What is it like being the most powerful voice in the entire Cowboy's organization?
Aside from the millions of dollars, celebrity status, and ownership of the Dallas Cowboys, you have a chance to feel what it is like being Jerry Jones-- in the war room. Fanspeak.com has done a fantastic job in bringing us a fun mock draft tool! Now, I’m not a huge fan of mock drafts, in fact, I don’t like them at all. However, the folks at fanspeak.com have created a mock draft simulator. It uses all sorts of data and algorithms to predict the NFL draft, and you get to chose a team and be the GM. It’s similar to a franchise draft in Madden, the teams before you select players, then you choose your own.
Here’s the link: http://fanspeak.com/ontheclock/
I decided to test it out, and these are the results I came up with:
Pick 16: Johnny Manziel, Quarterback, Texas A&M University.
I know what y’all are thinking, quarterback is far from our biggest need, but he was the best player on my board. Greg Robinson, Aaron Donald, and Anthony Barr all went three picks in a row ahead of me. Pryor, Ealy, and the other obvious top picks all went in the top 10. I was down to Johnny Manziel, C.J. Mosely, and Marqise Lee at pick 16. Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe we need to improve this defense, and C.J. Mosely is one of my favorite players in this entire class, but how do you pass up the value of a potential franchise quarterback at 16? I’ve seen every game Johnny Manziel has ever played in more than once. He’s a scrappy, unconventional, and a great leader. This guy has all the tools to succeed. I love his work ethic, as I type this he’s probably finishing up another workout with quarterback guru George Whitfield on the beach. I’ve seen him lead A&M to unbelieveable victories such as the Duke game, both Ole Miss games, and Louisiana Tech. He shows up in big games (*cough* Alabama *cough*) and he’s a fighter (see Auburn game). Towards the end of this year he wasn’t himself because he wasn’t totally healthy, but you saw in the bowl game vs Duke what he can do to teams when he is. Tony Romo isn’t guaranteed to last forever and the quarterback is the most important position on the football field. Johnny can sit behind Tony for a few years until he’s ready to take over or Tony has regressed. I am a firm believer in taking the best player available and that’s exactly what I did.
Pick 47: Scott Crichton, Defensive End, Oregon State.
I absolutely loved this pick. It was pretty easy to pull the trigger on Crichton; I believe that he’s what our defensive coaches want in a DE. If you haven’t had the chance to check out his film yet you should do it right now. The kid is really quick off the ball and he stands at 6-3 265 pounds. In the past two years he’s accumulated 36.5 tackles for a loss and 16.5 sacks. I say you tell him and George Selvie to go compete for the starting spot opposite Ware. I also don’t think that this team will part ways with Demarcus, Marinelli and Kiffin love him too much in this scheme. It’s all just a matter of staying healthy. The other prospects I was considering at 47 were Ra’Shede Hageman, Stephon Tuitt, and Jarvis Landry. I don’t think that Ra’Shede Hageman is a good fit for this defense. I’ve watched his film and he lacks that quick twitch that we’re looking for in this defense. However, if we were still running a 3-4 I wouldn’t hesitate making Hageman a Dallas Cowboy. I wouldn’t mind Tuitt, but I think Crichton is the better player. Landry is the wildcard of the bunch. In his junior year at LSU he caught 77 passes for 1,193 yards and 10 touchdowns. I saw a stat the other day that said he only dropped one pass this entire season. With the inevitable release of Miles Austin, Landry would be a fantastic addition to our receiving corp.
Pick 78: Dominique Easley, Defensive Tackle, Florida.
This pick was the result of the draft calculator breaking my heart. Just before I went on the clock, the San Francisco 49ers selected Jarvis Landry right out from under me. I guess I can now sympathize with other GMs come draft day when a player you really value gets snatched right before you go on the clock. Alas, I still had to make a pick, and I selected Dominique Easley. This is such a huge risk because of the two knee issues, but the great Kenny Rogers taught me "you gotta know when to hold'em, know when to fold‘em," so I decided to take the gamble. If Easley hadn’t been injured this season he easily would be taken in the top 10. On the field, the kid is a freak. His burst off the line is probably the best in the entire class, save for Donald. He’s 6-2 285 pounds, so he might need to add a little weight, but other than that he’s a prototypical 3 technique in this defense. His only problem is staying healthy, if he can do that I feel very confident in this selection. Other players I was considering were Jackson Jeffcoat, Josh Huff, and Lache Seastrunk. I decided to go Easley over Jeffcoat for two reasons, one: I believe, when healthy, Easley is the better player, two: Jeffcoat also has injury issues. Huff would be a good addition to our receivers, which I feel is an underrated need on our team. He’s short (5’11), but thick, and you could tell at the Senior Bowl that he really cared about the game. Seastrunk would have been more of a value selection, but I think that this coaching staff is content with Pro-Bowl running back Demarco Murray, change of pace back Lance Dunbar, and recently acquired backup Joseph Randle.
