James Lang-US PRESSWIRE
For the past few years now, BTB has sat down with knowledgeable scouting types to discuss the Cowboys' personnel, team needs and draft prospects. This year, we have upped our game and will be bringing you a gallery of superstar draftniks.
Now that the Combine has come and gone, and draftniks across the country have had the opportunity to use its myriad tests results to adjust their boards, its time for us to begin to discuss the draft in earnest.This will be the third year in a row that I have had the pleasure to engage in some deep pre-draft chat. In 2010 and 2011, I posted multi-part conversations with guys possessing Cowboys-specific knowledge. Since BTB has continued to pick up traction nationally, however, I decided to shoot for the stars in 2013. And, I'm pleased to report, the stars responded positively; indeed, BTB's 2013 draft roundtable lineup is a real doozy. So, without further ado, meet the fine gentlemen who will let us drink from their vast reservoir of draft knowledge from now until April 25th (and, hopefully, beyond):
Long Ball (Drafttek): In the 2010 and 2011 offseasons, you may recall, I engaged in fruitful draft discussions with Long Ball, who is Draftek's Cowboys team correspondent, as well as offensive line expert (given the Cowboys continued struggles at the position, he has continued to be a valuable resource for priority draft targets) and a BTB member (!) LB shared his insight and offered us some terrific insider tidbits (he was the first guy to indicate the Cowboys' high level of interest in USC tackle Tyron Smith, for example). I also appreciate his unwillingness to pull any punches; the man will always give us an honest, clear-eyed answer.
Scott Wright (Draft Countdown): An authority in the field, Wright has been scouting and evaluating players for about twenty years now; currently, he's the President and founder of Draft Coutdown. Wright is a grinder, investing countless hours each week evaluating game film, doing research and maintaining this site. His passion for the draft and scouting comes are evident, and he has the results to show for his diligence: Wright boasts some of the most complete and precise mock drafts available. In addition, he has been a featured NFL Draft expert on media outlets all across the country.
Russ Lande (National Football Post): Lande is currently the Director of Scouting for the National Football Post. From 2006-2012, Lande was the NFL Draft expert for Sporting News.com, where he was responsible for writing NFL insider content, providing detailed scouting reports on college players and posting an ongoing series of mock drafts for their NFL "War Room." Before working for TSN, Lande served for three years as a Midwest regional scout for the Cleveland Browns. Lande continues to appear on radio stations across the country (he's the host of The Next Level on The Big Ten Network), shares his expertise with prospective scouts during weekly chats at Sports Management Worldwide and is the author of the annual "GM Jr Draft Guide," which has been called the most comprehensive, unique and thorough NFL Draft Guide" available to NFL fans.
Tony Pauline (TFY Draft Insider): Tony is a longtime NFL Draft Analyst, who has been covering the NFL Draft for fifteen years and is widely considered one of the most knowledgeable guys in the business. He has written for a variety of sites and publications, including Sports Illustrated.com, and is currently the driving force behind TFY Draft Insider. Those of you who read the most recent iteration of our annual "Scouting the Scouts" post know that Pauline received our highest marks, largely because he plumbs NFL connections he's carefully cultivated over the years, obtaining valuable real information that he then compiles and distributes to his faithful readers (I encourage you to become one!).
And there, you have it, 2013's fearsome draft foursome. We'll have a series of in-depth conversations about the draft vis a vis the Cowboys and their positions of need, which we expect to publish here in early to mid April. In the meantime, however, I'd like to ask them to share some snippets of knowledge about specific players, positions or ears-to-the-ground tidbits about the Cowboys' intentions. And that's where you come in, loyal BTB members. What would you like to hear about from these fine fellows? What sorts of knowledge would you like for them to share with you?
Hit the comments section with your questions. I'll sort through them and forward them to our team, then share whatever insights they have with you.