Welcome to my Post-Draft 2112-pack. I want to start by discussing the nature of the draft in general.
We know two things about the draft. The first thing we know is that drafting is an inexact science. In fact, it’s as much luck as anything else since no team really drafts better than any others. At least, if there really is a difference it’s very, very small. It’s certainly smaller than anything you’d expect.
There have been a lot of studies of this and here are a couple of good ones. First, take a look at this one, which is probably the best: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/no-team-can-beat-the-draft/. It’s the best because it takes a look at every pick in the aggregate, showing the inconsistency of all franchises and GMs without really separating them by team meaning we’re talking samples in the 1000s.
Then, go look at http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2013/historical-draft-efficiency-franchise-rankings. This one will suggest there’s a small difference between teams from 1970-2007, with Miami and Pittsburgh drafting better than everyone else and KC and the new Cleveland drafting poorer than anyone else. However the differences are small and even the researcher will tell you that there are sample size problems given that the largest sample is 346. For example, if you add the 1960s both the Steelers and Chiefs will regress to the mean. Add in the last few years, and they’ll regress some more.
Finally, take a look at this link where O.C.C. showed the percentage chance for players picked in each round to succeed a year ago on BTB at: http://www.bloggingtheboys.com/2013/3/18/4098882/2010-2012-nfl-drafts-team-by-team-draft-success-in-first-three-rounds. 1 in 5 first rounders will not succeed. 2 out of 5 second rounders will not succeed. Shockingly enough, it gets worse from there.
By the way, this is not to say that people in the NFL haven’t gotten better as a whole in the drafting process. The total Career AV of drafted players has increased since 1970, but since every team has essentially gotten better at the same rate the average hasn’t changed and luck remains the biggest differential between teams. Read the first article closely to understand how that works.
So that brings us to the second thing we know. All of the hyperbole, angst, emotion, grading, and judging of the draft is useless at this point. We cannot know how well the Cowboys, or any team, succeeded during this past weekend for three years. Maybe more. We can’t know which of the nine new draftees and two-dozen free agents will become useful players until time answers that question for us.
Also, no matter how much energy and research you or I have invested in researching the players in this draft, it’s not as much as anyone actually employed by an NFL team. I said before that the difference in drafting players is luck, and that’s true given that all members of the drafting community have the same level of research and that’s essentially true for all NFL teams.
None of us can draft better than them, and if we tried we’d get blasted. Unless, of course, we were hired as professionals and can put in the time, effort, and resources that NFL teams can.
I know, I know, we all have those times when we knew a better pick than the Cowboys did and knew it at the time when it mattered. I know I do.
But I also know that if we laid out every pick that I wanted to make at each given point my success rate would be abysmal. That’s true for all of us. Jackson Jeffcoat is a perfect example of this. How many of us wanted the Cowboys to draft him? I sure did, though I freely admit it’s in part because his dad was one of my favorite players ever. Yet do I honestly believe I know more about him than every NFL team in the draft? He may succeed in Seattle, but it won’t be NFL teams didn’t do their due diligence. Here’s another example. Would any of us have reacted differently than the Green Bay front office when some dude named Romo called up asking for a UDFA contract?
So all of that emotion I’ve heard invested in commentary about the draft is essentially wasted energy. At this point, it’s time for the coaches to do their jobs and coach ‘em up and for us to root for the team and our pet cats.
Man, all of that commentary has made me thirsty. Hold on a sec, let me finish this mini-pitcher of Odell’s IPA. By the way, if you’ve seen me drink that before, it’s the IPA on tap at the bar that is within stumbling distance of my home.
In honor of welcoming everyone to the Cowboys, every one of today’s beverages comes from North Texas. So, yes, we’ll see something from Deep Ellum. And from Humperdink’s, which is right close to the stadium, and…, we’ll you just have to read on.
Let’s start with the newest brick in the Great Wall, Zack Martin. I hear people talking about him being the safe pick. That’s true, but let’s not forget that many people had him around 10 on their draft board. We’re going to love having him around, I think. Better yet, assuming that they extend Tyron (which I think is a foregone conclusion), they are guaranteed to have him, Frederick, and Martin together for at least four years. Not too bad. So, since you’re the newest stout lineman here, a Notre Dame alum, and you’ll be opening holes for DeMarco, Zack Martin, you get a Humperdink’s (Dallas, TX) McMurray’s Irish Dry Stout.
Meet the new DeMarcus, just the same as the old DeMarcus. Here’s hoping the Who was right. Also, here’s hoping you destroy some opposing quarterbacks. I’m impressed with what I’ve seen, and I’m happy to see that you have room to grow. So, in honor of the impending doom you’re about to inflict upon Nick Foles, RGIII, Eli Manning and all the rest, I’m bestowing upon you a Rahr & Sons (Fort Worth, TX) Pecker Wrecker Imperial Pilsner. By the way, it’s a woodpecker on the label, where did your minds go?
I have to smile at all those people that adamantly insisted that Anthony Hitchens would be there late in the draft or even possibly be a UDFA. Many of those also insisted that Jeffcoat was excellent value there. According to the CBS prospect rankings, Dexter McDougle was the 214th prospect. He should have been there at the end of the 6th round. He was actually taken with pick 80. Oh, and if Hitchens such a reach in the fourth, why aren’t people lambasting Chip Kelly for taking Smith in the first when he was projected in the late second? Again, we get back to the fact that NFL teams do more research than any of us, including Rang, Mayock, Kiper et al. Anyway, Anthony, you’ll get your shot here, and if you do well, you’ll be fine. As inspiration, here’s a Revolver (Granbury, TX) Blood & Honey American Wheat Ale. You give us the blood of opposing ballcarriers, we’ll give you the honey.
