What a fun time of year. The off-season. Mock draft season and time for free agency where we all turn in to GMs and figure out how to get our Cowboys back to the Superbowl. It's still fairly early in the process, but by the time the draft rolls around, we all feel like experts. Once the draft gets here, we have our pet cats, our big boards, and we have all figured out the perfect draft. Draft day gets here, the Cowboys are on the clock and they pick........(insert name of random player).....who?....really? .....why?!?! I feel like this is a very common reaction that all Cowboy fans have had over the recent drafts. The first round hasn't had too many surprises, but I think that any round after that always throws us for a loop. So many times the guy who I was hoping and praying falls to us is there, but the Cowboys don't select him. Not only do they not select him, but they select somebody I've never heard of or position that surprises me.
It seems like we always do something shocking whether it is spending a second round pick on Fasano , drafting inside linebackers who were coming off of a knee injury in round two of consecutive years, or drafting DeMarco Murray. The Cowboys always seem to have a pick, or several picks, that come out of left field. Of course this isn't necessarily a bad thing; the Sean Lee pick worked out great, and I hope Bruce Lee works out just as nicely. DeMarco Murray seemed like a very random pick when we got him, but it has worked out well. I'm trying to think of what players might be on the Cowboy's radar that aren't on the fans radar.
The Cowboy's generally have two types of surprise picks: talented guys who slip because of major injuries and picks that are surprising because the fans don't think that the Cowboys need to upgrade that particular position. In the past couple of drafts the Cowboys selected two inside linebackers who were first round talents, but were coming off of big knee injuries. Coming into this season, we were still unsure what we had in Sean Lee, but drafting him was obviously a great decision. Only time will tell if the same can be said for Bruce Carter, but we all hope he will have a breakout year in 2012. This strategy can be risky, but it can also be very rewarding to get a first round talent in round 2. I wonder if the Cowboys will try this again this year. If they do, I think Jared Crick might be their guy. Crick is a versatile D-lineman out of Nebraska who was talked about as being a top ten pick until a torn pectoral muscle sidelined him for the season. He still won't be 100 percent at the combine, so there is a good chance he could fall to us in round two, and he would offer a big upgrade at a position of need if he is able to come back healthy. I think it will be interesting to see what the Cowboys do if Crick is there in round two. He's the type of guy who could generate some pressure as a 3-4 DE.
The Cowboys always seem to draft a guy high at a position that surprises us. What might the Cowboys do this year that surprises us? Obviously, the Cowboys need upgrades to their secondary, interior o-line and pass rush, but where is another area that they would like to upgrade? I think the Cowboys would love to get a dynamic slot receiver who can spread the field and be a weapon on special teams (especially if we let Robinson get away in free agency). A guy I have heard mentioned as a possible second round (maybe third round?) pick is Joe Adams out of Arkansas. This guy is small, but he is quick, and most importantly, he makes plays. Think DeSean Jackson minus all the baggage. Think Percy Harvin. The guy is a freak returning kicks and punts, and he could improve the return game drastically. To me, this need is similar to the need at RB last year. We were o.k. at RB, but Garrett wanted to improve. As fans we were a little surprised/ bummed out when Garrett drafted DeMarco especially because we had so many other positions of need. The DeMarco thing worked out well which is why you take the best player available. This draft is extremely deep at WR, as is the free agency group of WRs, and if a dynamic player falls to the Cowboys in round two, don't be shocked if they draft him. Although this may disappoint some fans because they would rather draft only DBs and pass rushers this year, this is the way to build a good football team.
When the Cowboys are on the clock this year, don't be surprised if the pick comes out of left field. But remember, that isn't always a bad thing.