LAS VEGAS – Arkansas defensive lineman John Ridgeway is headed to Dallas after being drafted with the 178th pick in the 4th round.
There may be no one who rocketed up the draft projections like Ridgeway. Film of him taking on three Alabama offensive linemen, shedding them and helping on the tackle raised eyebrows across the league.
He then dominated at the Senior Bowl. Scouts and coaches saw all they needed when he drove a Tennessee lineman back 10+ yards into a crowd of coaches looking on so fast it wouldn't have been far off his 40 time speed.
As the draft approached, it was hard to find an NFL team that didn't have Ridgeway's name in heavy rotation as a possible pick. The only team that was careful not to say his name was the Cowboys.
Ridgeway brings the ability to be a strong run-stopper and requires attention from multiple offensive linemen. However, if he ever wants to be a regular starter and land a big second contract, he will need to develop an explosive step into the gap that allows him to bull his way back to the quarterback.
The massive defensive lineman spent his first four years at Illinois St. before coming to Arkansas to prove he can compete at the SEC level. Scouts were impressed that he played both offense and defense before coming to Arkansas and has a background in wrestling.
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