Going into this years draft, the Cowboys
still had holes too fill, even after some under the radar offseason pickups (justin durant falls into that category, will allen should come in for depth purposes as well as veteran leadership on the back end of the D).
: 1st rd 31 overall
I understand that this pick has been described as a reach, and i would neither agree or disagree. Most experts had him anywhere from a 2nd to 3rd round pick. The most common issue with this pick is not the player that they picked, its where he was picked. My issue with calling this pick a reach is taking into account how many offensive lineman were drafted in the 1st round, 8 total including Frederick, compared too only 4 the previous year. The Cowboys saw how many offensive linemen were flying off the board, so they pulled the trigger on the best center in the draft. Even though the RT situation was horrendous for us last year, the middle of the line was just as bad. The Cowboys were able to address this with a young, intelligent, consistent center that should man down the fort for the next decade, while also picking up an additional pick in the 3rd round. I personally hope they play him at center rather then guard. I thought the pick addressed an important issue on the team, regardless of where the pick happened.
: 2nd rd
This is another pick that has garnered some disdain from most people, even though i don't really understand why. I will fully admit i had no clue who this guy was when he was drafted, but i immediately went and watched his highlight videos and came away thoroughly impressed. I know we drafted James Hanna
last year, and him and Escobar have similar play styles (new age of receiving tight ends) but this dude Escobar can really play. He really did have some of the best hands in the draft and you combine that with his size (6' 6" 255 lbs) and easily noticeable "wiggle" ability after the catch, and i came to the conclusion that the cowboys made another solid pick. Yes i know, tight end wasn't a position of need, so picking one in the 2nd round (combined with recent struggles of 2nd rd tight ends drafted by Cowboys) was a shock to most people. But with Witten turning 32 this year, it was a good idea to draft his eventual replacement. And to be honest, the most consistent knock on Escobar is his lack of blocking ability. Are you kidding me? You can teach someone the proper technique to block, but you can't teach someone how to catch the ball. Either they have hands and consistently catch the ball (i.e jason witten) or they lack hands, as well as focus and struggle with drops ( i.e Martellus Bennett
). The Cowboys stated before the draft they wanted to make the offense "Romo-friendly" as well as move to more 2 tight end sets. This guy Escobar is going to catch everything thrown his way, and has the ability to be a big contributor for years to come.
: 3rd Rd
This is another player drafted for depth, but has the potential to be a big time player down the road, in my opinion he will be the #2 WR in 2014. He is 6' 2" and 208 lbs. and ran a 4.52 40 at the combine, but seems to play noticeably faster in game. The Cowboys were really decimated by injuries last year (mainly on D, but offense caught the bug too) and once again Miles Austin
found himself a consistent name on the injured list. My thinking is, after this year, the Cowboys will move on from Austin. As good as he has been, when healthy, he just can't be counted on to stay healthy. This is where Williams comes into play. Watching his highlight videos, its obvious this dude can really play. What i like about him most is that he steadily improved every year, going from 3 to 42 to 59 to finishing last year with 97 catches (w/out RG3), leading the country with 1832 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. By all accounts this dude comes to work every day, stays out of trouble, and most importantly produces on the field.
I feel like this is another pick where the cowboys are thinking future, but were still able to draft someone that can be called on to contribute in the present.
JJ Wilcox: 3rd Rd
This was my favorite pick of the entire draft for the Cowboys. If you don't know, Wilcox played RB and WR for the first 3 years at Georgia Southern. Just from knowing that, this dude is a stud athlete, one of best in the draft. But with only 1 year of experience at safety, its understandable that most people would question the selection (especially using the argument that the Cowboys couldve draft a safety such as Elam or Cyprien with the 1st rd pick). Go and watch his highlights videos though. Its evident that he understands route trees, and has the instints and athleticism to take advantage of that knowledge. Obviously he is a little raw, it isthe 3rd round so most prospects are. What i really liked about him was he explosion at the point of contact. When he hits someone, he wraps up with good technique, but also brings the wood. Quite a few times in his highlight video, he was able to separate receiver from ball resulting in dropped passes or interceptions. At 6' 0" 213 lbs, with his athleticism, Wilcox looks like he has the potential to be something special down the road, but in the mean time he should contribute on special teams and be a constent in sub packages.
Analysis of the last 3 selections will follow shortly.
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