A lot has been said about reaching for X or Y player in the 27th pick, about who's the smarter choice and about how if someone falls the decision should be an easy one. I'm posting this for further conversation.
As clear as Crystal.
The time of the 27th pick comes and at the Top of the Cowboys board stands one of this names: Earl Thomas, Mike Iupati or Trent Williams; it isn't going to take much time for Goodell to be asked to walk back up and call the Cowboys selection and it wouldn't be a reach.
Reaching for Spears?
With the 22nd pick in the 2005 Draft the Cowboys selected Marcus Spears. Even the guys that see him as a good enough player to start (stopping the run), would accept that he's indeed a reach, the guys that don't like him want him out of town for a 5th or 6th Round pick... And they like to mention the name of Jared Odrick and how he's no Chubby Checkers...
Looking at them, strictly as College prospects, Spears was clearly the better prospect or the most productive one (19 career sacks to 14.5 and 34.5 TFLs to 25.5), so what tells you that he's going to be much of an improvement over Spears? His lack of experience as a 3-4 End? Or is it just that you want a new face?
I'm not sure that he's an upgrade and no one should, so? Do you want to invest a 1st Round pick on a backup and continue to Reach?
The usual conclusion when we talk about offensive prospects coming from a spread formation is that Receivers and QBs are the ones that were pushed up the most, but what about the OLineman in protection, that open holes for the running game and that makes the Line calls?
Aren't they benefitted too by the short time that it takes for the QB to throw the ball? By the few blitzes that they see? By a simpified scheme of protection changes?
Spread formation also have to go through a detox period of sorts to become a Pro, so? Do you want to Draft an inside backup with the 1st pick?
Supply and demand.
How much of a reach would someone like Nate Allen really be? Everything that I've read and seen makes me think that he's a player very comparable to Delmas and Chung, players that were selected with the 33rd and 34th picks in last year's Draft, which BTW was another poor in talent at the top CB Draft, so is he going to be selected as high as them?
It has everything to do with supply, demand and best player available in a top talent poor Draft at CB but deep, the highly rated Safeties will be selected higher than usual and there're teams that need Safety help in the top 15 (Rams (if they lose Atowge), Tampa, Kansas, Cleveland, Oakland, Seattle, Denver and Giants).
But a Free Safety in the 1st would be a reach if his last name isn't Berry or Thomas.
Depth is important, but...
CB is a lot like RB, the prospects are better prepared for the NFL than anyone else, so getting a 4th stringer readier for the NFL in his 2nd year isn't as important for a CB than what it is for, let's say, a QB.
So, a player like Kyle Wilson is ready to replace Newman or Scandrick? If one of them goes down injured (aka Newman)? I can see that, but he would still be the 4th stringer... Wouldn't a player like Scandrick (5th Round) be a better decision for the 4th string job?
A player like Wilson wouldn't be a reach per se, but his production wouldn't be what we want from a 1st Round pick, people wanted to can Jenkins because his 1st year production didn't match his draft status!
Boom or Bust:
Taking a huge guy like Dan Williams or Terrence Cody carries a risk just as huge as their size, because the guys are such physical specimens with incredible strength and ability that are known for consistency problems that have everything to do with effort and conditioning. Those problems start with their minds.
And that's not it, the guy would be a run stopping NT in Dallas, which means that he would be asked to start and be replaced in pass rush situations... Well... The Cowboys have an All-Pro starting in his position... And an All-Pro DT means that he's better than good stopping the run and pressuring the passer. Do you really want to replace that kind of guy with a high risk performer? Or do you want to move Ratliff to a position that he hasn't played and has said that he doesn't like?
Hat tip to Mr. Coryell.
Two Jason's. Jason Garrett and Jason Witten.
The first Jason is a disciple of the Norv Turner branch, who was a disciple of the Ernie Zampese branch, who was a disciple of the Don Coryell tree. The Air Coryell philosophy is one that likes to use a WR and a TE as the top 2 pass catching weapons coming from a Pro Set (2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 RB and 1 FB/TE/HB). The chances of success rely heavily on the shoulders of such TE, he has to be a good pass catcher but he also has to be a good run blocker because the scheme was mainly designed to be a power running scheme (the Cowboys have failed miserably in this).
The 2nd Jason is an All-Pro TE that's arguably one of the best TEs in the League, if not the best.
They work in a nice combination, Garrett's scheme will have the QB throwing the ball to the TE and Witten's on of the best in the business.
That hurts the production of the 3rd, 4th and 5th receiving options, it's just a matter of how you have to distribute the rest of the balls.
Taking a receiver with the 1st pick (Tate, Benn or Thomas) doesn't mean that he's going to top 1000 yards and it doesn't mean that he's going to start, the Cowboys aren't a team that starts 3 receivers game in game out. His production is going to be limited as long as the team has 2 Jason's and a better number 1 receiver.
A rare steak for me, the bloodier the better!
And lastly, the Cowboys can always Draft one of those guys that aren't considered 1st Round worthy because of how raw they are as prospects in their respective positions, such as the case of Vladimir Ducasse.
Depending on who you ask, Ducasse has the light feet and lateral mobility, when his technique is on, to play the Tackle position and has the pop to be considered a RT prospect, but he's so raw that he's way too inconsistent in his technique and that's why people is all over the map with him. It's just too though, but the Cowboys have more material than any media "scout" and they should know better.