throw is a big plus especially when your secondary can’t cover Rob Ryan on an out pattern.
There were also three QBs that are all expected to go in the mid to late rounds of the NFL draft so I think the Cowboys could consider all three prospects to replace the retired Kitna. Nick Foles, Arizona won the QB drills competition over Case Keenum, Houston and Kellen Moore, Boise State. All three were about equal in skill during this competition and since Moore and Keenum are projected to go in the 6th or 7th round, that would be a pretty good spot for the Cowboys to select a QB after addressing more urgent needs earlier in the draft.
With smaller size, Melvin Ingram may struggle to fight off blocks once he is blocked. But with his cat-like quickness, who is going to be able to block this guy anyway? Can Dallas pass on this OLB prospect at #14?