NFL Draft Review: Seymour and Light, 2001

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NFL Draft Review: Seymour and Light, 2001

Back in 1999 when Matt Light was still a junior at Purdue, Scott Pioli was out at the Boilermakers' practice. He wasn't scouting juniors per se, but what he saw from one lineman stuck with him. Light agitating about some teammates not going full speed in practice. When Light's time to be drafted came in April 2001, Pioli and the Patriots knew who they wanted in the second round. But the Jets -- who employed Pioli when he first saw the Light -- wanted him too. The Patriots wrangled their way ahead of the Jets, swinging a deal with the Lions to take Light with the 48th pick. The Jets took Lamont Jordan at 49. The Lions used the 50th pick -- acquired from the Patriots -- on center Dominic Raiola. Aside from his fiery demeanor, what else stood out about Light? At the Combine, Light was 6-5, 311 and ran his 40 in 5.29 (an eyelash off Tom Brady's 5.28 a year earlier). He put up 225 pounds 26 times. He protected the blind side of Drew Brees at Purdue. He was rated by NFL Draft Scout as the fourth best OT out of 31 and Leonard Davis, Kenyatta Walker, Jeff Backus and Maurice Williams were all taken before him. The Patriots also drafted Kenyatta Jones (later released after dumping scalding water on a roommate while he was on the toilet) and Brandon Gorin as tackles. And the Patriots first-round pick in 2001? Richard Seymour.
Just 20 when the Patriots drafted him with the sixth overall pick, there was much hollering about Drew Bledsoe needing a downfield target like David Terrell or Koren Robinson instead of Seymour. The Patriots never had Seymour in for a visit nor did he have off-the-charts production at Georgia. But the size (6-6, 305 on a chiseled frame) and absurd strength of Seymour plus his quiet confidence and 4.95 speed made Bill Belichick jump at the chance to get him. Some other interesting Combine tidbits from 2001? Safety Adam Archuleta put up 225 pounds an astounding 31 times. Drew Brees got a 28 on his Wonderlic, weighed 213 (two pounds heavier than the 6-5 Tom Brady), ran a 4.83 40 and had a 32-inch vertical. Andre Carter, who went seventh to San Francisco and was with the Patriots in 2011, had a preposterous 38.5 vertical for a 6-5, 249-pound defensive end. Wide receiver Chris Chambers ran a 4.33 40. Heath Evans? Great Combine. Ran a 4.56, put up 225 30 times and had a 34.5 vertical. Old friend Russ Hochstein? Bad Combine. A 5.40 40 and 16 reps on the bench. Santana Moss ran a 4.31 at the Miami pro day. Finally, LaDainian Tomlinson ran a 4.46 40 and had a silly 40.5 vertical.

Rookie Dak Prescott solid again, Cowboys beat Bears, 31-17

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Rookie Dak Prescott solid again, Cowboys beat Bears, 31-17

ARLINGTON, Texas - Maybe the Cowboys will be OK without quarterback Tony Romo this time. The future of the Dallas running game with Ezekiel Elliott looks pretty good, too.

Dak Prescott led scoring drives on all four Dallas possessions in the first half before throwing his first career touchdown pass in fellow rookie Elliott's first 100-yard game, and the Cowboys beat the Chicago Bears 31-17 on Sunday night to snap an eight-game home losing streak.

With his second straight win, Prescott doubled the number of victories the Cowboys (2-1) had in 14 games without the injured Romo over three seasons before the fourth-round pick showed up.

Prescott's first TD pass was a 17-yarder to Dez Bryant for a 31-10 lead in the fourth quarter, and he's up to 99 throws without an interception to start his career. Philadelphia's Carson Wentz has 102, and those are the two highest career-opening totals for a rookie in NFL history.

"Dak's handled every opportunity he's had right from the start really, really well," coach Jason Garrett said. "No different tonight."

Brian Hoyer had trouble moving the Chicago offense early with Jay Cutler sidelined by a sprained right thumb as the Bears fell behind 24-3 at halftime and dropped to 0-3 for the second time in two seasons under coach John Fox.

Making his 27th career start for his fourth different team, Hoyer was 30 of 49 for 317 yards - a good portion of that with the game out of each late in the fourth quarter - and threw for two scores to Zach Miller.

"We haven't played a complete game," Fox said. "This week was the reverse of what we've had. We played very poorly in the first half."

Elliott finished with 140 yards on 30 carries, including a 14-yard run when he hurdled safety Chris Prosinski. The Cowboys kept giving him the ball while trying to work the clock with a two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter a week after he was benched because of two fumbles in a win over Washington.

"Made a lot of good runs tonight, a lot tough runs, a lot of NFL runs," Garrett said. "He's physically tough. He's mentally tough."

It didn't even bother Prescott that Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith missed just the second game of his six-year career after his back tightened up during the week.

Prescott was 19 of 24 for 248 yards in Dallas' first home win since last year's opener, which was a week before the first of two broken left collarbones that kept Romo out of 12 games last season.

Romo is expected to miss about another month after breaking a bone in his back in the preseason.

Prescott had one of three rushing touchdowns for the Cowboys, who have seven this season after getting eight all of last year, when they finished 4-12.

Because the Bears fell behind again, they couldn't do much with the running game. They had just 15 carries for 73 yards and lost leading rusher Jeremy Langford to an ankle injury in the second half.