#18 (1st round) - OLB Bobby Carpenter/Ohio Sate
#53 (2nd round) - TE Anthony Fasano/Notre Dame
#92 (3rd round) - DE Jason Hatcher/Grambling St.
The Dallas Cowboys had an "unusual" draft. It started out normally, with the Cowboys picking up OLB Bobby Carpenter, a move that was a popular choice. Bobby Carpenter fits in perfectly as a SOLB in the 3-4 defense. Tough against the run, able to play upright or with his hand down, and an excellent blitzer; Carpenter's skill made this an easy pick. The fact that it was a position of need was a huge bonus.
Then things got a little weird. TE was very low on the need chart for the Cowboys, or so we all thought. We all thought wrong. Apparently, according to Jerry Jones - once again Parcells ducked the media, he really doesn't want to talk about T.O. - we are going to be using a 2 TE set extensively this year. This necessitated getting a TE who can act as a co-starter with Jason Witten, and Ryan Hannam wasn't that guy. Jones also noted we will probably carry 4 TE's this year and may not use a FB. (Lousaka Polite is already sending out his resume). So while Jeff Ireland says that they picked the highest rated player on their board, this smells like a reach for a need - a need I didn't even know we had.
Fasano fits the bill for what they would want in a second TE; a bruiser with nice hands and runs good routes. On the down side, he's not fast or overly athletic, and there are concerns about an injury to his back. With this new offensive philosophy, the Cowboys hope to improve their offensive line play and let Jason Witten act as the third receiver on passing downs.
OK, I get why Dallas made the pick. Parcells loves TE's and wants to run 2 TE sets often this year. I don't know, maybe this is a necessary but not very sexy pick, but it leaves me cold.
In the 3rd round, I thought things would get back to normal; maybe some offensive line help, or a safety, perhaps a NT. Instead we took a DE after taking 3 DE's in last year's draft and re-signing Greg Ellis in the offseason. To top it off the pick, Jason Hatcher, comes from a small school and everybody before today thought that he would go off the board some time on the second day. This guy was called "sleeper" so often that Rip Van Winkle sued for copyright infringement.
The book on Hatcher is that he has a lot of potential, but needs some time to get there. At least everything I've read so far says his upside is really up but he's raw. At 6'6" and close to 290 lbs, he's got prototypical size for a DE in a 3-4 defense. But he's now in the mix with a boatload of DE's and may not even be able to contribute much this year. All I can say is this kid better be something special down the road. Otherwise, the Cowboys missed a chance to improve their offensive line or get help at FS.
So overall, I would give the first day of the Cowboys' draft a C- grade. Carpenter was a great start, but Fasano seems like a reach and Hatcher has to be really special or we passed on better players who could help at a position of need. Dallas is going to have to work really hard and get some luck tomorrow to rescue this draft.
Dallas traded down from #49 to #53 in the 2nd round and picked up a 6th round pick (#189) and a 7th round pick (#211). They also traded down in the 3rd round, from #80 to #92, and received a 4th round pick (#125).
Tomorrow, Dallas has the following picks: