With the draft approaching at accelerating speed, the Dallas Cowboys have yet to make a big splash on the free-agent market outside of LB/S Keanu Neal. This means the team will head into the draft with holes to fill. One of these holes is along the defensive line with an emphasis on the interior. With Neville Gallimore and Trysten Hill locked in as leaders in the rotation, adding more pieces to fill different roles should be at the front of the team’s mind.
USC’s Jay Tufele was one of the earliest players to opt-out of the 2020 college football season and seems to be one of the forgotten players in this class. Let’s go into why Tufele is still a solid player but may not be the best fit for the Cowboys at this point.
Measurables (Pro Day Verified)
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Height: 6-foot-2 Weight: 305 pounds Hand Size: 9 3/8 Inches Arm Length: 32 1/2 Inches Wingspan: 79 3/8 Inches
Via Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb on Twitter). RAS or Relative Athletic Score measures a player’s athleticism in reference to other players’ combine results.
Tackles: 41 Total Tackles, 21 Solo Tackles, 5.5 Tackles For Loss Impact Plays: 3.5 Sacks, 1 Pass Deflection
Oregon (2019), BYU (2019), Fresno State (2019), Notre Dame (2019)
Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Fantastic strength overpowers offensive lineman, strength is especially prevalent in his upper body, rush moves are strong and can move lineman to the side. Powerful swipe and swim moves. Explosive mover, wicked first step and moves very well up and down the line. Pursuit is impressive, uses his quickness, and shows off excellent change of direction skills. Pass rush tools are there, strength to plow over lineman and already knows how to disrupt the pocket and hurry the QB. Very good athlete, extremely light on his feet and movement skills are impressive at 310+ pounds. Pad level is great, understands how to create leverage by staying low and being able to create push in the run game, does get too high as a pass rusher at times. Makes jaw-dropping plays in the run game where he can shoot his gap and explode to the ball carrier.
Needs to learn to string pass rush moves together, has trouble with counter moves once engaged, really hurts his ability to produce as a pass rusher. Will need to be more consistent as a pass-rusher, can disappear at times. Has a tendency to overcommit in pursuit. Will rely on his raw strength and quickness at times. Will probably end up as a three-technique, not going to be someone who fills different roles. Production as a pass-rusher needs to improve to be an early draft pick. Stretches of little impact in the Notre Dame game are concerning. Effort and motor can tail off in some pass rush reps, especially when he can’t slip blocks.
Power: 7.5/10 Technique: 10/15 Run Defense: 8/10 Pass-Rush: 6.5/10 Motor: 5.5/10 Quickness: 9/10 Frame: 3.5/5 Tackling and Pursuit: 9/10 Versatility: 2.5/5 Consistency: 3.5/5 Round Grade: 7.222/10 (2nd Round Value)
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Tufele was one of my favorite players from summer scouting and was excited to see the strides he could make this season. Unfortunately, Tufele opted out of the 2020 season and entered the draft. Tufele is a superb athlete for the defensive line, he moves so well for someone that will tip the scales at over 300 pounds. Tufele also has a large amount of untapped potential, he is still developing as a pass-rusher and when he hits his stride he could be a game-changing player. Tufele could very well hear his name called in the first round in April but he is most likely going to be a Day 2 player.
Fit with the Cowboys
Tufele is another player whose fit with the Cowboys is less than ideal. Tufele is likely primarily going to be a three-technique in the NFL and that is simply not what the Cowboys need at this point. They may choose to look into him due to his skills as a run defender but he will likely go too early in the draft for them to really consider drafting him. There are better fits for the team on Day 2 if they are looking for an interior defensive lineman (Alim McNeill comes to mind). Tufele will likely go off the board around where the Cowboys’ second-round pick is. So while it is very unlikely to Tufele in a Cowboys uniform this season if he were to be the pick, Cowboy fans should know that they are getting a high-upside player.
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Read more: https://sports.yahoo.com/did-sitting-usc-dt-jay-014940014.html?src=rss