Fourth Round: 'Boys Draft Another OL

Fourth Round: 'Boys Draft Another OL

The Dallas Cowboys drafted Northern Illinois Doug Free in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft.

HOW IT HAPPENED: The Cowboys owned two fourth round selections in this year's draft, including the No. 122 overall selection, which they used to draft Northern Illinois lineman Doug Free.

DOUG FREE QUOTE: "I'm primarily a left tackle. I had 49 starts there so I feel pretty comfortable at the position. I knew the Cowboys were interested in me so it's not that big of a surprise."

SCOUT.COM DRAFT RANKING: No. 10 (Offensive Tackle)

SCOUTING REPORT: OL Doug Free
BIO: Four-year starter awarded All-Conference honors each of the last three seasons. Also a starter in all 48 games of collegiate career, 46 at left tackle. Made two starts at TE at end of 2004 season. Grading out at 91% in 2006 and owns 59 knockdown blocks and 10 flat backs as a senior.

POSITIVE: Smart, alert lineman who stands out in pass protection. Displays a lot of quickness, recognizes blitzes and is an outstanding position blocker who makes effective use of angles. Stays square, keeps defenders in front of him and fights with his hands. Strong in pass protection and anchors at the point. Turns defenders from their angle of attack and keeps his feet moving on contact.

NEGATIVE: Not a dominant run blocker nor a true finisher. More of a finesse lineman than an outright mauler. Suffered a stress fracture in his foot early last season that hampered his play all year.

FINAL: Formerly a tight end, Free has grown into a terrific offensive tackle. Offers a lot of upside for the next level yet may be incorrectly evaluated because of his injury last season. Possesses starting potential and is a bargain outside of the draft's first day.





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