I heard at least one commentator wonder why the Boys took a receiver. Clearly, he hasn’t really looked at our depth chart. Dooley was gushing about Devin Street, and if he can grow in to a tall target who can play X,Y, and Z, he’s going to be a really useful player for us. You’ll get a chance to roam on a lot of fields, so you get a Cedar Creek (Seven Points, TX) Lawn Ranger Cream Ale.
Ben Gardner. You’ve got one job. Hit ballcarriers. Even a Stanford alum should be able to figure that out. Of course, I’m being a little facetious here. Your job is not to hit ballcarriers, it’s to drive them deep into the ground, stamp upon their puny bodies, and then use your education to prove to them they’re lucky to have you do it to them. I’m bestowing upon you a Deep Ellum (Dallas, TX) Dreamcrusher 2x Rye India Pale Ale. For a bonus beer, you can be assured that your words will be Deep Ellum (Dallas, TX) Numb Comfort American Barleywine Ale to their mangled dreams.
"In East Philadelphia born and raised…," oops, wrong Will Smith. I guess we can still call him the Fresh Prince of Valley Ranch, right? No? Hmmm, how about I just knight him. We do want him to serve honorably with distinction on the field of combat right? Here, I dub thee Grapevine (Grapevine, TX) Sir William’s English Brown Ale with a tap of the sword on each shoulder. I expect incredible armored charges on every punt and kickoff.
Let’s get this clear. Ahmad Dixon’s grandmother recently died. It was getting close to Mother’s Day. Her favorite team was the Dallas Cowboys. Her greatest hope was that he’d get drafted by the Boys. Tell me truthfully, could anyone of us in his position have actually been able to talk to Jerry or Jason? Well, Ahmad, you just go ahead and celebrate the opportunity with a Four Corners (Dallas, TX) Celebracíon Belgian Strong Ale. Now go make her proud.
So, all of that wailing and gnashing of teeth about how we had to draft a 1-technique early on seems a bit foolish when we got someone like Ken Bishop in the 7th. I really think highly of him, though I’ll admit part of that is because I watched every NIU game I could because of Jordan Lynch. He’s a lunch-pail guy who knows his chances are proportional to his effort. Here’s a Lakewood (Garland, TX) Red Wine Barrel-Aged Till & Toil Saison for you.
Terrence Mitchell was our last draft choice. In fact, you were nigh unto Mr. Irrelevant. Of course, anyone who is picked in the NFL draft should be honored by the choice, no matter where in the draft you happen to be taken. Less than 300 people a year get that opportunity and I suspect I speak for all of us that we all dreamt, at some point in our lives, that the Cowboys might actually come a calling. Yeah, you were chosen late, but you were chosen, so you get a 903 (Sherman, TX) The Chosen One Coconut American Ale.
That leaves three beers for some UDFAs. I guess you could call these my pet cats, though only the last one is my true favorite feline. First, this beer is going out to Josh Cox, a good friend of mine and draft guru who is a fan of beer and fullbacks. I don’t know if JC Copeland will be versatile enough on special teams to make the Boys, but I’m hoping. I’m going to give him a nickname and a beer, a Peticolas (Dallas TX) Velvet Hammer Imperial Red Ale. At 9% alcohol, it’ll knock some people on their backsides. By the way, those of you in Dallas, send me some, it sounds delicious.
Next, I’m going to go to the player that had by far the most impressive workout video. His skills were transcendent, and it’s no surprise that he was gifted, so to speak, with fresh workout clothes by one of the biggest manufacturers in the world, Santa Claus. Yes, folks, I’m speaking of the incredible and awesome Dustin Vaughan. He’s so incredible and so awesome that I just can’t describe how incredible and awesome he is but I will make the incredible and awesome decision to break my rule to have only one beer from any particular brewery in any one 2112-pack. Yes, folks, that means Vaughan is the recipient of a 903 (Sherman, TX) Crackin’ Up Pecan Porter both because he’s nuts and made me crack up. Oh, and make sure to teach every other QB your incredible and awesomely efficient throwing mechanics.
Finally, my true pet cat. I was on the L’Damian Washington bandwagon a while ago. He was one of my picks on OCC’s Draft Challenge. This is despite him going to Mizzou and before learning his story. Now that I know his story I have to root for him. At 6-3 with 4.4 speed he’s got the right kind of physical attributes. In other words, he’s got a shot, even with the depth at WR on this team. I’m hoping he becomes an athlete that DFW can be proud of so I’m giving him a Rabbit Hole (Justin, TX) Mike Modano’s 561 Kolsch-Style. May you have many times celebrating putting the biscuit in the basket, so to speak.
Speaking of pet cats, I’m having to conclude this 2112-pack with the assistance of my pet cat Thorn. Yeah, the purring’s nice, but she does add to the difficulty factor of typing by sticking her butt in my face. Definitely Olympic-level difficulty factor. I will say that if you want to argue with anything I’ve said, I hope your pets also interject their butts between you and your monitor. Sure, you think it’s cute now…