Senior Bowl Buzz - Wednesday Evening

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

With live practice limited to very few on Wednesday, it was a good day to hang out at the players' hotel all day and draw in as much buzz as possible swirling around the Senior Bowl. Here’s the latest from Mobile.

- Look for the Dallas Cowboys to target a pass rusher in free agency or the upcoming draft. Besides the news today that potential free agent Demarcus Lawrence will need shoulder surgery, word at the combine is that the franchise has tired of Randy Gregory, who is in the final year of his contract. There is a belief here at the Senior Bowl that the Cowboys will try and put a package together to move up in the draft and get a pass rusher if they don’t get it figured out in free agency.

- Are analytics finished in scouting departments? The short answer is no, but they are having less of an impact in the final decisions when selecting players in the draft. I’m told that while owners love analytics, scouting staffs and general managers who come through the scouting ranks are starting to detest them. Owners, who are usually successful businessmen who rely on numbers, prefer analytics because of their business acumen. But scouts and even coaches I’ve spoken with since Shrine Game practices last week tell me analytics have little to do with Xs and Os as well, the work ethic and personality of players or the ability of prospects to fit a specific position. As told to me by one position coach, when the topic of analytics is brought up in war rooms as a reason to select a player, the response in their minds is, “Here we go again!”

- I’ve been pretty steadfast in saying I do not believe Jonah Williams will play left tackle at the next level and doesn’t deserve to be a top-15 pick, something I heard once again today from a trusted source. But to be fair and tell the complete story, multiple people have complimented Williams’ game preparation, ability to absorb game planning and overall work ethic. I’m told Williams is expected to be a great interview at the combine.

- The praise for James Madison cornerback Jimmy Moreland continues to roll in. This time it's from a competitor, as South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel has told people Moreland is the best cornerback he’s faced all week.