Mel Kiper recently did a re-grade for all of the 2014 drafts of the 32 NFL teams. Of course this included the Dallas Cowboys, and it was interesting to go back and look at just who the Cowboys drafted and how it all turned out. The success of Zack Martin and Anthony Hitchens were the highlights, but the Cowboys didn't get much else, although DeMarcus Lawrence is still an incomplete.
|(1)||16||T||Zack Martin||Notre Dame|
|(2)||34||DE||Demarcus Lawrence||Boise State|
|(7)||238||OLB||Will Smith||Texas Tech|
|(7)||251||DT||Ken Bishop||Northern Illinois|
Post-draft grade: B
Summary: Here's what I wrote then: "Give Jerry Jones credit: I don't think it's unfair to at least be tempted by the prospect of Johnny Football with that blue star on his helmet, playing in that football theatre. But Manziel isn't making Dallas a better team in 2014, and Tony Romo -- for all the derision -- is a really good QB when he gets protection. The Dallas offensive line with Zack Martin isn't just the strength of the team, it's arguably among the top few units in the NFL. They are going to be able to run the ball. I had Martin as high as the top 10, so that's not a bad pick."
I'm thrilled to see Martin do so well, because I really was a big fan. He as one of the better guards in the NFL this year and, along with Joel Bitonio of Cleveland, top rookies at that position. The one thing I should point out: If you draft a player at No. 16 with the intention of moving him to guard, you're expecting him to start. I'm not saying Dallas couldn't afford to miss, but they had to assume he was a starter because Martin obviously has more value at tackle. So the grade has to jump because they nail the pick, and it leads to more wins.
It's relatively quiet after that. DeMarcus Lawrence is going to be a player but had only 277 snaps after not seeing the field until Week 9. Anthony Hitchens provided some useful depth, as well, with over 600 snaps. That's really about it, though you could mention undrafted CB Tyler Patmon seeing some time. All in all, Dallas hit one great pick (so far) and mostly dodged a bullet in doing so. They also won a bunch, which is an added bonus.
New grade: B+
I guess that's fair although I'm not sure if I would have raised the grade. Obviously the Martin pick will probably forever make this draft somewhat of a success, but the Cowboys still are waiting to see how much help they will get elsewhere. As previously mentioned, Anthony Hitchens looks like he'll be a player who can help the Cowboys. Will he be a star, an elite player? Hard to say but you would guess he will be at least a solid contributor. Next year will probably tell us a lot about this draft, that should be the year we'll get to see if DeMarcus Lawrence was the right pick. If he becomes a baller, then the draft status will rise greatly, if he turns out to be just another guy, then you have to wonder if they did as well as they thought.
So far, Devin Street hasn't showed much, and Ken Bishop has done enough to just hang around. Everybody else was injured or waived at various times. (Maybe Ben Gardner will be back and we can make more Chuck Norris-type jokes about him, but this time he follows up on the field).
How would you re-grade the 2014 draft?