There’s BPA and there’s NEED. Why are most of our mock drafts based on need? Has anyone mocked a WR in the first round? A cornerback? A tight end? Why not? Well, first of all, it’s pretty boring to go off of some player ranking; there are a million of those out there. And second, we can all hide behind the idea that "the guys within 5 picks of 18 are probably rated about the same" theory. Only the front office people know that (well, their guesses are better than ours at least). Finally, I don’t think we, nor the Cowboys front office, really want a BPA in the first round who sits on the bench for 75% of the season.
Now, as rabblerousr stated in his article, "Setting Up BPA Draft", let’s pretend that the Cowboys have only one starting position to fill, SLB. And let’s assume they get a Dan Connor type free agent or an Ernie Sims to re-sign, or Albright/Wilbur fills the spot. What starter do you want to replace the most? Replacing which guy will give the Cowboys the most improvement? Let’s hope the first two picks will net two starters, but not just two starters, two upgrades. Who are the first two starters "off the island"? Here are my top 10………..errrr………..bottom 10.
• Jay Ratliff (I loved him when he was a beast, key word was)
• Barry Church (borderline slow before injury, tough comeback, and I like Barry...)
• Mackenzy Bernadeau (JAG at best)
• Doug Free (his services should be free after last year)
• Phil Costa (health a question, ability a question, everywhere a question)
• Tyrone Crawford (someone tell me, WILL HE get pressure, 8+ sacks???)
• SLB FA (JAG, but it’s just a JAG position)
• Gerald Sensabaugh (can you get some INTs in this scheme)
• Nate Livings (best of the middle of the OL)
• Miles Austin (I can’t depend on your hamstring)
So the list is 3 interior OL, 2 safeties, a DL and a DE, an OT, LB, and WR. What about the backups (grade attached)?
• Jay Ratliff (Price, D)
• Barry Church (???, F)
• Mackenzy Bernadeau (Arkin, D)
• Doug Free (Parnell, A)
• Phil Costa (Cook, B)
• Tyrone Crawford (???, F)
• SLB FA (Albright, C)
• Gerald Sensabaugh (Johnson, D)
• Nate Livings (Leary, D)
• Miles Austin (Harris, B)
Anyone on this list could be upgraded by a premium draft pick (1st or 2nd round). Crawford and Church have nothing behind them and Sensabaugh has only Johnson to back him up; lending more weight to the argument that DE and Safety are positions where additions could be huge. Add in that there is also no passable substitute for Ware, and you can "embrace the suck" at DE. My heart keeps saying "O-line", but the more I look at it and analyze it, the more my brain says "D-Line". Tony, I’m sorry, but I don’t think you’ll see OL help until the second: Rd. 1 DE, Rd. 2 OL/S, Rd. 3 S/OL.
The only way I see a pure BPA play trumping this scenario is if an interior DL or Offensive Tackle inexplicably slides a long way down to #18…… or the Cowboys trade down. Though I guess it isn't "pure" if it has to be DL or OT.
One question, what do you do if the number 1 WR in the draft, Keenan Allen, slides to you?