I really need to learn...
I've canvassed sources as to the depth of the 2010 NFL draft. What does this really mean? Does a deep draft have a richer first round? A richer first and second? The most definitive answer I received mentions overall depth. " You usually see a drop-off somewhere in the 3rd, and your picks in the final two or three rounds involve a lot more projection," I was told. "If you're still pulling good players out in the middle and end of the 4th round, that's a deep draft."
Based on this criteria, I think this draft qualifies as deep. Look at two top-100s which appeared this week. Peruse Scott Wright's last 20, the guys from 80 to 100, who make up the 3rd to 4th round turn. It includes names like Colt McCoy, Morgan Burnett, Donald Butler, Alex Carrington and John Jerry.
Wes Bunting's updated 100 contains names like Jon Asamoah, Mardy Gilyard, Chris Cook, Kyle Calloway and Marshall Newhouse.
Mockers, even the better ones, will disagree more and more as the draft progresses. The actual order is besides the point, however. The bigger issue is choices. Any of these names would be a good fit for the Cowboys, and the names which don't make either 100 or any of the other top-100 lists floating around suggests that plenty more interesting options will remain for Dallas' 4th round pick.
With that, I'm going to use the trade down option again, with a team like Cleveland, Buffalo or Washington looking to move up and get a quarterback. All these franchises have new GMs or head coaches and they generally try to acquire their signal caller in year one.
Pick 2A: Vladimir Ducasse, OT U-Mass
Ducasse had his pro day this past week, and the Cowboys attended. I've been trying to determine if he's rated in the high 2nd or late 2nd and the presence of representatives from teams like the Chiefs and Bears tells me he's not likely to drop to pick 59. He'll likely sit his rookie year, regardless of who takes him, but that shouldn't make a difference. Erik Williams sat his rookie year and was a monster when he finally became a starter. Give a kid like this a year with Hudson Houck and one of Dallas' OT spots could be set up for a long time.
Pick 2B: Nate Allen, FS, South Florida
A report surfaced this week that Dallas has assigned 1st round grades to three frees, Eric Berry, Earl Thomas and Taylor Mays. Based on what I've heard, I'm not convinced Dallas would pass up a trade down even if Mays were still on the board at 27. I see Berry gone by pick ten and Thomas getting no farther than the Bengals, who are showing a lot of interest in the Longhorn. If, say Cleveland offers a move down, it's possible the Cowboys could come on the board at 38 with three or maybe four good FS prospects still around -- Mays, Allen, Major Wright and Morgan Burnett. This is why I went Ducasse at 2A. The odds of a 2nd tier FS slipping to 59 are much better than a 2nd tier OT. The numbers are there. I'm giving Dallas a guy they like, somebody, who unlike Ducasse, could earn playing time early.
Pick 3A: J.D. Walton, C, Baylor
A move down to the early 2nd would garner an early 3rd. Here, the Cowboys could snag one of the upper-tier centers, who tend to fall on draft day. With Ducasse and Walton, along with Doug Free and Robert Brewster, Dallas suddenly would have young depth at C, G and both OT spots. Their addition could make McQuistan, Proctor, Preston and Holland history.
Pick 3B: Brandon Spikes, ILB, Florida
Productive, and at pick 90, a good value. This is the area where Dallas got Dat Nguyen in '99 (he went 85th overall.) Dat was too small. Spikes is too slow. I don't care as long as he can play football.
Pick 4: Al Woods, DT/NT LSU
He's stuck in my mocks for a while, and while there are other NTs who could also fit Dallas' need, like Torrell Troup and D'Anthony Smith, the Cowboys have displayed a fondness for SEC players in recent years, with the most coming from LSU. Just a hunch, but Woods fits the profile.
Round 6: Sherrick McManis, CB, Northwestern
You always keep corners in your pipeline.
Round 7: Kyle Williams, WR, Arizona State
A water bug to audition as a kick returner.