Looking ahead for clues to the now

This will be the third consecutive year that I will not run my previously customary 20-mile run on draft day. I wish I could give some great excuse like: "I stopped a robbery and was shot in the leg!" Or maybe something not quite so dramatic: "I have been too busy helping those less fortunate than I".

The reality is that I have just been busy, and have not had the time to ramp up to the usual 20 miles that I like to run on draft day. Age may have something to do with it. Enjoying playing with my kids more than running has a lot to do with it.

Anyhow, when I run, I tend to think of a wide assortment of things:

Who will the Cowboys select in the upcoming draft? How fast am I running? Which fire do I need to put out first at work? How will the Cowboys do in the upcoming season? Can I pass that runner in front of me? Should I drink water now or in a mile? Is Jerry more of a problem or a solution? Is that a poop stain on the back of that woman's shorts? What are my mile splits? Was that my pastor that I just passed? Should I invent an iPhone app? What will Dallas need in 2013?

That last question got me to thinking. Which positions are stocked with the most talent in 2013?

As in 2012, there are several highly rated quarterbacks scheduled to enter the NFL draft. Matt Barkley (USC) Tyler Bray (Tennessee - junior) and Tyler Wilson (Arkansas) should all be top ten selections. Other quarterbacks with a chance to break into the first round include: Geno Smith, Landry Jones, and James Vandenberg (as per football mensa). Robert Woods (USC - Junior) looks to be this year's version of Justin Blackmon, with Sammy Watkins (Clemson - Sophomore) and Da'Rick Rogers (Tennessee - Sophomore) adding some depth to a strong corps of receivers predicted to come out in 2013.

Several offensive tackles should hear their name called on the first day of the 2013 NFL draft. Seantrel Henderson (Miami - Junior), DJ Fluker (Alabama - Junior), Chris Faulk LSU - as per football mensa), and Alex Hurst (LSU) all have a good chance of being top 16 selections in the draft next year. Several interior offensive linemen could also be selected in the first round, with Guard, Barrett Jones (Alabama) and Center, Khaled Holmes (USC) leading the way.

Tyler Eifert (Notre Dame - Junior) seems to be the only tight end worthy of a first round selection so far, but there is a clear cut leader to be the first running back taken in the first round. Marcus Lattimore (South Carolina - Junior) is the (extremely) early favorite to crack the top 32 picks in 2013.

16 offensive players may make an early splash in the draft in 2013. Teams looking for pass rushing help are in luck in 2013. The following 4-3 defensive ends and 3-4 outside linebackers are expected to be first round selections (in no particular order):

Jarvis Jones (Georgia - Junior)

Brandon Jenkins (Florida State - Junior)

Sean Porter (Texas A&M)

Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina - Sophomore: eligible in 2014 as per football mensa)

Alex Okafor (Texas - may be closer to a second day selection as per NYHorn)

Devin Taylor (South Carolina)

Sam Montgomery (LSU - Junior)

Barkevious Mingo (LSU - Junior)

William Gholston (Michigan State - Junior)

Aaron Lynch (Notre Dame - Sophomore)

Ronald Powell (Florida - Junior)

Dion Bailey (USC - Sophomore)

Manti Te'o (Notre Dame) is the sole inside linebacker expected to be selected in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft. Anthony Johnson (LSU - Sophomore: eligible in 2014 as per football mensa), Kawann Short (Purdue), and Kwame Geathers (Georgia - Junior) look to be the top interior defensive linemen that could be selected in the first round.

Teams looking for help in the secondary should also have some options in 2013. There are several safeties and multiple cornerbacks expected to be selected in the first round (in no particular order):


TJ McDonald (USC)

Eric Reid (LSU - Junior)

Ray Ray Armstrong (Miami)

Kenny Vaccaro and Matt Elam (as per football mensa)

Bacarri Rambo (Georgia - as per football mensa)


Xavier Rhodes (Florida State - Junior)

Dee Milliner (Alabama - Junior)

Johnny Adams (Michigan State)

David Amerson (NC State - Junior)

Jonathan Banks (Mississippi State)

Quandre Diggs (Texas - Sophomore)

Tyrann Mathieu (LSU - Junior)

Tharold Simon. 6’2" 190lbs (LSU as per football mensa)

27 defensive players have the capability of being first round talents. 24 of those defensive players are either in the secondary or pass rushers that could augment current deficiencies on the Cowboys defense.

Only a handful of defensive linemen are considered possible first round candidates. The guard class looks weaker than the relatively strong class this upcoming draft.

If the Cowboys are looking at the future, perhaps Cox, Poe, Brockers or Coples should be considered priorities over secondary players, since next year's safety class and cornerback class seems to be better and deeper. A guard or center selected in the 2012 NFL draft with the 45th overall pick should be better than any guard or center available at the end of the first round in next year's relatively shallow pool of players.

Next year may bring a viable replacement for Anthony Spencer if he does not produce at a higher level in 2012. A replacement for Jenkins could also be found in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft because of the depth available.

It will be interesting to see what Dallas does in April.

And yes, that was a poop stain on that woman's shorts. Don't ask me how I figured that out...

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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