By Matthew Postins
Meet Ben Gardner, the Cowboys’ Seventh-Round Pick
The Dallas Cowboys selected Stanford defensive end Ben Gardner with their seventh-round (No. 231 overall) selection on Saturday afternoon. Find out more about him below:
Height, Weight: 6-foot-4, 262 pounds
Rankings: CBSSports.com ranks Gardner as the No. 351 overall prospect and the No. 27 draft prospect at defensive end. CBSSports.com graded him an undrafted free agent grade.
The skinny: Team captain… All-Pac-12 first team… Sporting News All-Pac-12… Phil Steele All-Pac-12 third team… Bednarik Award watch list… Bronko Nagurski Award watch list… Rotary Lombardi Award watch list… Phil Steele preseason All-Pac-12 first team… Athlon preseason All-Pac-12 first team… Lindy’s preseason All-Pac-12 second team… ESPN.com’s preseason 25th-best player in Pac-1 … Stanford’s Most Outstanding Senior Award… Nine games played… 19 tackles (seven solo), 7.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, one blocked punt… Two tackles, 0.5 sack, two quarterback hurries against San Jose State… Four tackles at Army… One sack, one blocked punt, one quarterback hurry vs. Arizona State… Sack and blocked punt came during same third-quarter series… Seven-yard sack, one quarterback hurry against Washington State… One tackle for loss, two quarterback hurries vs. Washington… Five tackles (2.0 for loss) at Utah… One sack and two quarterback hurries vs. UCLA… Three tackles (1.0 sack) at Oregon State… Suffered career-ending injury.
What Cowboys are getting: A player that might have slipped through the cracks. He was not invited to the Scouting Combine and when he had his Pro Day his numbers in the vertical jump and the broad jump would have put him in the Top 5 at his position. That gives him rare leaping ability at the line of scrimmage. He’s not particularly fast, but he was productive at Stanford because they used him the right way.
Postins’ Take: He strikes me as a guy that could come in and steal a rotation spot. He had an injury that forced him to miss part of last year but it sounds like he’ll be ready to go this offseason. He can’t afford to be hurt. The Cowboys want him to start working on the left side, but may consider allowing him to work out at under tackle, too. He’s undersized for that role, but in a one-play-per-series rotation he might give them something unique, thanks to his leaping ability and mean disposition.
More on Ben Gardner