FanPost

The 2013 Rodney Dangerfield All-Stars

With the draft nigh upon us, time is running short to learn more about this year's class of prospects. Given the extended pre-draft season this year, I'm sure most are just fine with that. But I'm going to take one last look at some players. After all, there are over 1000 draftable players and even the voluminous quantity of draft-related articles, fan posts, and comments on BtB hasn't covered them all. And why should they? Only a quarter of those players will be drafted.

But let's put those players aside. Let's pretend the draft is over. Dallas has used its 11 picks to great effect. Now it's time for the mad UDFA scramble. Learning of the UDFAs that Dallas signs each year is like dumping out your stocking after all the other Christmas presents have been opened. It's like a ‘second free agency' period, and given the number of quality players the team has acquired as post-draft UDFA and the overall Cowboys mystique, it seems Dallas has some advantages in recruiting these players.

Recently, I looked at some lower-ranked draft prospects who were very highly rated coming out of high school. Now, I want to look at some lower ranked draft prospects who were very highly rated coming off their final college season.

Huh? How's that?

To be more precise, I want to look at some players who the media has assigned a low draft ranking but who another set of evaluators felt warranted special recognition for exemplary play. That other set of evaluators are the head coaches of the FBS.

Talent evaluation is a key ability for successful coaches, especially at the college level where coaches play a large role in the recruitment process. Coaches have a deep understanding of the game, of player roles and responsibilities, schemes and assignments. They are among the best candidates to assess performance and identify top talent.

Recognizing the unique insight of their coaches, collegiate football conferences often involve them in various polls and award processes. Among these are the selection of the all-conference teams that follow each season. Now, undoubtedly there is some politicking that accompanies the selection of all-conference teams, but while there may be some quibbles they are generally a pretty good picture of the top performers in a conference for a given season.

I've looked at the all-conference teams, as selected by the coaches, for all 11 FBS conferences (including the independents). Then I identified which of the all-conference players were draft eligible and listed them in order of their current ranking on the CBS Big Board (as of today).

Of course, this list includes many of the top prospects familiar to us all and many with whom the Cowboys have already met. But, then I trimmed the list to only those players who were ranked 257th or lower, i.e. players that if the draft conformed to that ranking would go undrafted.

I was a bit surprised by the results. Of the 167 players who were 1st Team All-Conference selections, 64 (38.3%) of them were ranked 257th or lower. I suppose I was expecting even more of the 1st teamers to be given a draftable ranking.

Wait. Let me guess. This is a list of C-USA and Sun Belt players, right?

Yes, the list is more heavily populated by players from conferences outside the BCS 6, but there are still players from big-time programs such as Florida State, Notre Dame, Stanford, Nebraska, Michigan State, Miami (FL), and others.

Wait. Let me guess. There are 11 conferences, so there are probably like 11 kickers and 11 punters in the list, right?

Surprisingly, no! There were only 2 kickers and 2 punters in the ‘Forgotten 64.' The most common positions among the group of 64 players were inside linebacker (6), wide receiver (6), center (5), strong safety (5), defensive tackle (5), and outside linebacker (5). The least common was quarterback (1).

OK, but were there any actual IMPACT players?

Dallas wants front seven pressure players, right? The nation's 7th leading sack producer (a player who tallied 12 sacks for the year) is among these players.

That's one. Any more?

Check this out: there are FIVE (5) conference Offensive or Defensive Players of the Year in that group. Again, these are FBS conferences. And these are five players who the coaches of their conference decided were the best overall player on their side of the ball.

Could you put together a team with these guys?

Given the positional breakdown of those 64 players, you could form nearly TWO complete teams of 1st Team All-Conference players that might not be drafted.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2013 All-Conference Afterthoughts!

Player

School

CBS

Conference

Position.

Jordan Lynch

Northern Illinois

475

MAC

QB

David Fluellen

Toledo

276

MAC

RB

Antonio Andrews

WKU

304

SUN

RB

Albert Wilson

Georgia State

269

SUN

WR

Tevin Reese

Baylor

327

Big 12

WR

Gator Hoskins

Marshall

283

C-USA

TE

Bryan Stork

FSU

264

ACC

C

Parker Graham

OK State

306

Big 12

OT

Evan Finkenberg

Arizona State

315

PAC-12

OT

Ryan Groy

Wisconsin

319

Big 10

OG

Chris Watt

Notre Dame

292

IND

OG






Ben Gardner

Stanford

278

PAC-12

DE

IK Enemkpali

Louisiana Tech

396

C-USA

DE

Eathyn Manumaleuna

BYU

286

IND

DT

Ryan Carrethers

Arkansas State

267

SUN

DT

Shaquil Barrett

Colorado State

355

MWC

OLB

Shawn Jackson

Tulane

821

C-USA

ILB

Xavius Boyd

WKU

451

SUN

OLB

Bene Benwikere

San Jose State

329

MWC

CB

Ciante Evans

Nebraska

367

Big 10

CB

Ty Zimmerman

K-State

284

Big 12

FS

Isaiah Lewis

Michigan St.

295

Big 10

SS






Cairo Santos

Tulane

277

C-USA

K

Pat O'Donnell

Miami (FL)

260

ACC

P

Trevor Gillette

Rice

368

C-USA

LS

Brelan Chancellor

North Texas

562

C-USA

KR

Bolded players were the Offensive or Defensive Player of the Year for their respective conferences.

