At this point, in mid-February, three months from football Christmas, no one can truly say they know which player any particular team will select even with their first-round pick, much less what direction the draft will go through all seven rounds of May's NFL draft. We at BTB are aware of this, and our goal is not to present a truly accurate picture of what might happen, rather the goal is to present different lines of thinking, how the Cowboys can use their eight picks to put together a stronger roster for 2014 and beyond, and the reasoning behind those thoughts. You may agree or disagree very strongly with different pieces of the puzzle, thinking the answers should appear obvious, but as most fans can agree, SOMETHING unexpected is going to happen on draft night, so our goal is to prepare ourselves, and you, our faithful readers for those moments.
As a rule, we referenced widely considered reputable draft rankings to insure the relative reasonableness of the picks, and we weren't allowed to include any trades.
With that said here you go....
|1 (17)||Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville||Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville||Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt||Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt||Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville||Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt|
|2 (47)||Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt||Zach Martin, OL, Notre Dame||Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas||Trent Murphy, DE, Stanford||Will Sutton, DT, Arizona St||Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt|
|3 (78)||Carl Bradford, DE/OLB, Arizona St||Marcus Smith, DE Louisville||Kelcey Quarles, DT, South Carolina||Jimmie Ward, SS, Northern Illinois||Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas||Terrance Brooks, FS, Florida St|
|4 (115)||Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton||Jimmy Garappolo, QB, Eastern Illinois||Anthony Steen, OG, Alabama||Mike Davis, WR, Texas||Dakota Dozier, OG, Furman||DeMarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise St|
|5 (146)||Aaron Lynch, DE, South Florida||Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton||Kenny Ladler, FS, Vanderbilt||Brett Smith, QB, Wyoming||Shaquil Barrett, OLB, Colorado St||Brett Smith, QB, Wyoming|
|7 (206)||Cameron Fleming, OL, Stanford||Andre Hal, CB, Vanderbilt||Connor Shaw, QB, South Carolina||Russell Bodine, OG, North Carolina||Kerry Hyder, DT, Texas Tech||Dontae Johnson, DB, NC State|
|7 (208)||Trey Millard, FB, Oklahoma||Ethan Westbrooks, DE, West Texas A&M||Ryan Hewitt, FB, Stanford||Jonathan Brown, OLB, Illinois||Matt Hazel, WR, Coastal Carolina||Trey Millard, FB, Oklahoma|
|7 (215)||Charles Leno, OL, Boise St||Justin Ellis, DT, Louisiana Tech||Adham Talaat, DT, Galaudet||Kerry Hyder, DT, Texas Tech||Gator Hoskins, FB/TE, Marshall||Khyri Thorton, DT, Southern Miss|
Joey: In this scenario, the Cowboys are able to secure the best true FS in the class (Pryor), a very productive and skilled WR (Mathews), two early impact pass rushers (Bradford, Reid), a huge upside Marinelli project/immediate rotation guy (Lynch), two decorated big school offensive linemen with position flex (Fleming, Leno), and a thumper fullback with receiving ability (Millard). Long-term help in the trenches on both sides, as well as immediate impact on the defensive front and at WR, helps immensely. If the weekend of May 8-10th falls this way for this team, they will have gotten significantly younger, faster, and more talented than they are today. (Based on CBS rankings/my early draft study)
KD: I admit it, I cheated. For some reason, Draftek has decided to stray far, far away from the assessment of several players in 2014. It's not a bad thing, because most mock drafts are completely wrong anyway this time of year. I took advantage and formed a dream team. I get my centerfielder, my now-guard and eventual RT rolled into one, and was able to add two elite edge rushers and two penetrating DL for the 1- and 3-tech. Oh yeah, and I was able to do all this while nabbing our QB of the future. You know it, I know it. KD Wins.
OCC: Drafted strictly according to the CBSSports big board, the Cowboys get three of the most productive defensive linemen in the nation in Donald, Jeffcoat and Quarles. They address positions of need with a guard and at safety later, and take a flyer on a successful quarterback from a major SEC program.
Tom: I was using CBS' board to place my picks. Donald is being hailed as the best fit for Dallas, and I am a believer. I also looked hard at other needs, and found some help in all the most important areas. Smith at QB looks to me like a Romo starter kit, and I think Brown and Hyder may both be real finds in the seventh.
Rabblerousr: Since most of the top draftniks big boards are still in development, I used a combination, drawing from CBS, Tony Pauline, ESPN (Gary Horton, not Mel Kiper!), and Drafttek. I think the Cowboys should, and will, trade back in round one. In the absence of trades, Aaron Donald just makes too much sense. Also, I picked up a terrific wideout, with the size the Cowboys love, and a safety who has a little Earl Thomas in him. In the seventh round, I added a big fullback and a couple defensive guys with upside who fit Dallas' defensive system in Johnson and Thornton. And: I had my eye on Wyoming QB Smith first!
Conclusion: Overall you can see several trends emerge among our drafts. Almost 42% (20/48) of the available selections were used on rushmen, with every FPW selecting at least three players who would contribute at least a significant portion of their snaps to rushing the passer. Along with rushmen, there was a clear emphasis on the safety position (one in each group). At the top of the draft we have an even split, three for Aaron Donald and three for Calvin Pryor. Four drafts contained a QB: two with Brett Smith, one with Jimmy Garappolo and one with Connor Shaw.
So, where did we go right, and where did we go wrong?
- NFL Combine 2014: Dallas Cowboys Rooting Guide
- NFL Mock Draft 2014: Seven Round Pre-Combine Mocks For The Dallas Cowboys
- Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Cowboys With 11 Picks In The 2014 Draft?
- Dallas Likely To Get Three Seventh Round Compensatory Picks
- Is This DeMarco Murray's Last Season As A Cowboy?