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Averaging The Mocks 2.0: Dallas Cowboys Get Courtney Upshaw At 14

Will Courtney Upshaw #41 be the Dallas Cowboys' pick at #14?
Will Courtney Upshaw #41 be the Dallas Cowboys' pick at #14?

The post combine mock drafts are out, and here is the followup to my original Averaging The Mocks post. The new list gives the Dallas Cowboys Alabama OLB Courtney Upshaw as the BPA at the fourteenth pick.

But there are a lot of other things that came out of this little exercise. First, there were four players who really shot up from my first look at this, and three who fell badly. More importantly, the results actually show a cluster of players who are very closely rated near Dallas' fourteenth pick. If this methodology has any validity (which, admittedly, remains to be seen), the actual Cowboys pick is likely to come from those eight names - some of which I think Dallas fans will like. As for the others, well, I'll expand on that later.

First off, if you didn't see my first post, what I did was take a broad sample of mock drafts and use the first twenty picks in each, assigning a point value where the first pick got 20 points, the second 19, and so on. The use of the first twenty picks just happened to work out perfectly this time around, yielding exactly 32 names in order. The idea behind all this is to come up with a strictly BPA draft listing, using a variety of sources to try and get a more accurate view of the likely draft order than one or two mocks can give.

Related: Cowboys 2012 Draft: Who Are The Blue Chippers?

I expanded my sample to 20 mocks from the original 12. I used 11 of the original, not being able to find an updated mock at SBN's Mocking the Draft, and added nine more. The list, in no particular order: Draftace, WalterFootball, SBN main page (which, as far as I can tell, is not the same as Mocking the Draft, but I could be wrong), National Football Authority, NEPatriotsDraft (since the Patriots do have a good history in the draft, I thought I'd include a site that watched them), NFL Mocks (Fansided), National Football Post, (which is four different mocks by their staff), the CBS draft value rating, two separate mocks by CBS staff writers, Drafttek, the Sporting News, Draft King, Footballs Future, and Fox Sports. Now, if you were counting (and you obsessive compulsive commenters know who you are), that is 19. The 20th mock was done for me by our own Archie Barberio, and is the basis for a mock draft post he plans to put up soon.

Find out what I came up with after the jump

I put the first and second versions of this side by side.

Version 1, 02/15/2012
Version 2, 03/03/2012 Change
Pick Player Value Pick Player Value
1 Andrew Luck QB Stanford 240 1 Andrew Luck QB Stanford 400 - -
2 Matt Kalil OT USC 218 2 Robert Griffin III QB Baylor 368 +1
3 Robert Griffin III QB Baylor 207 3 Matt Kalil OT USC 366 -1
4 Morris Claiborne CB LSU 202 4 Morris Claiborne CB LSU 325 - -
5 Justin Blackmon WR Ok. St. 187 5 Justin Blackmon WR Ok. St. 320 - -
6 Trent Richardson RB Alabama 152 6 Quentin Couples DE NC 256 +1
7 Quentin Couples DE NC 149 7 Trent Richardson RB Alabama 249 -1
8 Riley Reiff T Iowa 129 8 Riley Reiff T Iowa 226 - -
9 David DeCastro G Stanford 98 9 Melvin Ingram OLB SC 181 +8
10 Michael Brockers DT LSU 98 10 David DeCastro G Stanford 145 -1
11 Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama 98 11 Johnathan Martin T Stanford 144 +1
12 Johnathan Martin T Stanford 97 12 Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama 132 -1
13 Devon Still DT PSU 93 13 Michael Brockers DT LSU 130 -3
14 Luke Kuechly ILB Boston C. 83 14 Courtney Upshaw OLB Ala. 129 +1
15 Courtney Upshaw OLB Ala. 75 15 Ryan Tannehill QB Texas A&M 126 +5
16 Michael Floyd WR ND 54 16 Luke Kuechly ILB Boston C. 123 -2
17 Melvin Ingram OLB SC 49 17 Dontari Poe DT Memphis 111 new
18 Kendall Wright WR Baylor 47 18 Michael Floyd WR ND 89 -2
19 Nick Perry DE USC 36 19 Nick Perry DE USC 64 - -
20 Ryan Tannehill QB Texas A&M 31 20 Devon Still DT PSU 60 -7
21 Janoris Jenkins CB N. Ala. 27 21 Janoris Jenkins CB N. Ala. 58 - -
22 Mike Adams T Ohio St 18 22 Cordy Glenn G Georgia 31 -1
23 Cordy Glenn G Georgia 16 23 Mike Adams T Ohio St 30 -1
24 Whitney Mercilus DE/OLB Ill. 15 24 Fletcher Cox DT Miss. St. 26 +6
25 Mark Barron FS Alabama 14 25 Kendall Wright WR Baylor 26 -7
26 Alameda Ta'amu DT/NT Wash. 9 26 Whitney Mercilus DE/OLB Ill. 26 -1
27 Zach Brown OLB N. Carolina 9 27 Mark Barron FS Alabama 16 -2
28 Don'ta Hightower ILB Alabama 8 28 Zach Brown OLB N. Carolina 13 -1
29 Orson Charles TE Georgia 7 29 Peter Konz C Wisconsin 12 +2
30 Fletcher Cox DT Miss. St. 6 30 Andre Branch DE Clemson 9 new
31 Peter Konz C Wisconsin 6 31 Doug Martin RB Boise St 4 new
32 Alshon Jeffrey WR S. Car. 6 32 Don'ta Hightower ILB Alabama 3 - 4

