The first full week of Pro Days finished up with a mini-combine of sorts at Ohio State on Friday. One of the most important dates on the Pro Day schedule takes place Tuesday and it leads off this week’s Draft Buzz.
1. The league descends on Los Angeles this Tuesday as the long-awaited workout for Myles Jack takes place at UCLA. Teams are anxious to watch Jack as it could determine the outcome of the draft’s initial five picks. There’s been some discussion about the health of his knee as the junior is six months removed from surgery to repair his torn meniscus. The usual recovery time for this type of injury is four-to-six months, but scouts wonder if the linebacker will show any ill effects. Has Jack lost any of his patented quickness or ability to change direction on a dime? The results will impact the early selections of the first round.
2. Jack’s teammate, offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch, has been graded as a top-75 selection. Some predict he’ll be drafted by the end of round two. Benenoch, who lined up at right tackle for UCLA, performed well at the NFL Scouting Combine and NFL teams like his versatility. The belief is that other than center, Benenoch can hold down any spot on the offensive line.
3. How will this weekend's reported arrest for driving under the influence affect quarterback Dak Prescott? For the handful of teams who grade him as a second-day pick, Prescott will surely be dropped into the draft's final day. Most teams had the athletic signal-caller stamped as a last-day choice prior to the incident. For all his wonderful athletic skills, scouts have concluded Prescott will need a ton of work on his game before he'll ever step under center on Sunday. His mechanics, accuracy and ability to play in a multi-read NFL offense make him a project. The arrest this weekend is another reason for those concerned to stay away.
4. What are the plans for the Dallas Cowboys in the first round? The team covets defensive back Jalen Ramsey, but feels he’ll be gone by the No. 4 pick so they are presently targeting a pair of Ohio State Buckeyes - Joey Bosa or Ezekiel Elliott. With DeMarcus Lawrence coming off back surgery and Randy Gregory suspended the first month of the season, Bosa fits the need at defensive end while Elliott brings a major upgrade to the running back position. I’m told Dallas would consider trading down, but wants to stay ahead of the 10th selection, presently owned by the New York Giants.
5. Much has been made about the pedestrian production of cornerback Mackensie Alexander. Over the past two seasons, the redshirt sophomore never intercepted a pass and broke up just 11. NFL decision-makers are not among those concerned. As one executive told me, “You can’t make plays on the ball if no one throws in your direction.” The bigger issue for Alexander is he touches the tape at 5-10, two inches shy of the minimum height required by some teams to be a first-round cornerback.
6. Insiders believe there could be a run on offensive tackles early in the first round with as many as three (Laremy Tunsil, Ronnie Stanley and Jack Conklin) ending up as top 12 picks. There are a few reasons for this: A. Offensive tackle is a priority position come draft day. B. There were no top-tier tackles available in free agency. Right now, it looks as though a half-dozen offensive tackles are going to be first-round choices.
Tony Pauline has been a draft analyst for more than 25 years, and is president and editor of DraftInsider.net, a site dedicated year-round coverage of the NFL Draft. You can follow on Twitter @TonyPauline