Pick 115: Pierre Desir, Cornerback, Lindenwood.
At 6-1 and 195 pounds, Pierre Desir presented pretty good value at this juncture in the draft. This guy was born in Haiti and moved to the United States when he was four or five. Over the length of his college career he totaled 25 interceptions at D-II school Lindenwood. At this point in my article I can already hear fans screaming (negatively) over the thought of selecting another small school corner in round four. Have no fear, this guy has much more size than our buddy BW, and he’s even been reported to running a 4.46 forty-yard dash. He performed really well in the East-West game and the Senior Bowl. I also must admit that I have only seen two games he’s played (other than the Senior Bowl). In my defense, finding football film from a school called Lindenwood is less than or equal to trying to find the Arc of the Covenant. From what I’ve seen he looks after a year or two in the NFL he would be ideal to play against bigger receivers in man coverage. Hopefully the addition of Desir will push BW Webb to be a better player. I was also considering Charles Sims, Kareem Martin, and Anthony Johnson.
Pick 146: De’Anthony Thomas, Running Back, Oregon.
In rounds 5-7 of the NFL draft you are trying to find value, game changers, and players with exceptional measurables; Thomas fits most of these categories. Everybody who’s anybody that’s watched college football knows this name, and that’s for good reason. I feel like our team lacks a true burner, and Thomas fills this need and a whole lot more. He offers a new dimension to our running back corp, no offense to Lance Dunbar, and can also return kicks. If you watch Thomas play the first thing that strikes you is how unbelievably fast he plays. I expect him to probably run the forty in the 4.3-4.4 range, but he plays so much faster than that. The only thing that’s left to be desired is his pass protection, but that’s something Coach Brown can teach him. Besides, the things he is able to do with the football are amazing. At this point in the draft I don’t see how we could pass him up, he offers good upside for our offense and an immediate impact on special teams. Others I considered were Jeremy Hill, Kenny Ladler, and Kasim Edebali.
Pick 206: Cody Hoffman, Wide Receiver, BYU.
In round six I decided to add a receiver to our current group. Of course, I am presuming that Miles Austin will no longer be with the Cowboys come opening week of the 2014 season. His contract and production don’t match at all, and it looks like he will be a June 1st cut unless he takes a significant pay cut. Hoffman is a senior receiver at BYU, he stands at 6-4 and about 210 pounds. He was a fan-favorite at Brigham Young University and according to http://www.vanquishthefoe.com/ he was one of the best players to ever don the white and blue. He is the all time leader in receiving yards, touchdowns, and catches at a university that has produced players such as Dennis Pitta and Austin Collie. When watching his film, the one thing that jumps out at me is his exceptional blocking skills. He’s a fighter, player, and most importantly, a right kind of guy. Also, you can check out this "average BYU student’s" dating life. (recommended watch) http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3uog-1dukLo
Pick 208: Gabe Ikard, Center, Oklahoma.
He came to Norman as a tight end, and ended up as one of the best offensive lineman in the school’s history. He redshirted his freshman year, but after that he became a staple on OU’s offensive line for many years. He started about forty games for the Sooners and was at least honorable mention Big 12 every year. His Freshman (RS) year he played left guard and then slid over to the center position three games into his Sophomore (RS) season. He played the remainder of his career at center and won Academic All American honors along with multiple Big 12 honors. He’s a bit undersized at 6’3 and 293 pounds, but he looks like he’d be a good fit on a team that runs a zone blocking scheme. Of course he wouldn’t start, but you could stash him as a backup at guard and center for a few years while he bulks up. He might even have a shot at taking over for Mackenzy Bernadeau when the team decides to move on from him. Ikard does a good job at passing stunts and holding his own in the passing game. However, I would like to see him improve in his run blocking. Others I considered were Aaron Lynch, Kerry Hyder, and Tevin Reese.
There you have it, my first attempt at a mock draft. Remember that I did this in a software that simulated the actual NFL draft. Give it a try and put your results in the comments: http://fanspeak.com/ontheclock