Draft Watch: Alabama DL Marcell Dareus

ESPNDallas.com looks at potential Cowboys picks for the April 28-30 NFL draft.


Position: DE/DT

School: Alabama

Scouts Inc. ranking: No. 1 overall

Bio: All-SEC first-team selection as a junior, his only college season as a full-time starter. Made 34 tackles, including 11 for losses and 4.5 sacks, despite getting double-teamed most of the time. … Had 8.5 tackles for losses and an SEC-leading 6.5 sacks as a sophomore, when he made only four starts. … Was named the most outstanding defensive player in the Crimson Tide’s BCS championship win over Texas in 2010. Dareus had a 28-yard interception return for a touchdown, making a spin move to elude a tackler, and knocked Colt McCoy out of the game with a clean hit.

Size: 6-3⅛, 319

40-yard dash: 4.94

Arm length: 33⅜

Hand size: 10⅛

225-pound bench press: 24 reps

Vertical jump: 27 inches

Broad jump: Did not jump at scouting combine.

20-yard shuttle: 4.68

Three-cone drill: 7.83

Broaddus Breakdown (viewed Arkansas, Florida and LSU games): In the games I viewed, he lined up as a defensive end, but in the NFL I think he is a better fit as a defensive tackle or nose. Have heard him compare himself to Warren Sapp but is about 40 pounds heavier than Sapp was coming out of Miami. … Can see Dareus playing that 1 or 3 technique in a 4-3 or a nose in the 3-4. Outstanding strength at the point of attack and against double-teams. Disruptive player that is always attacking blockers. … Best traits are his quickness and his ability to explode off the snap to get upfield. Does a much better job of playing with his hands than Nick Fairley. There is some “shock” when he fires his hands inside to control the blocker. He will throw blockers around with ease. Upper body strength is more impressive than his lifting numbers would indicate. … More active against than run than Fairley. Will work down the line until he finds a gap to get through or he will meet the ball in the hole. … Physical at the point of attack. Has a real feel for how to play blocks. … You see some impressive COD (change of direction) for a man his size. Can see the ball, stop and redirect to get to the ball carrier. You don’t see him get tied up or washed out of the play like others in this draft. … Like Fairley, he will need to do a better job of developing some pass-rush moves. Right now, he is all about brute force and power. He walks blockers backwards. … Still see him as a three-down player pushing the front of the pocket from the inside. Played some nose for Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide in the nickel and was used on some twist stunts getting home against LSU. … Has a real chance to be an impact interior defender for the team that drafts him now. Physical tools are quite impressive.