Nevada offensive line draft prospect Austin Corbett is more within the Cowboys' offensive line parameters as far as vital statistics standing 6-4, 305 pounds, as opposed to UTEP's Will Hernandez. The senior from Reed High School in Sparks, Nevada, just east of Reno, is right in there with the size of Zack Martin (6-4, 310) and Jonathan Cooper (6-2, 302). Even swing-tackle-turned-guard Chaz Green is at 6-5, 300 pounds.
The two-time All-Mountain West offensive lineman is athletic, which is evident from having played the left and right tackle spots for the Wolfpack in his collegiate career. Corbett's initial move is a salvo with good hand placement. He has the ability to battle with rushers off the edge and not get beat entirely.
The 36-game consecutive starter also has a love for the game and football intelligence that helped him in making blocking assignments and coordinating pre-snap adjustments. This would go along with what head coach Jason Garrett looks for in the "right kind of guy" mentality.
I like when OL do the little things. Here’s NV LT Austin Corbett picking up twist. He can cut-block and finish, too. Probable NFL LG. pic.twitter.com/wSE1pqITUd— Chad Reuter (@chad_reuter) December 7, 2017
The Cowboys have only taken two from the Wolfpack in franchise history: running back Charvez Foger in 1989 and defensive back Brock Marion in 1993. Overall, Nevada has produced 35 draft picks in school history with recent notables including quarterback Colin Kaepernick, linebacker Brandon Marshall, receiver Rishard Matthews, and guard Joel Bitonio, who Corbett took over for at left tackle.
Corbett is projected to go in the third or fourth round according to Lance Zierlein from NFL.com. Dallas has taken five players in this portion of the draft -- Green (2015), David Arkin (2011), Robert Brewster (2009), James Marten (2007), Doug Free (2007) -- with realistically only one of them panning out. The jury is still out on Green, who had a passable second season before being converted to left guard and kicked back out to swing tackle in year three.
So if Corbett is so great, why would he be saved for day three at the latest? Factor in he has never played guard, which is where he would be projected to play in the NFL. The uncertainty of playing a spot he has never suited up for while at Nevada raises some questions over how high teams would be willing to take him.
The moving from outside to inside would also be coupled with his improvement in the weight room, though he wouldn't necessarily need to add weight given his vital stats are in line with that of some 2017 starters at guard. In a league where the best of the pass rushers would be distilled and faced every week, Corbett would have a learning curve to try to keep up. It wouldn't be as pronounced as it would if he were left on the edge.
Rough rep from Austin Corbett as he fails to absorb the spin from Jalyn Holmes, but instead gives leeway inside and fails to grip. Holmes and Tyquan Lewis both had good weeks representing OSU. pic.twitter.com/1aopIx1Ydn— Jonathan Valencia (@JonValenciaBF) January 30, 2018
Corbett also seems to lumber in space.
Really tough to think of Seattle going Guard with (potentially) another 2nd round pick, but here we are. Austin Corbett: pic.twitter.com/qQImjIfW5b— Jared Stanger (@JaredStanger) February 13, 2018
Rep1 represents Corbett, the same agency that also represents Bitonio along with former Cowboys safety Barry Church and current Dallas defensive back Chidobe Awuzie.
Taking Corbett would be dependent on how the Cowboys addressed guard in free agency, along with how they addressed the top of the draft. If Dallas were to sign Cooper to another one-year deal and use their first two picks on the front seven, then taking a prospect like Corbett, who could play Week 1 but play more effectively Week 1, 2019, wouldn't carry as much liability.
Dallas was awarded four compensatory picks on Feb. 23. With an extra fourth round selection at No. 137, perhaps it wouldn't be a bad idea to roll the dice on Corbett.
Should the Cowboys continue to build from their strength at offensive line or concentrate on filling weaker positions in the draft? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.