Tyron Smith – I really like the pick. Besides the athlete, RT upgrade-LT potential, and everything that comes pick the player, I also like what it shows about Garrett implementing a plan and Jerry allowing it. For more on this pick simply search my profile for comments about T. Smith and you will find plenty of reading.
Bruce Carter – This is the ’11 Draft version of the Sean Lee pick. A mid 1st round talent that fell to the 2nd round due to a knee injury that could provide good value if health issues hold out. The kid has a lot of potential. As Ourlads describes them in the report:
As natural an athlete at linebacker as there is in the 2011 Draft. Fluid with good hip flexibility. A knee bender with quick hands and feet. Pass rush quickness with the ability to redirect. A three down linebacker who makes plays. Doesn’t stay blocked.
Mayock listed him as a Top 5 OLB but suggested during the draft that Carter may actually project at WILB for us. It makes sense. He is athletic enough to cover TEs and can use his pass rush abilities on ILB blitzes. Remember, Sean Lee didn’t impress the team with his nickel LB skills and never took that role by the horns. While his INTs vs. Colts showed potential, Lee’s best attributes appeared against run plays where he diagnosed, broke down, and even made some big plays with tackles for a loss. Lee may end up our SILB once Bradie’s solid career with the ‘Boys is over. If Carter’s rehab goes well, I think we’ll see him earn more reps as the nickel LB than pass rushing OLB. I don’t love the pick…yet…but can certainly live with it.
DeMarco Murray – I like the prospect, I really DON’T like the pick. It does tell me one thing. The rumors about Garrett not liking Choice must be true. I heard rumblings that Choice was not an inspired blocker on special teams and a big reason why he didn’t see more gameday reps is because garrett didn’t trust his pass blocking skills on 3rd down. I didn’t believe it all until this pick. Murray is the exact opposite. I think he will see playing time as the 3rd down back. According to Mayock, he is an accomplished blocker and Bunting writes:
Displays a willingness to block in the pass game and although he isn't real physical and struggles with leverage, he does possess the body control to stick his head in and chop down defenders on contact.
Murray racked over 100 reception and 1000 yards the last 2 years even used in the slot as a receiver, not to mention returner abilities. The best part, he is a pretty bulky 6’1 200+back that can break tackles but has sub 4.4 40 speed and can take it to the house given a hole. I like the prospect, but don’t like the need for this pick in the 3rd round when we have other areas to consider…unless Choice really doesn’t have the bright future many hoped. Don’t be surprised to see Murray win the #2 role as spell Felix on 3rd downs.
The Draft of the Trenches
The 1st round of the 2011 Draft was dominated by guys that had played on the line in college with about a dozen Big Nasties and almost double digit Big Uglies, nearly 60% of the 32 picks. The second day wasn’t much different and though I am in no condition to do any math I think in all about 50% of rounds 1-3 have done battle in the trenches. Wow. Love it…except we’ve only dipped into that pool once. Yes, it was a cannonball to open up the festivities with the best one on the board, but we could use a couple more.
Late Round Needs and Solutions
Need DL: Currently the 4 Top DL under contract are Ratliff, Igor, Brent, and Lissemore. While I think Rat and Lissemore beside Brent at NT would be a surprisingly effective rotation, we must resign Bowen in my opinion and Spears should be on the team if available with a friendly contract. Getting some more talent seems very reasonable.
Solution: Guy Lawrence is an athletic 300lb DL. While he has played 3 tech in a 4-3, He can translate into an effective 3-4 DE in my opinion. He has speed and burst (sub 5sec 40dash - 4.43 sec 20ss - 29”vertical) and while he lacks some lower body power (8’08” broad jump) he is strong (28 bench reps)at the point of attack with a good inside rush and bull move. I think he’d provide Ryan some versatility and potential in the DL rotation.
Need OG: The interior of our line needs upgrading. Kosier and Davis are on their way out and we need someone to compete with them for a starting role and at least a capable backup to compete with Holland.
Solution: Willie Smith would be an interesting pick in the evolution of the Garrett era OLine. While Smith is considered an OT prospect for the NFL because of his quick feet, lateral agility, and pass protecting skills. I think he could be a great OG in a more mobile OL. With Free and Smith manning the bookends the Cowboys are getting more (hate to sue the word for a Big Ugly) “finesse” blockers that use powered technique as opposed to pure mauler strength. With the screen plays, misdirections, and counters that Garrett likes to run the days of the “everything’s bigger in Texas” Dallas OL are numbered. Willie Smith would also bring a nastiness and toughness to our OL that will soon be lacking an enforcer with Colombo’s expected departure. Willie Smith makes a lot of sense as a late round OL with tons of upside.
Need Slot WR: Jeff Maehl is a tall and slender WR that is a jack of all trades but master of known. That may not sound great, but as a late round pick you suddenly find a capable route runner that isn’t afraid to fight for the ball in the middle of the field who’ll then get YAC with some upfield burst. As Bunting succinctly put it:
Isn't a dynamic athlete, lacks ideal physicality, burst or speed. However, the guy is just a gamer who knows how to create enough separation for himself and will go up and cleanly pluck the football. Is one of those guys who finds a way to play better than his measurables would indicate and I think he has a real shot to fill out an NFL receiving corps.
Need CB: Our secondary didn’t perform well in ’10, to say the least, and while blame can be tossed around, inevitably knocking out Alan Ball in the final whiplash, we need to improve the depth. Jenkins will hopefully get back to ’09 Pro Bowl shape and Scandrick actually showed improvements by the end of the year, but Newman needs replacing sooner than later and McCann’s potential is still raw.
Solution: Rashad Carmichael, in my opinion, is the best under the radar corner in the draft. He’s tough, isn’t afraid to tackle, has 10 INTs the past two years, and has had experience playing both press and zone coverage, though is better at the latter with quick reaction breaking to the ball. He would give Ball a run for his money as the 2nd slot corner in the dime. He needs to work on his open field tackling and footwork during press coverage on the line, but in time could become a solid contributor.
Need OLB: While I think Spencer will play well opposite Ware next season, and am excited to see what victor Butler can eventually achieve considering he always makes plays when given the chance, we have little depth at a position that is vital to a 3-4 defense. You can never have enough linebackers.
Solution: Marc Schiechl – Mad props to Lisssyyy to outing this physical phenom to BTB. Check out his posts about the possible late round gem.
So the picks would likely to go:
4th - Guy Lawrence
5th - R. Carmichael
6th - W. Smith
7th - J. Maehl
7th - M. Schiechl
I apologize if this turned out to be more gibberish than English, it is late and I am in no condition to proofread. Perhaps tomorrow. Depends if we manage to save a draft that started out beautifully but seems to be losing steam. What would you do in the late rounds to help bulster this draft and team?