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With Cowboys Rookie Minicamp Approaching, These Three Rookies Will Stand Out

Kameron Kelly

Rookie minicamp kicks off on Friday for the Dallas Cowboys, and it will be the first look the coaches, scouts, and front office member’s get a glimpse of the players they added via the 2018 NFL Draft, as well as undrafted free agents, and a handful of tryout guys. For the Cowboys, rookie minicamp is more a rookie orientation for the young players to get used to the day in and day out routines, what they expect from guys in practice, and how things will be run when they get to OTA’s at the end of the month.

Ed note: Click Here to check out the post-draft Dallas Cowboys Depth Chart

There will be some football things done this weekend at The Star, and even though it won’t be hard-hitting football we all love, it’s still nice to see the 2018 Dallas Cowboys football team doing some real-life football things. Most of the practices will be more of a walkthrough and there will be little to no contact between offensive and defensive players. Even with the dumbed down football practices, these young players can still put a lasting impression on the coaches.

Today I will bring you three guys who I think will impress this weekend when minicamp gets underway.

Kameron Kelly – San Diego State – S – UDFA

Kameron Kelly played all over the secondary for the Aztecs. Kelly will most likely fit in best as a safety with some cornerback flexibility in Dallas. The former San Diego State Aztec was known for his cover ability, physicality, and athletic ability. At 6-foot-2, 200lbs, Kelly has ideal size to be efficient when defending both the run game and the passing game. Over his four years (46 games at San Diego State), Kelly finished with an impressive 10 interceptions and 165 tackles.

Kelly wins using his physical attributes to bully receivers at the line of scrimmage in press coverage but also has the range and instincts to play off the ball and make plays on both the football and the receiver. An underrated aspect of Kameron’s game is how good of a blitzer he can be out of the slot.

In the video above, you’ll see in the first play his ability to “mirror” receivers movements. You can also see how fluid of an athlete he is, by his ability to change direction and his start/stop quickness. In the second clip, you’ll see how explosive he is as a blitzer when coming off the edge out of the slot. I think the Cowboys will give Kelly a shot at safety at first, but if that doesn’t work out, he can be a quality cornerback on this depth chart as well.

In the next clip, you’ll see him again be in perfect position on the boundary as a corner, the quarterback throws up and an easy interception, but Kelly shows off his athletic ability and technique to high point the football for the easy pick.

It’ll be easier to evaluate Kameron Kelly when the pads come on in OTA’s, but don’t be surprised if the UDFA, Kam Kelly is a name buzzing at The Star after the minicamp practices finish up.

Cedrick Wilson – Boise State – WR – 208th Overall Pick

Again, in these practices, you’ll see few 1-on-1’s, or any reps where Cedrick Wilson goes against a defender, and that is exactly why I think Wilson will have everyone watching very impressed. Wilson does a lot of good things when on the field. He can stretch the field vertically with his speed, he can make plays after the catch with his elusiveness, and he has above-average hands as a receiver. What Cedrick Wilson struggles with is beating press coverage on a consistent basis due to his thin frame. In these practices, he will not have to deal with the press at all, any reps he gets going against a defender they’ll likely be played in off coverage to avoid collisions/injuries.

Cedrick Wilson isn’t a burner by any means, but he is a long strider that can fly once he gets going. Here are a few clips of the former Boise State wide receiver stretching the field vertically.

With these videos, you will see that while he isn’t creating a ton of separation with his speed, he does create just enough to make plays down the field. He was also one of the best receivers in this draft class when tracking the ball in the air. His strong hands and concentration are a big reason why I think he’ll have some success in the NFL. While the two players didn’t test similar athletically, think of Cedrick Wilson as a Brice Butler replacement, they both have a very similar style of play to their game. Cedrick Wilson is still an ascending player (has only played the receiver position for three years), so he’s a guy to keep an eye on as a bottom of the depth chart WR in year one, and maybe one that could eventually turn into a starter.

Mike White – Western Kentucky – QB – 171st Overall

Drafting former Western Kentucky’s Mike White with the 171st overall pick may have been the steal of the entire draft, and you’ll hear a lot about the former QB after his showing this weekend. Mike White is also what we would consider an ascending player. White played two seasons at South Florida before transferring to Western Kentucky in 2015. Due to the NCAA eligibility rules, he had to sit out the 2015 season, but once he was able to get back on the field he was phenomenal. In 2016, White led the Conference USA in completion percentage, passing yards per attempt, passing efficiency rating, and total yards per play. While his 2017 tape wasn’t quite as impressive (due to his offensive line declining big time), his numbers were still very good.

In his two years as the Hilltoppers starting quarterback, White threw for a combined 63 touchdowns on just 15 interceptions, 8,540 yards, 158.1 quarterback rating, and a 66.4 completion percentage. Leading up to the draft, I went on record to say that with the right fit, I could see Mike White being an average to above average starting quarterback in the NFL, to grab that guy in the fifth round is insane value.

Mike White plays his best football when standing in a clean pocket and able to survey the field. White does a nice job of going through his progressions, throwing with accuracy, and he can throw with some impressive anticipation as well.

Mike White had a very solid week down in Mobile at the Senior Bowl proving to all 32 teams that he could make NFL throws against NFL coverages. In these minicamp practices that won’t bring any pressure his way, Mike White will look extremely good throwing the ball in all three levels of the field. I expect the former Western Kentucky QB to have a dominant offseason and win that backup quarterback job through the first few weeks of the regular season.

Let me know below who you are excited to hear about this weekend when the Dallas Cowboys kick off their 2018 Mandatory Rookie Minicamp!

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Connor Livesay

Connor Livesay

Author SportsTalkLine.com at SportsTalkLine
I talk a lot about the NFL Draft and the Dallas Cowboys. I plan on talking a lot more.
Connor Livesay