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Cowboys' Potential Draft Pick: Brian Winters, G/T, Kent State

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 30: Dri Archer #1 of Kent State celebrates his first-quarter touchdown with Brian Winters #66, Phil Huff #75 and Casey Pierce #88 during the Mid-American Conference Championship game against Northern Illinois at Ford Field on November 30, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

    Kent State’s Brian Winters played all along the offensive line in college. He started 12 games at right tackle in his freshman season and 33 of his 49 career starts came at left tackle.

    Scouting Report

    The first thing scouts need to do is figure out which position(s) Winters will play. He’s 6-4, 320 pounds with 32 ¾-inch arms. That arm length might be a bit short to man one of the offensive tackle positions, although it’s far from impossible. If Winters plays offensive tackle in the NFL, it will almost assuredly be on the right side.

    Winter has a tough, nasty style of play as opposed to using finesse. He’s not highly athletic—as evidenced by his 5.25 40-yard dash. I don’t put too much stock in a 40 time for linemen, but it shows a general level of explosiveness and athleticism. For Winters, it confirms what you see on tape; he’s more of a “mauler” than someone who will excel on the edge or in space. For that reason, I think he’s best suited at guard with the ability to move to right tackle if needed.

    Winters does a really nice job of setting in his pass drop. He uses really outstanding technique in pass protection, rarely getting off-balance and making the most of his athleticism. He was a wrestler in high school and that’s the way he plays football—with great balance and hand usage.

    NFL Comparison: Bryan Bulaga

    Bulaga was another player who many scouts saw as a guard in the NFL due to his short arms, but he has played well at tackle for the Packers. Winters’ most natural fit is probable inside, but he plays very similarly to Bulaga, meaning right tackle isn’t out of the question.

    Projection

    I really like Winters because of his versatility, and I think he’ll make a smooth transition to guard. His ability to play right tackle is going to help his draft stock, especially if some teams think he can remain there in the NFL. He’ll probably be a third-round draft pick, although I think he’s a second-round talent.

    Fit In Dallas

    I’m not sure how much interest the Cowboys have in Winters, but I think he should be on their radar. With guard/tackle versatility, Winters would give the Cowboys some flexibility with their personnel decisions. The only thing that could keep Winters out of Dallas is that he’s a power linemen, and I think the ‘Boys are starting to look for more athletic players for their transition to a zone-blocking scheme.

     

    Other Scouting Reports

    Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

    Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

    Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

    Jonathan Cooper, G, UNC

    Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU

    Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State

    Chance Warmack, G, Alabama

    Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon

    Jonathan Jenkins, DT, Georgia

    D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama

    Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia

    Barrett Jones, C, Alabama

    Sylvester Williams, DT, UNC

    Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia

    Kevin Minter, LB, LSU

    Larry Warford, G, Kentucky

    Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International

    Datone Jones, DT/DE, UCLA

    Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama

    Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford

    Dallas Thomas, OT, Tennessee

    Phillip Thomas, S, Fresno State

    Margus Hunt, DE, SMU

    Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State

    Corey Lemonier, DE, Auburn

    Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State

    Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

    Kyle Long, G/T, Oregon

    Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

    Khaseem Greene, LB, Rutgers

    Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse

    Stansly Maponga, DE, TCU

    Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee

    Bacarri Rambo, S, Georgia

    Justin Pugh, G, Syracuse

    Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

    Gavin Escobar, TE, San Diego State

    T.J. McDonald, S, USC

    D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina

    Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin

    JJ Wilcox, S, Georgia Southern

    Brennan Williams, OT, UNC

    Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor

    David Bakhtiari, OT, Colorado

    Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU

     

    Jonathan Bales is the founder of The DC Times. He writes for DallasCowboys.com and the New York Times. He's also the author of Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Dominate Your Draft.