Tony Pollard Jersey

INDIANAPOLIS – The first thing Memphis RB Tony Pollard wanted to make clear: He’s never going to be Anthony Miller, personality-wise.

“We’re two different people when it comes to our confidence,” Pollard said with a smile on Thursday at the NFL scouting combine.

But Pollard and his former Memphis teammate and friend, Miller, now a budding star with the Bears, remain close — and Miller continues to rub off on Pollard now as he paves his own path to the league.

“I just like his style,” Pollard said of Miller, whose college apartment was just above Pollard’s during the 2017 season. “Just him believing in himself and him coming from nothing and where he is now. He believed in himself when nobody else did, and now that he’s up there he still hasn’t changed the way he’s at.”

As Pollard’s role with the Tigers grew, Miller was making his way as a rookie with the Bears. The second-round pick – for whom Bears GM Ryan Pace gave up this year’s second-rounder to draft in 2018 – had some stops and starts in his first season in Chicago, but he finished fifth on the team in receptions (33) and receiving yards (423) and led the club in TD catches (seven).

What struck Pollard at Memphis was what the Bears roundly praised Miller for: his work ethic.

“Even with him, his last season in Memphis, being projected as one of the best players in in the country, if you came around practice you would have thought he was a walk-on,” Pollard said. “He practiced and just was the hardest-working player I have ever been around.”

Of course, Miller amazingly was a walk-on there. And though Pollard was offered a scholarship out of high school out of the Memphis area by the Tigers, it was one of his few FBS options. He tried to soak up some of Miller’s prove-it mentality while climbing the depth chart there and earning a role on offense and special teams.

Versatility and speed might be two of Pollard’s best calling cards. He was a running back in a traditional sense, and he measured in at 5-foot-10 5/8 and 210 pounds. But the Tigers also used him as a receiver out of the backfield and split him out wide as a way to get him and teammate Darrell Henderson on the field together. Pollard ran for 552 yards and six touchdowns this past season and also caught 39 passes for 458 yards and three TDs. He said his best-ever 40-yard dash was 4.37 seconds.

Pollard also was Memphis’ best returner by a mile, running back six career kickoffs for touchdowns, and he showcased good skills while performing on a number of the special-teams units.

“My whole career at Memphis, I’ve been doing special teams,” he said. “Kick return, kickoff, punt, gunner, punt return, block kicks, blocking the gunners on punts. Running back who lines up in the slot. All just helps being able to do a lot of things.”

Including a few things the Bears currently need. He has spoken to the team informally he said, and Henderson told media he did the same with the Bears as they seek to add more talent into the backfield and upgrade the return game. Pollard knows he could help fill both roles.

Asked how he’d fit in an offense such as the Bears’, with running backs motioning out and lined up in multiple spots, Pollard said: “That’s what I am looking for. It’s really cheating honestly. Running with a linebacker, knowing you have the advantage speed-wise and skill set-wise. It’s fun, but it’s really cheating honestly.”

Henderson is likely the most beloved prospect, having averaged a stunning 8.2 yards on his 432 college carries and 12.0 yards on his 63 receptions over the past three years. But if he is off the board when the Bears make their first selection at No. 87 overall, Pollard could be on their radar later in the draft. He’s projected as a Day 3 pick, but the arrow has been pointing upward following a standout performance in Memphis’ bowl game and Pollard’s good showing at the Senior Bowl.

He warns that he’s not the same personality as Miller, but Pollard wants to bring that same drive to whatever NFL team that drafts him. And if he’s somehow reunited with his former Memphis teammate in Chicago?

“It would be almost a dream come true,” Pollard said. “Him being from Memphis, playing again together … I know we would just click again instantly.”

In his four years in Memphis Pollard rushed for 941 yards with 9 touchdowns, he also had 1292 yards recieveing with another 9 touchdowns.

The Cowboys still have three picks in the 2019 NFL draft: 136 in the fourth round, 165 in the fifth round, and 241 in the seventh.

Keep it on 105.3 The Fan for wall-to-wall draft coverage live from The Star in Frisco, and check out the 105.3 The Fan Draft Board to see the best prospects left in the 2019 NFL Draft right HERE.

ANALYSIS
During his three seasons at Memphis, Pollard established himself as one of the nation’s most electric return men, bringing back seven kickoffs for touchdowns to tie the FBS career record. While Pollard projects to make his biggest impact on special teams at the next level, his departure will represent a significant loss on offense for a Memphis squad that already lost top running back Darrell Henderson to the draft. Pollard finished as the Tigers’ third-leading rusher with 552 yards and second-leading receiver with 39 grabs for 458 yards in 2018.

FRISCO, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys have drafted running back Tony Pollard of Memphis as a potential backup for two-time NFL rushing champion Ezekiel Elliott.

The Cowboys took Pollard with the 128th overall pick in the fourth round Saturday. Dallas considered the spot behind Elliott an offseason priority after not bringing back seldom-used Rod Smith.

Pollard also has potential as a return man after tying the FBS career record with seven kickoff returns for touchdowns.

