On Wednesday last week we kicked off the 2013 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 Drafttek.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. 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, and there were scattered complaints to that effect (it's funny how there are almost never any complaints 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 this mock draft challenge after the Combine and free agency.
So let's now look at some highlights from these mocks and vote on who put together the most appealing mock draft. People got busy over the last couple of days, and by 6:00 AM this morning, more than 100 different mocks were submitted, most of which actually met our guidelines for this exercise. As I sat down to review the results of our mock draft challenge, I only 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 total, of the 100+ mocks submitted, 52 qualified for the summary below by receiving at least one recommendation (rec').
In order to establish how popular a given player was, I counted '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 six-player mock that received three rec's, each player got four 'votes' (three rec's and one vote for the author). 91 players were picked in those 52 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 in the first: The Drafttek big board had safety Kenny Vaccaro (16th), DT Sheldon Richardson (13) and Cowboys fan favorite OG Chance Warmack (10th) ranked ahead of the Cowboys' 18th pick. Not a single one of the 52 qualifying mocks traded up in the first round. It appears that the cost of moving up was generally judged to be too high.
No quarterbacks needed: Only one mock out of the 52 qualified mocks picked a QB. Everybody else was fine with the current Cowboys' QB situation. Troy Aikman thinks the Cowboys need to draft Tony Romo's successor; the vast majority of Cowboys fans here respond with a resounding "Pffft."
You can't go wrong with linemen: The top two vote-getters in rounds 1-4 were always linemen, with a slight preference for offensive over defensive linemen.
Grab a safety somewhere: Most mock drafts picked a safety somewhere in the later rounds.
Here are the favorite players per round as ranked by percentage of votes accumulated per round, with 'rank' indicating the position on the Drafttek big board:
|First Round (18th Pick)|
|27||Jonathan Cooper||OG||North Carolina||40%|
|2nd Round (47th Pick)|
3rd Round (80th pick)
|86||Brennan Williams||RT||North Carolina||21%|
|69||Phillip Thomas||S||Fresno State||13%|
4th Round (111th pick)
|112||Brandon Williams||DT||Missouri Southern||27%|
|5th Round (144th pick)|
|6th Round (175th pick)|
Guards Jonathan Cooper and Larry Warford emerge as the two top vote getters in the Mock Draft Challenge. Interestingly though, only three of the 52 mocks have the two guards as a one-two-punch in their mocks. It appears that the two fan favorites are mutually exclusive. Overall though, one of the two was picked in 75% (40/52) of the qualifying mocks.
The only player to break the linemen's stranglehold on the top spots in each round of the mock is Texas wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, who looks like great value in the fifth round, as other boards have him ranked as high as the third round.
Here are the four mocks with the highest number of rec's in our Mock Draft Challenge:
BTB Mock Draft overview
|BTB Member (No. of Rec's)||1st Round||2nd Round||3rd Round||4th Round||5th Round||6th Round||7th Round|
|Trueblue122 (15)||Kawann Short , DT, Purdue||Matt Elam, S, Florida
||Alvin Bailey, G, Arkansas
||Brian Schwenke, OC, California||Keenan Davis, WR, Iowa||Bruce Taylor, LB, Virginia Tech||- -|
||Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina||Kawann Short , DT, Purdue||Margus Hunt, DE, SMU||Dallas Thomas, RT, Tennessee||Kevin Reddick, SLB, North Carolina||Ricky Wagner, RT Wisconsin||- -|
||Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina||Sylvester Williams, DE, North Carolina
||Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma||Brian Schwenke, OC, California||Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas||Montori Hughes, DT, Tennessee-Martin||- -|
|Specific (10)||Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina||Barrett Jones, OC, Alabama||(traded up for Jones in multi-pick trade)||Robert Lester, SS, Alabama & Brandon Williams, DT, Missouri Southern||Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State||Kyle Long, OT, Oregon||Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU|
Which BTB-member do you think proposed the best mock for the Cowboys in the Mock Draft Challenge?