On Friday last week we kicked off the 2012 BTB Mock Draft Challenge in which we asked BTB members for their mock Cowboys drafts and then asked the community to vote on the mocks.
But instead of simply asking for a list of randomly put together names, we limited the flexibility by establishing some specific rules:
The mock draft had to be conducted according to the player rankings provided by the CBSSports.com big board. No trading down was allowed, and trading up was only permissible if the trade value points given up were equal to or greater than the trade value points received.
This significantly limited the options in the mock drafts and forced the mockers to make decisions that they might not have had to make with a less rigorous approach.
People got busy over the weekend, and by 6:00 AM this morning, more than 90 different mocks were submitted, most of which actually met our guidelines for this exercise.
After the break, we look at some highlights from these mocks and vote on who put together the most appealing mock draft.
One of the issues of working with a big board in a mock like this is that there will always be players who are perceived to be ranked too low (strangely, nobody complained about players being ranked too high). Also, at this early stage in the draft process, the better-known names in the draft attract a lot of attention, especially in the later rounds, as we'll see a little further down.
But the big boards will get better as we get closer to the draft. We'll have more and better information on the prospects, so we'll definitely repeat the exercise after the Combine and free agency.
For this analysis, I looked at the mock drafts that had met the rules of the contest and received at least one recommendation by 6:00 AM this morning. In order to establish how popular a given player was, I collected 'votes' for each player mentioned in a mock draft, with each rec' counting as one vote and one extra vote for the author of the mock draft. So in a mock with seven players that received three rec's, each player got four 'votes' (three rec's and one vote for the author).
In total, 108 players were picked in 54 mocks and 'voted on' 308 times. And without further ado, here are some top-line thoughts on what we saw in the mock drafts.
Nobody likes to trade up: The CBS big board had Michael Brockers (13th), David DeCastro (11th) and Dre Kirkpatrick (10th) ranked ahead of the Cowboys' 14th pick. While 16 of the 54 (30%) mocks proposed trading up in the first round, they only received 16% of the votes. Trading up was not a popular option in this exercise, despite some pretty enticing names available. It appears that the cost of moving up was generally judged to be too high.
No secondary help in the first round: Only 12 mocks (22%) picked a Corner or Safety in the first round. The community didn't like those mocks and only awarded them 11% of their votes. But then the mocks went hard after corners in the second and third rounds, with Chase Minnifield, Stephon Gilmore and Josh Norman being the most popular names.
Arkansas? Three players out of Arkansas show up strong in the 5th and 6th rounds. This may be just a coincidence, or our mockers are convinced Jerry Jones is getting ready to draft the second player out of Arkansas in his 24th draft for the Cowboys.
Here are the favorites per round as ranked by number of votes accumulated:
|First Round (14th Pick)|
|19||Melvin Ingram||OLB||South Carolina||33%|
|14||Nick Perry||DE||Southern California||14%|
|2nd Round (45th Pick)|
|56||Bruce Irvin||OLB||West Virginia||14%|
|42||Stephon Gilmore||CB||South Carolina||13%|
|3rd Round (82nd Pick)|
|87||Vontaze Burfict||ILB||Arizona State||25%|
|88||Josh Norman||CB||Coastal Carolina||24%|
|4th Round (113th Pick)|
|122||Brandon Brooks||OG||Miami (Ohio)||19%|
|5th Round (144th Pick)|
|6th Round (175th Pick)|
|7th Round (213th Pick)|
|221||Kellen Moore||QB||Boise State||39%|
Melvin Ingram emerges as the lead vote-getter in the first round. The second round appears to be the Cornerback round. Many mockers defaulted to Chase Minnifield as he was the next available corner after the 45th pick, but trading up three spots to get Stephon Gilmore also appears to have been an appealing option.
In the third round, Josh Norman was another appealing option at corner. Vontaze Burfict was generally felt to be graded too low by CBS but as a 3rd rounder was also felt to be worth whatever perceived or imagined risk he carries.
In the fourth round, mockers went hard after Alameda Ta'amu, who was conveniently situated just two picks down from the Cowboys' pick. In the fifth and sixth round, no real consensus picks emerged, and the seventh round saw a lot of mocks taking Kellen Moore. Judging by the number of mocks taking Moore, he's likely rated a round or two too low.
BTB Mock Draft overview
|BTB Member (No. of Rec's)||1st Round||2nd Round||3rd Round||4th Round||5th Round||6th Round||7th Round|
|TheCowboyWay (21)||Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina||Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
||Vontaze Burfict, ILB, Arizona
||Alameda Ta’amu DT/NT, Washington||
(traded up for Gilmore)
||Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma||Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State|
||Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina||Chase Minnifield, CB Virginia||Vontaze Burfict, ILB, Arizona||Brandon Brooks, G, Miami of Ohio||Tramain Thomas, FS, Arkansas||Evan Rodriguez, FB/TE/H-Back, Temple||Kellen Moore, QB Boise State|
||Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina||Jared Crick, DE, Nebraska
||Shuan Prater, CB, Iowa||Alameda Ta’amu DT/NT, Washington||Quinton Saulsberry, C, Mississippi State||Jerry Franklin, ILB, Arkansas||Desmond Wynn, OG, Rutgers|
|Rena (12)||Nick Perry, DE, Southern California||Chase Minnifield, CB Virginia||Josh Norman, CB, Costal Carolina||Alameda Ta’amu DT/NT, Washington||Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas||George Bryan, TE, NC State||Max Gruder, ILB, Pittsburgh|
Blue Eyed Devil (12)
||Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina||Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina||Vontaze Burfict, ILB, Arizona||Alameda Ta’amu DT/NT, Washington||(traded up for Gilmore)||Jeff Allen, OT, Illinois||Jaymes Brooks, OG, Virginia Tech|
||Nick Perry, DE, Southern California||Chase Minnifield, CB Virginia||Michael Egnew, TE, Missouri
||Malik Jackson, DE/DT, Tennessee
||Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas||Jerry Franklin, ILB, Arkansas||Kellen Moore, QB Boise State|