Although owner and general manager Jerry Jones has said a multipurpose back wasn’t a requirement for Elliott’s backup, Pollard fits that bill as well. He had 552 yards rushing with six touchdowns and 458 yards receiving with three more scores as a junior at Memphis.

All three of Dallas’ picks skipped their senior seasons to enter the draft. Central Florida defensive tackle Trysten Hill was the club’s top pick at 58th overall in the second round. Offensive lineman Connor McGovern of Penn State went 90th overall in the third round.

Connor McGovern Jersey

Below are snippets of scouting reports on new Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Connor McGovern. Read the full reports by clicking the links.

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com: Reliable run blocker with NFL-ready size and strength but exploitable holes in his pass sets that need to be addressed as quickly as possible. His starting experience at both center and guard could bring additional interest in McGovern, who would be a bigger, stronger option at center for teams facing odd-front power in their division. He is a good fit in gap and inside-zone run schemes, but his tendency to over-set in pass protection could be challenging to correct. He’s an early starter as a Day 2 pick, but Year 1 could have ups and downs.

Yahoo Sports’ Eric Edholm: McGovern is a heavy-handed, well-proportioned blocker who works well on the move. … McGovern can hit moving targets, positions himself well with good footwork and has a nice finishing ability.

There are holes in his pass protection, as he will sometimes fail to get his hands inside of defenders and can struggle to pick up line stunts and twists … McGovern has the earmarks of an early NFL starter at any of the three interior positions – a high-floor, medium ceiling prospect who will make his unit better in time. He might not dominate early, but McGovern should be a good player for years to come.

Dane Brugler, The Athletic: A three-year starter at Penn State, McGovern started at guard as a true freshman before moving to center as a sophomore and spending time at both positions in 2018. The Nittany Lions had a 1,200-plus yard rusher each of the last three seasons and found success running it up the gut. McGovern loads his hands and runs his feet in the run game, locating his targets from distance with excellent awareness. He works persistently to stay between ball and defender in pass protection, but he needs to fortify his base and use his natural bend to shuffle and counter. Overall, McGovern needs to better trust his feet, but he shows starter quality traits at center or guard, projecting as a high-floor, low-ceiling NFL blocker.

Note: You need an Athletic subscription to read the above report.

The Draft Network: Connor McGovern definitely profiles as an eventual starting OG in the NFL, I’m just not sold he can do so at a high level immediately. With great functional athleticism and effective functional strength,, McGovern possesses the foundation needed to be a quality player. But hand timing issues and balance work still rear their heads in his tape and make him more of a three year window to peak as a pro vs. being a plug and play starter immediately from Day 1.

Cover1.net: McGovern has the type of versatility and experience that teams love. His experience at guard and center are exactly the combination that teams covet, seeing as how they only like to dress six or seven linemen on gameday (one tackle, one G/C). While he weighed in at 308 pounds at the combine, he played in the 320-pound range, and I believe that is where his weight should be. His frame can easily carry more muscle. He is a good athlete who plays best in the phone booth but moves well in space. That’s because he has reactive feet that quickly get him on the perimeter on pulls or mirroring a defender’s rush. McGovern’s lateral agility is sneaky; he can extinguish a 3-technique’s rush across his face or execute a double under-hop to anchor versus a nose tackle.

Most of McGovern’s question marks are correctable.

After selecting a defensive lineman with their first pick Friday night, the Dallas Cowboys switched to offense in the NFL draft’s third round.

With the 90th overall pick, the Cowboys selected Penn State offensive lineman Connor McGovern.

Here’s some local and national reaction to the pick:

Connor McGovern has become the 2nd Nittany Lion selected Friday, being selected with the 90th pick in the by the Dallas Cowboys.

McGovern is one of two Penn State offensive lineman who decided to forgo their senior season and enter the NFL Draft.

The Pennsylvania native appeared in 39 games as a member of the Nittany Lions, starting in 35 of them. In this past season as a junior, McGovern was named to the third-team All-Big Ten team by the league’s coaches and media.

The lineman is very versatile playing center and guard throughout his entire Penn State career.

NFL scouts have been raving about his size at 6-foot-5 and 308 pounds and his run blocking abilities.

McGovern is a solid, gritty offensive lineman that is predictable and going to give a solid performance on a week to week basis. He isn’t going to blow people away with his freakish ability, but McGovern is going to get the job done on the interior of the line.

Scouts are concerned about his pass blocking abilities, but overall McGovern is projected as one of the top guard prospects in the draft.

—Three-year starter who had experience at guard and center for the Nittany Lions.

—Tall (6’5″), long (34 ⅛” arms) and uses both well enough to keep defenders from getting inside his reach and dominating his frame in the run game. Doesn’t surrender his chest in pass pro.

—Road grader in the run game who locks on and has the lower-body power to drive block.

—Smart, well-coached blocker who already understands angles and timing when working to chip or double team.

—Can sink his weight and stonewall bull-rushers.

—Ideal size and power for an interior offensive lineman.

Trysten Hill Jersey

Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Trysten Hill agreed to an informal “work ethic contract” with Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli before the franchise selected him out of UCF in the second round of the 2019 NFL draft Friday night.

