Dallas Cowboys: Penn State Nittany Lions

Draft preview: DT Jared Odrick

April, 13, 2010

ESPNDallas.com will look at a potential Cowboys pick each weekday leading up to the draft.


School: Penn State
Position: Defensive tackle/end
Scouts Inc. rank: No. 5 at DT, No. 28 overall (scouting report)

[+] Enlarge Jared Odrick
AP Photo/Carolyn KasterDefensive lineman Jared Odrick had 10 tackles for losses and six sacks as a senior at Penn State.
Odrick, the 2009 Big Ten defensive player of the year, has an excellent first step and anticipation of the snap count. That allows him to be disruptive, making 10 tackles for losses and six sacks as a senior. He has good strength and competes to get off blocks, often controlling offensive lineman with his powerful hands in one-on-one situations. As a pass rusher, he’s effective with bull rush and rip moves and is relentless.

He doesn’t have elite lateral mobility or the ability to change directions quickly. That limits his ability to make tackles on plays that aren’t run right at him or to chase down scrambling quarterbacks. He can be robotic as a pass rusher and needs to develop counter-moves to be consistently effective against NFL offensive linemen. He was arrested for disorderly conduct in February 2009 after a fight with three students on the Penn State campus, registering some concern about his character.

He has the prototypical frame to play defensive end in a 3-4, and his explosive first step makes him a good fit in Wade Phillips’ one-gap system. Odrick is expected to be selected in the late first round, so he wouldn’t be a reach for the Cowboys at No. 27. With three defensive ends playing on one-year tenders, it’d make sense to draft Odrick if the Cowboys believe he’s the best available player. If that happens, don’t be surprised if they try to trade one of their defensive ends (Marcus Spears?) for a mid-round pick.