Cowboys NFL Draft Grades 2013: What The "Experts" Are Saying


We all know that it is much to early to really determine the success or failure of the Cowboys in last weekends draft, but that doesn't mean it isn't entertaining.

We have compiled a list of several prominent draft grades from various media outlets, and placed them here. Unfortunately I wasn't able to locate grades from guys like Mike Mayock or Todd McShay, but there are some big draft names on the list.

Let's take a look...

Source Grade Comments
ESPN (Kiper) C+ I'm pretty sure I described the Dallas draft as "a little all over the place" when I was asked about it midway through. But looking at all the picks together, I'll tell you it certainly improved in my eyes as we got into the later rounds. I was a little critical of the first-round pick, just because the Cowboys drafted a player I thought they could have taken at least 30 spots later. Travis Frederick was my 87th-ranked player. And yet they should get credit because he'll be a starter at a position where they were a total mess in 2013. Gavin Escobar is a good tight end and a great catcher of the football, and he can learn from Jason Witten, but Witten can still play. Similar story with Terrence Williams, an extremely productive wideout for Baylor, who offers depth with the potential to start. Now, those are players I like, but taking two pass-catchers without addressing safety or an aging defensive line seemed really odd to me. Then it got better. J.J. Wilcox has the potential to become a starter and was my No. 5-ranked safety. B.W. Webb is also a prospect at corner out of William & Mary. My concern with both of those picks is the jump in competition, so they'll need seasoning. Randle is a get at a need position late. The Cowboys made some good picks, but no help on the defensive line or depth at tackle out of this draft is disappointing. (Graded a B for filling needs and a C- for Value)
USA Today D- They probably did the right thing by trading out of the 18th spot given what was available, but why not also move down again from 31 if you've decided against Elam or fellow S Johnathan Cyprien rather than reaching for C Travis Frederick? Second-round TE Gavin Escobar is a glorified wideout who may not hold up well as Jason Witten's replacement if it comes to that one day. Fourth-round CB B.W. Webb could make an immediate impact in the return game. RB Joseph Randle (Round 5) may be thrust into action if DeMarco Murray keeps getting sidelined.
CBS Sports (Prisco) C Best pick: I love third-round receiver Terence Williams. He will be the third receiver and might soon push Miles Austin aside. Questionable move: Trading down and taking center/guard Travis Frederick in the first round. He fills a big need, and I like his toughness, but this is a move that will be questioned. Third-day gem: Running back Joseph Randle was a productive player in a good offense at Oklahoma State. The question is can he do it from a conventional standpoint. Analysis: Some will kill the Cowboys for trading back and taking Frederick. I won't. He will be a quality starter. But do the Cowboys have the luxury of adding a pass-catching TE (Gavin Escobar) in the second round with Jason Witten on the roster?
Yahoo (Cole) F Last year, the Cowboys received a B after an aggressive move up the board to get cornerback Morris Claiborne. This year they traded down, and the grade bottomed out with it. Three of their first four picks are guys who might not play significantly this year. The consensus around the league is that Frederick was a reach. Escobar was a fine pick, but then Williams and Wilcox are two guys who might not play for two years. Considering the Cowboys have Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, Williams was an unnecessary luxury (particularly after the Escobar pick). Wilcox can be an in-the-box safety, but he’s so woefully inexperienced that it’s going to take awhile.
Sporting News C They're down here because they didn't get either an offensive tackle or defensive lineman, and didn't get in on the run of top safeties. Wisconsin center Travis Frederick could have been had after Round 1, and although San Diego State tight end Gavin Escobar and Baylor wide receiver Terrance Williams have bright futures, it was a case of the Cowboys adding to what they already had. William and Mary slot corner B.W. Webb might end up helping them most in '13
Sports Illustrated C+ The Travis Frederick selection was a reach. A major reach. Fellow C Brian Schwenke was taken 76 picks later and it’s hard to say Frederick is noticeably better. It got better from there, with TE Gavin Escobar, WR Terrance Williams and S J.J. Wilcox, for starters. The Cowboys, though, still need help at RT, possibly a backup RB, another pass rusher and some linebacker help. They didn’t address many needs in this draft.
Fox Sports (Schrager) C I didn’t love the Frederick pick or the Escobar selection in the first two rounds, but I really like adding Terrance Williams to the offense. It seems like the Cowboys had a different draft grade on Frederick than other teams.
CBS Sports (Rang) B- Considering that the most important players on the Cowboys' roster -- quarterback Tony Romo and pass-rusher Demarcus Ware -- are aging, I was surprised to see Dallas trade back 13 spots in the first round and didn't think they received enough picks from the 49ers (No. 74 overall) to do so. Center/guard Travis Frederick is a good player who'll help solidify Dallas' offensive line and, therefore, the pick makes sense, though I thought it was a reach. The selection of wideout Terrance Williams with the selection gained via the trade makes this a more palatable exchange. The Baylor product ranks as one of the elite vertical threats in the 2013 draft. I'm also high on tight end Gavin Escobar's height and soft hands as a complement to Jason Witten, as well as the athleticism of small-school defensive backs B.W. Webb and J.J. Wilcox. Finally, running back Joseph Randle possesses a very similar skill set to starter DeMarco Murray and could surprise. Grade B-

Another interesting take on the Cowboys draft comes from Sports Illustrated's Peter King in his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback column.

Stop killing the Cowboys. Just stop. Dallas got the No. 1 center on many boards at 31 (Travis Frederick), filling a gaping hole; an offensive tight end to someday replace Jason Witten (Gavin Escobar) at 47; and a 51-game starter at wideout from Baylor, Terrance Williams (who averaged 19 yards a catch last year) at 74. As one GM told me Sunday: "Frederick might be a reach, but if you get a starter for your team for six or eight years -- at any position -- isn't that worth the 31st pick overall in a lousy draft?"

Personally this is more of the way I view things, even if most of the pundits disagree.

We see the grades from these "experts" vary widely from reasonable to radical. Only time will tell who is right. But in the mean time, what say you BTB? What grade would you give the Cowboys Front Office for their draft?

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