Marinelli told reporters it’s a pact with all the team’s defensive linemen and is not at all related to outsider concerns about his “football character and maturity.”

“I do this with every guy from a free agent to a draft pick, just my own copy of it, back and forth, front and back. It talks about how we play, what I ask of you in practice, day of games, all of it. I am very clear of it. I said to him, ‘If it doesn’t fit you, tell me now, because you will not be happy here. I told him to keep it, and he said, ‘Coach I feel great about this.’

“It’s just about how you play. It’s a lot of different things, but how you carry yourself, how you play in our system. The effort and the want to, every snap. We’re unique that way—how hard we practice and play. I usually see that on film early with guys. He really plays hard. If you watch his tape, he really hustles. That’s the passion we want in these guys.”

Yahoo Sports’ Eric Edholm clarified that it was a “handshake deal.”

Hill tallied 36 total tackles, including 10.5 tackles for loss, and three sacks across 12 appearances for the Knights during his junior season in 2018.

But he started only one game, raising questions about why one of UCF’s most talented defenders wasn’t on the field consistently.

In December, Chris Hays of the Orlando Sentinel reported the Florida native “started to gain a reputation, deserving or not, for being lazy and having attitude issues” during his sophomore season in 2017. Then he lost his starting spot when Josh Heupel took over the program from Scott Frost before the 2018 season.

“And then having things happen … and having the coaching change happen and how some people started to spell it out in different ways about me in different situations and stuff like that,” Hill said. “But I don’t feel like I got a bad rap. I just feel like some people didn’t really support me the way they should have.”

He mentioned Frost and his staff while declaring for the draft in early January, but he didn’t mention Heupel or his staff, furthering the belief a schism had developed.

Looking ahead, Hill should provide depth for the Cowboys behind Maliek Collins and Tyrone Crawford at defensive tackle as a rookie.

He possesses the potential to eventually become a three-down starter for Dallas up front. That could happen as early as 2020 with Collins being a potential unrestricted free agent after next season.

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Trysten Hill didn’t have a happy ending at Central Florida, where the defensive tackle appeared to fall out of favor with the coaching staff after Scott Frost left for Nebraska.

The Dallas Cowboys showed little concern for that history while drafting an interior defensive lineman before the third round for the first time in almost 30 years. After the two biggest moves of the offseason involved their pass rush, the Cowboys kept the focus on the defensive front with their first pick of the draft, taking Hill 58th overall in the second round Friday night.

Dallas, which didn’t have a first-round pick because of a trade last season for receiver Amari Cooper, took Penn State offensive lineman Connor McGovern with the 90th overall pick in the third round. Hill and McGovern skipped their senior seasons to enter the draft.

The 308-pound Hill wasn’t happy with his playing time when the Golden Knights lost to LSU in the Fiesta Bowl, ending a 25-game winning streak. He started just once in 12 games after starting all 13 games in both seasons under Frost.

But Hill and Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli hit it off during the process leading to the draft, including a meeting that Hill remembered the night before his NFL combine workout in February.

“He wants the best out of me and I want to give him everything I got,” Hill said. “Him taking hold of me in this whole process and me being able to call him and chat with him and just hear his voice was huge in this whole ordeal.”

Coach Jason Garrett said the Cowboys spent time with Frost and the staff that was with Hill his first two years. Garrett said they “endorsed him highly, both as a player and as a person.”

That was enough for Dallas to take a defensive tackle before the third round for the first time since drafting Russell Maryland first overall in 1991.

“We got very comfortable with that question because we had the same question everybody else had,” Garrett said. “He played well in ’17 and then is not a starter in ’18. What’s going on there? He’s still a young guy. He’s still maturing. The stuff that we think is most important. He loves ‘ball. He wants to work at it. He wants to be great. He wants to be part of something special. We feel like he has all those qualities.”

Despite a strained relationship with the coaching staff, Hill was productive in his final season with UCF, recording career highs with 36 tackles, three sacks and 10 1/2 tackles for loss. He had six tackles, three for loss and two sacks in a 56-41 win over Memphis in the American Athletic Conference championship game.

“I think I’m a dominant, tenacious player, and everything’s a competition,” Hill said. “That’s how I was raised. That’s what I’m going to do day in and day out. I’m excited to get to work because I know that’s how Marinelli preaches.”

Marinelli says he plans to use Hill in the same position as Maliek Collins, a three-year starter going into the final year of his rookie contract.

Defensive line was the top choice in the draft for the Cowboys after they made star pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence the highest-paid player in franchise history with a $105 million, five-year contract and acquired defensive end Robert Quinn from Miami in a trade.

McGovern brings the versatility the Cowboys covet with offensive linemen. He played guard as a freshman with the Nittany Lions, center as a sophomore and mostly guard his final season in 2018.

“To me he was a classic case of us doing our best to look up at the board and say, ‘Who’s the best player up there?'” Garrett said. “He for us was by far the best player at that time. Exactly what we want in our offensive linemen. He’s smart, he’s tough, he loves to play the game.”

The Cowboys go into Saturday with four picks in the final four rounds: two in the fourth and one each in the fifth and seventh rounds.