It’s not that this draft was unsatisfactory; it’s that it was ultimately unsatisfying. Parts of it were sublime - like getting a pick in next year’s first round. That was a stroke of fortune that makes this draft somewhat of a success before the first Dallas pick was made. Almost on that alone, the draft ends up being a winner. But I think the Cowboys also managed to get some talent. Anthony Spencer in the first round makes sense for this reason alone, Wade Phillips thinks he needed him. Spencer is talented and he should be able to produce, he’s gotten a lot of respect from people he’s played against in the past, ask #3 pick Joe Thomas. But what really mattered was Phillips looked at his roster and concluded he didn’t have the pressure players he needed to make the Phillips 34 happen. He wanted Spencer, and since we hired him to create his defensive magic in Dallas, give him the player he wanted. The first round was an A+ effort, even if they had to trade a few picks to make it happen.
It was the 2nd round when things started to go astray. Trading out of that round when there was some talent to be had will be debated for a while. If one of those players they passed on pans out, like CB Eric Wright, they might be kicking themselves. But getting another 4th round pick - and a high one at that - was a good move. Teams love early 4th round picks.
The 3rd round pick of James Marten was a solid move. They didn’t exactly reach, but they might’ve leaned forward to get him. But he was a 3rd round talent, and he’s a lineman from BC, so he’ll probably be a solid contributor for a while. Marten has a big frame, and is a tough competitor. If he can refine his technique some, he should be fine.
Taking Isaiah Stanback in the beginning of the 4th round might end up being the defining pick of this draft. If he prospers, they might look like geniuses, if he flops, people will say they got too cute. Stanback has the biggest risk/reward factor of any of our picks. Taking him in the fourth, especially after trading down to get to that high-spot on the 2nd day, means you really wanted this guy. And they passed on a gaggle of higher rated talent. That’s because you’re asking him to play a different position, which more often than not, doesn’t work out. It’s a handful of players who can make the transition and really contribute. Stanback also had a Lisfranc foot injury, and that’s never good. Balancing all that out is his incredible athletic prowess. 6’2", 216 lbs. and great speed with shifty moves and a natural ability with the ball in his hand is a very enticing prototype for a receiver. Can he catch is the big question, and can he run polished patterns. At least he’s played the position before. To me this was the most intriguing pick of this draft class and one that weighs heavily in its future success or failure.
The second pick in the 4th round was the best value pick of the draft for the Cowboys. Doug Free should’ve gone on the first day, and could’ve been taken in the 2nd on a reach. The Cowboys got him in the 4th so that’s great value. He plays the all-important left tackle position, and unless you were picking one the top-tier players, Free is probably as good a choice as any. This pick saved the second day for me. A high-value pick at an impact position, with the prospect of your starter leaving next year, is a very good thing. Good drafting.
I am going to admit a bias of mine - you don’t draft kickers. It’s kind of a rule for me. I know every once in a while a really good one comes along that you shouldn’t pass on, but I didn’t think 6th round pick Nick Folk was that guy. Believe me, I get the part about Gramatica’s short kickoffs and how a kickoff specialist could help field position. But if I’m drafting a kicker, he better be the kickoff specialist and the regular kicker, all-in-one. And then when he gets the job, he better earn it and he better him them long and straight. Otherwise, you don’t draft a kicker. As you might guess, I didn’t like this pick.
Drafting a fullback was something I had been asking for, repeatedly, as you guys know because you got sick of hearing about it. I don’t blame you. But, I did get a fullback today, Deon Anderson, which was the good news. The bad news, I don’t know enough about him to give a real educated guess. The scouting reports sound like he fits the bill, a big, physical kid who can catch the ball. Sounds perfect, but we’ll se how he plays. Also, is there a possibility of Oliver Hoyte going back to inside linebacker? We are thin at the position, and if Anderson can play, then either Hoyte or Polite have to go, so could Hoyte head back over to defense? Just a thought.
I thought the Courtney Brown pick was a good risk. Admittedly, I haven’t seen him play either, but his physical abilities alone make him worth a shot in the 7th round. He’s a big corner who ran a 4.32. That’s worth a look in the 7th round. He also plays corner, which is a position that could use some depth. If the kid can play up to his stats, then we could have something. What we really need to see is how he plays against top competition, but definitely worth the risk. Following that pick up with another corner, Alan Ball, really didn’t make a lot of sense to me. At that point, taking a flyer on a nose tackle or a wide receiver, or heck, even Darius Walker or Brandon Siler, makes more sense to me. I haven’t been able to find anything out about Ball that says this kid has something special. He’s not big, in fact he’s seems undersized, his numbers say he isn’t that fast. He did play at a major program, but it’s hard to see much in this pick.
That’s how I see it. Then again, this is a view from right up close, once we get about two or three year’s perspective, it will be a lot clearer. But I’m still debating how good Marcus Spears and Chris Canty really are.
I loved the trade in the first round, and I like Anthony Spencer and Doug Free a lot, and James Marten is a solid pick. Deon Anderson and Courtney Brown are risks, and Nick Folk and Alan Ball just didn’t work for me. And Isaiah Stanback is the wild-card; he’s a boom or bust kind of guy. I also think we might’ve passed on some pretty good prospects.
The Dallas Cowboys 2007 draft draws mixed reviews from me.