Scott Wright is the founder and President of NFL Draft Countdown.com. He has been scouting players and covering the NFL Draft since 1993. He has built the most popular draft site on the web, in part because his content is free. He graciously accepted Cowboys Blogs' request for an interview. Here's his take on Cowboys-related questions about the 2006 draft.
-- 1. CB: There is some concern that LaRoi Glover will be cut or dealt this offseason. Who's the best NT not named Ngata in this draft? If the answer is Gabe Watson, could he play for Bill Parcells with his inconsistent motor?
Scott Wright: You hit the nail right on the head, Gabe Watson is the next best 3-4 nose tackle in the draft and can be a stud in the middle of the defense. While I was in Mobile at the Senior Bowl I saw Dallas scouts paying him A LOT of attention.
-- 2. CB: We have a lot of Bobby Carpenter fans here. You've had him rated higher than anybody else at #23, though Mel Kiper sent him to New England at 21 in a mock draft not too long ago
A. Is his low position in mock drafts a function of his ankle injury?
B. If it is, how high would he climb if he had a strong combine workout?
Scott Wright: I have always been a huge fan of Bobby Carpenter and for most of his senior season he was at the top of my underrated list, but now that he is getting so much attention that is no longer the case. He is very similar to Mike Vrabel and could easily play outside linebacker, inside linebacker or even defensive end depending on the scheme he is drafted into. As for his draft position in mocks, I don't think that has anything to do with his ankle and he is widely regarded as a late 1st or early 2nd as of now.
-- 3. CB: How do Chad Greenway, Bobby Carpenter and Manny Lawson compare to Demarcus Ware? Which would make the best complement to Ware?
Scott Wright: Greenway doesn't really compare to Demarcus Ware at all, Carpenter is a little closer and of those three Lawson is probably the closest fit. I think Carpenter would be the best fit for Dallas though.
-- 4. CB: What are the deepst positions in this year's draft? The thinnest?
Scott Wright: I think linebacker is the deepest position both in terms of quality at the top as well as depth throughout seven rounds. The weakest is probably
wide receiver because there aren't any of the elite guys like Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Braylon Edwards. Watch out for 2007 though if juniors like Calvin Johnson and Dwayne Jarrett come out early!
-- 5. CB: I have a draft book that says Marcus McNeill has stenosis. What's your knowledge of his condition and how much will it affect his draft status?
Scott Wright: I spoke with Marcus McNeill personally in Mobile at the Senior Bowl and this is what he told me about the rumors regarding the condition of his
back: Marcus told me that he hasn't had any trouble with it in 2 1/2 years and that the initial problem was that during two-a-day's he landed wrong on his hip and because it was so close to the start of the season he wasn't able to rest it properly. We shall see once he goes through the medical ringer at the Combine though.
-- 6. CB: How big a dropoff is there from D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Winston Justice to McNeill/Johnathan Scott/Eric Winston/O'Callahan?
Scott Wright: I think there is a rather large drop from D'Brickashaw Ferguson to Winston Justice since D'Brick is considered one of the 4-5 "elite" players in the entire draft. However I don't think it is that big between the others and I even have Jon Scott rated ahead of Marcus McNeill right now.
-- 7. CB: How do you assess the OT position overall. Is this a strong crop? Average? Poor?
Scott Wright: I think the offensive tackle crop is about average. You have some quality at the top and I think there is going to be great depth through the 3rd round. However after that there is a big drop-off in talent so if you need an OT my advice would be to get him on Day One.
-- 8. CB: Is there a Chris Canty this year, a guy with long term potential
who will be drafted lower than his ability because of short term injury concerns?
Scott Wright: Dallas got a steal in Canty, just like I said from Day One because I was a huge fan of his. That was a rare situation though but Marcus McNeill
could slide a little or maybe even a lot depending on how tests on his back come out in Indy.
-- 9. CB: What QBs in the middle rounds (3rd-5th) do you see as sleepers, guys who could become the next Tom Brady?
Scott Wright: I don't know about the next Tom Brady, but some Day Two guys I like at quarterback are Darrell Hackney of U.A.B., Kellen Clemens of Oregon,
Bruce Gradkowsi of Toledo and Reggie McNeal of Texas A&M. On the sleeper front watch out for Erik Meyer of Eastern Washington and never forget about Marcus Vick, who has the talent of a 1st rounder and the character of a jailbird.
-- 10. CB: In what rounds are CB Devin Hester, WR Brandon Marshall and RB Taurean Henderson projected?
Scott Wright: If he works out well Devin Hester could be a 2nd or 3rd rounder. Brandon Marshall is more of a Day Two guy and could go as high as round four or five while Henderson looks to be a middle rounder but I really like him.
-- 11. CB: The tight end crop looks deep. Who are the best blockers among them?
Scott Wright: This is a very strong and deep tight end class and if it is a
blocker you are looking for then Cooper Wallace of Auburn or Quinn Sypniewski of Colorado might be your guy.
-- 12. CB: Is the fullback position dead? The pickings look slim.
Scott Wright: The fullback position isn't dead, but it is close. Teams just
don't use the position much anymore so they don't want to expend draft picks on them. Lawrence Vickers of Colorado could be a 3rd or 4th rounder though. Watch out for Brian Leonard of Rutgers in 2007 though, who is a little like Mike Alstott only a better runner and not quite as good of a blocker.
-- 13. CB: Finally, where would Ahmad Brooks go in a supplemental draft? What, in your opinion, would his status have been had he come out in April?
Scott Wright: Well, we don't know anything for sure yet on Ahmad Brooks, but for this question we will work under the assumption that his days at UVA are
indeed over. Had he entered the 2006 NFL Draft normally he probably would have been a 2nd or 3rd rounder. Now with the additional character questions surrounding him heaped on top of the injuries and weight he could be looking at Day Two. Now keep in mind that he could very well get in great shape by this summer for the Supplemental Draft and see his stock soar.