You mentioned 5 defensive tackles earlier. Dallas could use some of them. Who are they?

Ryan Carrethers, Arkansas State, CBS 267

Eathyn Manumaleuna, BYU, CBS 286

Calvin Barnett, Oklahoma State, CBS 372

Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, Boise State, CBS 599

Jordan Stepp, Cincinnati, CBS 876

You mentioned a player with 12 sacks. Who is it?

The MWC Defensive Player of the Year and 1st team outside linebacker, Shaquil Barrett, currently the 355th ranked player on the CBS board.

Who is the lowest ranked 1st Team All-Conference player in the draft?

That would be Nate Richards, Rice, the 1st team C-USA center. Talk about no respect!

Any of these guys have a chance to wear the Star?

Who knows (outside of Valley Ranch)? Over the past couple of months there have been some rumors here and there about Dallas' interest in players like Eathyn Manumaleuna (DT), IK Enempkali (DE), Xavius Boyd (OLB), and Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe (DT). Personally, of those, I like Boyd the best.

OK. You might as well give the whole list.

Player

School

CBS

Conference

Position.

Pat O'Donnell

Miami (FL)

260

ACC

P

Bryan Stork

FSU

264

ACC

C

Ryan Carrethers

Arkansas State

267

SUN

DT

Albert Wilson

Georgia State

269

SUN

WR

Tyler Larsen

Utah State

275

MWC

C

David Fluellen

Toledo

276

MAC

RB

Cairo Santos

Tulane

277

C-USA

K

Ben Gardner

Stanford

278

PAC-12

DE

Gator Hoskins

Marshall

283

C-USA

TE

Ty Zimmerman

K-State

284

Big 12

FS

Eathyn Manumaleuna

BYU

286

IND

DT

Chris Watt

Notre Dame

292

IND

OG

Isaiah Lewis

Michigan St.

295

Big 10

SS

Jonathan Newsome

Ball State

299

MAC

OLB

Antonio Andrews

WKU

304

SUN

RB

Parker Graham

OK State

306

Big 12

OT

Nat Berhe

San Diego State

307

MWC

SS

Evan Finkenberg

Arizona State

315

PAC-12

OT

Ryan Groy

Wisconsin

319

Big 10

OG

Robert Nelson

Arizona State

320

PAC-12

FS

Austin Wentworth

Fresno State

324

MWC

OT

Tevin Reese

Baylor

327

Big 12

WR

Bene Benwikere

San Jose State

329

MWC

CB

Jeff Budzien

Northwestern

337

Big 10

K

Alden Darby

Arizona State

341

PAC-12

SS

BooBoo Gates

Bowling Green

353

MAC

SS

Shaquil Barrett

Colorado State

355

MWC

OLB

Willie Snead

Ball State

361

MAC

WR

Dan Fox

Notre Dame

362

IND

ILB

Ciante Evans

Nebraska

367

Big 10

CB

Trevor Gillette

Rice

368

C-USA

LS

Calvin Barnett

OK State

372

Big 12

DT

Isaiah Newsome

UL-Monroe

382

SUN

FS

Hakeem Smith

Louisville

386

AAC

SS

Cody Webster

Purdue

390

Big 10

P

IK Enemkpali

Louisiana Tech

396

C-USA

DE

Jayrone Elliott

Toledo

403

MAC

DE

Chris Coyle

Arizona State

408

PAC-12

TE

Camren Hudson

Troy

434

SUN

FS

Roosevelt Nix

Kent State

446

MAC

ILB

Alex Neutz

Buffalo

448

MAC

WR

Xavius Boyd

WKU

451

SUN

OLB

Justin Anderson

UL-Lafayette

468

SUN

ILB

Jordan Lynch

Northern Illinois

475

MAC

QB

Kapri Bibbs

Colorado State

476

MWC

RB

Najja Johnson

Buffalo

497

MAC

CB

Branden Oliver

Buffalo

502

MAC

RB

Eric Thomas

Troy

546

SUN

WR

Josh Allen

UL-Monroe

550

SUN

C

Trey Watts

Tulsa

555

C-USA

RB

Brelan Chancellor

North Texas

562

C-USA

KR

Uani 'Unga

BYU

572

IND

ILB

Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe

Boise State

599

MWC

DT

Shaun Lewis

OK State

616

Big 12

OLB

Darryl Surgent

UL-Lafayette

662

SUN

KR

Chief Kekuewa

Bowling Green

704

MAC

C

Eddie Lackey

Baylor

705

Big 12

OLB

Dayonne Nunley

Miami (OH)

745

MAC

CB

Chris McAllister

Baylor

754

Big 12

DE

Keith Smith

San Jose State

768

MWC

ILB

Shawn Jackson

Tulane

821

C-USA

ILB

Zane Fakes

Ball State

830

MAC

TE

Jordan Stepp

Cincinnati

876

AAC

DT

Nate Richards

Rice

945

C-USA

C


Unlike the former highly rated high school players whose stars have dimmed, these guys just put together a season that earned the respect of the coaches they played for and against. See anyone in this list you have an interest in?

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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