I'm an admitted Draft Dork. Prefer the term Draftnik, but not sure it’s as descriptive or appropriate. Anyway, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at where the Cowboys could potentially draft by week and who could be there. Hopefully, we will get some good discussion and participation.
Where We’ll Draft – If the season ended today, Dallas would draft 7th. This would be great. If we could somehow stay in the top 8, that would be perfect. The problem is we play two horrible teams (Washington and Arizona) one of which (Skins) we will probably pass in the standings come draft day. And who knows if Philly will have anything to play for by the last game of the season (other than humiliating their most hated rivals.) I fear we will drop in draft slotting. Here are the records of the teams vying for a top 10 pick:
Carolina: 1-12 Remaining schedule – vs Ariz, @ Pitt, @ Atl Predicted Record: 1-15
Cincinnati: 2 – 11 Remaining schedule – vs Cle, vs SD, @ Balt Predicted Record: 3-13
Denver: 3 – 10 Remaining schedule – @ Oak, vs Hou, vs SD Predicted Record: 3-13
Detroit: 3 – 10 Remaining schedule – @ TB, @ Mia, vs Minn Predicted Record: 3-13
Buffalo: 3 – 10 Remaining schedule – @ Mia, vs NE, @ NYJ Predicted Record: 3-13
Arizona: 4 – 9 Remaining schedule – @ Car, vs Dall, @ SF Predicted Record: 5-11
Dallas: 4 - 9 Remaining schedule – vs Wash, @ Ariz, @ Phil Predicted Record: 6-10
San Francisco: 5 – 8 Remaining schedule – @ SD, @ StL, vs Ariz Predicted Record: 6-10
Tennessee: 5 – 8 Remaining schedule – vs Hou, @ KC, @ Indy Predicted Record: 6-10
Washington 5 – 8 Remaining schedule – @ Dall, @ Jax, vs NYG Predicted Record: 5-11
Houston: 5 – 8 Remaining schedule – @ Tenn, @ Den, vs Jax Predicted Record: 6-10
Minnesota: 5 – 8 Remaining schedule – vs Chi, @ Phil, @ Det Predicted Record: 6-10
Cleveland: 5 – 8 Remaining schedule – @Cin, vs Balt, vs Pitt Predicted Record: 5-11
Seattle: 6 – 7 Remaining schedule – vs Atl, @ TB, vs StL Predicted Record: 6-10
Oakland: 6 – 7 Remaining schedule – vs Den, vs Indy, @ KC Predicted Record: 7-9
St Louis: 6 – 7 Remaining schedule – vs KC, vs SF, @ Sea Predicted Record: 8-8
Based on this analysis, I think we will actually be drafting around 11th. Not bad, but probably out of range for one of the elite prospects. From what I’m reading, analysts are saying this is a really great draft at the top. The top 6 - 8 prospects seem to all be legitimate Top 5 talents. That’s why I’m so high on Dallas getting one of these elite guys. When was the last time we even picked in the Top 5?
Answer: Terence Newman (5th) 2003. Prior to that it was selecting Russell Maryland first overall 20 years ago.
Anyway, let’s take a look at the elite prospects:
QB (3) – Andrew Luck, Stanford; Ryan Mallett, Arkansas; Cam Newton, Auburn. Some might disagree, but Jake Locker doesn’t seem elite to me. For those that hate on Newton, swap out Locker.
HB – None.
WR (2) – AJ Green, Georgia; Julio Jones, Alabama
OL – None.
DL (3) – Da’Quan Bowers, Clemson; Nick Fairley, Auburn; Marcell Dareus, Alabama;
LB (1) – Robert Quinn (DE/OLB), North Carolina;
DB (2) – Patrick Peterson, LSU; Prince Amukamara, Nebraska;
Just outside: WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State; DE Adrian Clayborn, Iowa; OLB Akeen Ayers, UCLA; RB Mark Ingram, Alabama; DE/OLB Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue; DT Stephen Paea, Oregon State.
With no top rated Offensive Linemen, I think we can all agree we need to look to the defense. And any position on that unit could be significantly upgraded. Personally, I would be partial to the Defensive backfield, but BPA-defense should be the strategy.
As we get closer to the draft, and the draft slotting becomes more clear, we can take a look at who will be targeting QBs, what trades might be out there, and other key predictions (like I’m sure Detroit will somehow end up with my favorite player in the draft – Patrick Peterson) but for now, I will start out this series by looking at who some of the experts see going to Dallas in their mock drafts:
Source Date Updated Draft Pos Player
WalterFootball 12/16 1.7 DE Marcell Dareus, Alabama
2.38 FS Rahim Moore, UCLA
3.71 CB Curtis Brown, Texas
Draft Countdown 12/3 1.6 CB Patrick Peterson, LSU
FootballsFuture 11/25 1.5 CB Prince Amukamara, Neb
BleacherReport 11/24 1.8 DE Allen Bailey, Miami
CBSSports 12/15 1.6 DE Marcell Dareus, Alabama
TCBinNYC (me) 12/16 1.7 DE Marcell Dareus, Alabama
These are interesting, if nothing else. But let’s take a look at who was picked (or in some cases, who was available) with the 11th pick, assuming that’s a more realistic pick for the Cowboys:
Source Date Updated Draft Pos Player
WalterFootball 12/16 1.11 NT/DE Stephen Paea, Org St
Draft Countdown 12/3 1.15 NT/DE Nick Fairley, Auburn
FootballsFuture 11/25 1.12 NT/DE Stephen Paea, Org St
BleacherReport 11/24 1.11 FS Rahim Moore, UCLA
CBSSports 12/15 1.16 OLB Robert Quinn, No Carolina
TCBinNYC (me) 12/16 1.11 OLB Robert Quinn, No Carolina
These were the only ones I could find with a recent post date. So, what did we learn? Not much. Things will become somewhat clearer in the coming weeks. I’m hoping this might have been helpful or useful for some of you.