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Mocking the Cowboys Draft: Three Weeks To Go


Three more weeks to go, and it's time to face some hard facts: As a predictor of which players are going to which teams, mock drafts aren't particularly accurate.

Mock drafts can still be fun though, and the ones that come from analysts who know their stuff can still give us a general sense for where a player fits on the draft boards. But as an indicator of exactly which player goes to which team, they're not very accurate.

All it takes is for one team to mix it up - that includes trading up/down - and the rest of the mock is thrown off.

To paraphrase Dan Patrick from, there also some other reasons why these mocks may be inherently inaccurate:

  • Half are put together by draftniks who watched two Notre Dame games at a sports bar and the second half of the B.C.S. National Championship Game and who wouldn't recognize Ndamukong Suh if they were stuck in an elevator with him.
  • Among the chief sources of information for these mock drafts: NFL general managers, who are lying, and agents, who are lying even more.
  • An even bigger source of information: other people's mock drafts. This is how everyone ends up in certain agreement that Bruce Campbell will be taken by Oakland in the 8th spot.
  • Regardless, mock drafts are fun because they focus attention on players or positions that we can sit around and endlessly talk about. Because that's what we do, especially in the offseason.

    This week we look at the players we think received a first round grade from the Cowboys, and which of these might still be available with the 27th pick. Enjoy.

    25 first round grades

    Raf pointed out that the Cowboys have assigned 25 first round grades on this year's board. Arguably, this is the list of players with a first round grade:

    QB: Bradford, Clausen
    RB: Spiller
    WR: Bryant
    OL: Okung, Bulaga, Williams, Davis, Iupati, Pouncey
    DL: Pierre-Paul, Morgan, Graham, McCoy, Suh, Williams, Odrick
    LB: Kindle, McClain, Weatherspoon
    CB: Haden, Wilson
    S: Berry, Thomas, Mays

    Below is a table from 20 different mock sites showing the draft spots they project for these 25 players. The totals on the right show:

    A) Avg: The average draft position for each player according to the 20 mocks. Where no position was given, I used the 35th spot to calculate the average. Where a spot lower than 40 was given, I used 40 to calculate the average, as I have a hard time believing that any of these 25 prospects would fall that low, barring unforeseen circumstances.

    B) In Reach: Number of mocks that see a player "within reach" of the Cowboys, i.e. available by pick 27 or later.


    Click on the image to enlarge

    The Curious Case of Bruce Campbell

    Bruce Campbell is one of the most notable absentees from from the Cowboys' 25 first rounders list, but I've included him in the table anyway, simply because opinions are split pretty widely on him.

    In a strange twist to this year's draft, it appears that Bruce Campbell’s outstanding Combine performance has actually hurt his draft stock. Widely considered a top prospect just a few months back, he is now being labeled a 'workout warrior' and many draftniks have dropped him faster than a hot potato. Most of the remaining draftniks automatically assume that that type of combine performance will get you drafted by the Raiders in the 8th spot. Go figure.

    Would you take Campbell if he was still available in 27th or would you trade down?

    With the 27th pick, the Dallas Cowboys choose...

    The good news: For what it's worth, there isn't a single mock that does not have at least one of the 25 first round rated players fall to Dallas in the 27th spot. Eight of the mocks have two out of the 25 players falling to at least the 27th spot, eleven mocks have three or more players still available at 27th.

    Out of the 20 mocks, OC Pouncey and DE Odrick are available for the Cowboys with the 27th pick nine times. OLB Weatherspoon (8), CB Wilson (7), OLB Kindle (6), S Mays (5) and OG Iupati (5) round off the half dozen players that may slip within reach of the 27th spot.


    Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft overview (min. three rounds deep, new picks highlighted in bold)

    Source last updated
    1st Round 2nd Round 3rd Round 4th Round
    6th Round 7th Round
    Draft Zoo
    4/3/2010 Taylor Mays, S, USC
    Vlad Ducasse, OG, UMass
    Jacoby Ford, WR, Clemson

    NE Patriots Draft
    4/2/2010 Vladimir Ducasse, OT, Massachusetts
    Morgan Burnett, S, Georgia Tech
    Austen Lane, DE, Murray St.
    Chris Marinelli, OT, Stanford

    3/30/2010 Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
    Nate Allen, S, USF
    Jacoby Ford, WR, Clemson
    Phillip Dillard, ILB, Nebraska
    Tony Washington, OT, Abilene C.
    John Fletcher, DE, Wyoming
    3/30/2010 Maurkice Pouncey, OG/C, Florida
    Corey Wooton, DE Northwestern
    Donald Butler, LB, Washington
    Selvish Capers, OT W. Virginia
    Brody Eldrige, TE Oklahoma
    Leigh Tiffin, K, Alabama
    Football Draft Analysis
    3/30/2010 Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
    Brandon Spikes, ILB, Florida
    Dan LeFevour, QB, Central Michigan
    Jacoby Ford, WR, Clemson

    Walter Football
    3/30/2010 Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
    Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
    Chad Jones, S, LSU
    Brandon Spikes, ILB, Florida

    MockingtheDraft (by BTB's quincyyyyy)
    3/29/2010 Jared Odrick, DE/DT, Penn State
    Vladimir Ducasse, OT, Massachusetts
    Major Wright, S, Florida
    Jerome Murphy, CB, South Florida
    Emmanuel Sanders, WR, SMU
    Hunter Lawrence, K, Texas
    New Sport Draft
    3/29/2010 Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
    Georgie Selvie, DE, South Florida
    Darryl Sharpton, LB - Miami Hurricanes
    Austen Lane, DE - Murray State

    Draft Ace
    3/28/2010 Taylor Mays, S, USC
    Jacoby Ford, WR, Clemson
    Brandon Spikes, ILB, Florida

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