This is my shot at playing the Cowboys GM and as I come in and prepare for the draft, I know I still need to have a plan for free agency when it does start. With a good free agency plan, I can better focus on filling some of our needs through the draft and target guys that will help us win this year and start building for the future also. There are also a few things that have already changed since last year that I think will go a long ways in helping us play better on Sundays but also help us really develop our younger players. I know this key is Jason Garret and his getting the guys back out there with pads early in the week and getting physical. This not only helps our starters on Sunday but gives the young guys on the practice squad/scout team time to really develop on an NFL level against starters in the NFL. I am a firm believer that you cannot get young guys truly prepared to play at a high level when they are in shorts and not truly getting the feel of playing in a live game.
To start with free agency I know I need an experienced safety and corner who can make an instant impact on our coverage. This is my number one priority that I need to stay focused on here. My number one target is to get Michael Huff and getting him on the team, but I am also going to be prepared to go after Eric Weddle or Danieal Manning to insure I get an impact player at safety. As a GM I am committed to get one of the three. Business side I need Huff but I need to get one of the other three and figure out how to make it work under the cap.
As the Cowboys GM I go into the draft knowing I need to get better in few spots and help a few others. My two spots I need to target are the OL and our Defensive Secondary. I have already targeted a Safety and Corner in free agency that helps us but the work is not done. I also need to get better on the OL and the front three on DL but feel on the DL I have three starters ready to go this year in Ratliff, Bowen and Lissemore but I still want to load up here this year
As I enter the draft I made a choice to move down . This is not only a business decision but one that can give me the best draft picks possible. I targeted the Patriots with me first trade and sent my 9th and 176th choices to New England and got their 17th, 60th and 92nd picks. With my 17th pick in the draft I take:
#17 Gabe Camirimi-OT-Wisconsin: He is considered the best NFL ready RT and I need him. His biggest knock is his upside to project to LT but I feel I have Doug Free on the left and have no problem drafting a pure RT who can start right away and dominate that side of the line.
At his point as a GM is where I really had a lot of thought and ran through many options and narrowed it down to two options. One option was to go through the rest of my draft with these picks. My second option was to go all out and trade both my 40th and 60th picks in the second round and target KC for their 21st pick. This is an even trade at 800 points and I know to get them to go with this it will cost me our 2012 5th round pick also at least. I really struggled with these choices but decided to go with just my original trade and not make the second trade with KC. I will outline my idea with the KC trade at the end of the post due to the thought I put into it and just for sh*ts and giggles.
The rest of my picks with the NE trade are as follows. And I am going to show a lot of love to our new DC, Rob Ryan and give him the guys to succeed along with beefing up our OL.
#40 Rahim Moore-FS-UCLA : With adding a top safety in free agency I am going to pair him up with a top safety prospect and go to work on our secondary. With AOA and Barry Church along with throwing in Sendejo behind them we have a big upgrade over Ball and a group of safeties who can cover downfield in Rob Ryan’s coverage schemes.
#60 John Moffitt, G, Wisconsin: Good prospect here who can play both guard and center. I think he needs a little work but could be playing inside his first year at guard and starting in his second.
#71 Jarvis Jenkins-DE/DT-Clemson: A great kid with a good motor who can play in the NFL. He has dominated in one on one drills and has the size to play a 3-4 DE. Can definitely help upgrade our play along the DL.
#92 Johnny Patrick-CB-Louisville: As GM I am bringing Newman back for one more year and still feel that Jenkins and Scandrick can play at a high level but I still need more depth at corner. Patrick is an athletic and physical player who can help our secondary out and play ST for us.
#110 Kelvin Sheppard-ILB-LSU: Great kid who fits perfectly in Dallas’s 3-4 scheme as an ILB. Solid tackler with some pop when he hits. Can be ready to start in year 2 and develop into a solid player alongside Sean Lee down the road.
#143-Derek Newton, OT/G, Arkansas State: Will need some time to develop but he is a big physical guy with great speed for a lineman. This could work well in run support as he develops and can get out in front quickly and block downfield for our backs.
#220 Jamie Harper-RB-Clemson: Barber's days are over in Dallas. I have a home run hitter in Felix Jones and a great RB in TC, what I need is a big bulldog who can play short yardage and pound for that one or two yards and Harper fits that bill for me. He will never be a starter in the league but he will be the third punch in a three back rotation.
#262 Marc Schiechl -DE/OLB-Colorado School of Mines: After reading Lissyyyyy’s fan post I had to take at look at this guy and I was impressed. He can project as a DE or OLB and I love that. If you have not taken a look at his youtube videos and read about him, you should. This is a guy who I can get excited about and want as a Cowboy. I think he is the perfect target to get on our practice squad/scout team this year and breaking into the game day roster after a year. I want to start going over the top on our DE, NT and OLB positions to help our guys get to the QB. I love Sean Lissemore and think our starting front three could very well be Bowen, Ratliff and Lissemore this season but with my earlier pick for a DE of Jarvis Jenkins along with Josh Brent and Marc Schiechl I want to crank it up a few notches and build a a gang of BIG NASTIES on the front three and OLB‘s.
Now for my projected picks with the trade with KC.
#21-Mike Pouncey-OG/C-Florida: My thought here was a guy who could start at OG and get our line much younger, his biggest knock was at center working out of the shotgun (sound familiar). He would be a Pro Bowl guard who could maybe help us at center down the road or in an emergency, as a GM I still do not have a problem taking a top guard, If he is not there I can take Danny Watkins and not lose sleep upgrading our OL on protecting Romo along with upgrading our running game by providing good blocking.
#92 Johnny Patrick-CB-Louisville
#262-Marc Schiechl-DE/OLB-Colorado Schools of Mine