Andrew Luck is still the unanimous choice to go number one to the Indianapolis Colts. After that there is a lot of difference of opinon, but the top five names are consistent, with only a minor shuffle as Robert Griffin edges Matt Kalil for the number two slot. This is my list of "Blue Chippers", and my methodology came up with a little different answer than rabblerousr did in the post I referenced above. He had Trent Richardson as a Blue Chipper, but my list has Justin Blackmon replacing him. If you look at the values in the far right hand column, you can see the changed in position between the two. Richardson actually slides a position, which reflects, I think, the eroding value of stud running backs in the pass-happy NFL of 2012.

There were four big winners and three big losers coming out of the combine. (I did not worry about a bit of churn in the last five or six slots, since the accuracy seems to be falling off, or at least the disagreement increases, as you get too deep into the twenties).

The biggest jump was by Dontari Poe, who was not even seen as first round material in the first look at this, but now is at 17 (he had just missed the first chart at 33). His combine looks to have made him some serious coin. Melvin Ingram moved up eight positions, or 25% of the first round, in the post combine evaluations. He jumped right past Dallas, going from a consensus 17 to a 9. Fletcher Cox moved six spots from 30 to 24, and Ryan Tannehill moved up five from 20 to 15.

On the down side, Alameda Ta'amu dropped completely out of the first round from 26, while Devon Still dropped seven positions from 13 to 20, and Kendall Wright also slid seven from 18 to 25.

Tannehill and Still may have gone in opposite directions, but they had one thing in common. They were the most inconsistent top 20 talents. By that, I mean that some mocks the second time had them as top 10 talents, while others did not even think they were first round players, or had them very low in the round. I think Tannehill is very important to Dallas, because he is the player most likely to push one of our desired choices down the board to us. His status as the generally acknowledged number three quarterback in the draft makes him the most likely reach on the board. Quarterbacks are a unique category of player in the NFL, and teams like the Washington Redskins and the Miami Dolphins are showing interest in him. Many of the mocks felt that one of those teams or the Cleveland Browns would likely trade with the St Louis Rams for the chance to draft Griffin, with Tannehill as the consolation prize for the next team to draft a quarterback. If more than one team sees him as a legitimate starter, then there is a good chance one of the will pounce on him earlier than they should.

He is also among the eight players I highlighted in blue as the most likely pool for BPA at 14. Once again using the values I generated with my system, those eight are very closely bunched, with a clear gap between them and the next player above and below. It has David DeCastro tantalizingly close. With tackle (and teammate) Jonathan Martin just behind him, it will be interesting to see if the long standing reluctance to take a guard in the top ten will affect things. Then I think the fans here will be holding their breath to see who else might leapfrog him and move him down those four spots. And Dre Kirkpatrick is even closer.

So that is what I was able to gather from doing my version of the Vulcan Mind Meld on the multiple mocks out there. I'll bring this back after free agency to see what other changes may come.

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