For the fifth year in a row, BTB is hosting a January Mock Draft Challenge. And if the previous four years have taught us anything, it's that this challenge is a lot harder than it sounds.
Why? Because our collective track record at predicting the Cowboys' first-round pick is a complete disgrace.
- In our 2011 challenge, only one BTB member (Ekijoh) correctly picked the Cowboys' first-round pick, Tyron Smith.
- In the 2012 challenge: only one participant (I am Ironman!!!) correctly predicted Morris Claiborne as the Cowboys' first-round pick (and he blew all his draft picks to trade up to the fourth spot).
- Our 2013 challenge saw exactly 100 different mocks submitted, only two of which (by wwilbur3 and by Diamondbone) had the Cowboys picking Travis Frederick - in the second round. Not a single person had Terrance Williams or Gavin Escobar in their mocks.
- Last year, not a single one of the 120 submitted mock drafts had Zack Martin going to the Cowboys. Not one.
Do you think you can do better than that this year?
The challenge this year is the same as in the previous years: create a mock draft based on the latest CBSSports Big Board and submit it for a peer review by your fellow Blogging The Boys community members. The BTB community will hand out recommendations for those mocks they like the most and I will feature the top vote-getters and their mocks in a front page post next week.
But wait. You can't just pick whatever players you like, that would not make this a challenging exercise. The idea here is that you'll have to make choices based on the best player available, so these are the rules for our Mock Draft Challenge:
- The contest will run from now until Monday morning at 6:00 AM ET. We will use the CBSSports Big Board from January 27, 2013 as the basis for all mock drafts.
- We will assume that all draft-eligible players will be available at exactly the spot CBSSports has them in. You don't like where a player is ranked? Go complain to someone who cares. Seriously. At the time, the Cowboys didn't appreciate the Steelers swooping in and stealing Ryan Shazier at the last second, but it happened. Deal with it.
- Until the compensatory draft picks are announced, the Cowboys hold the following picks: 27, 60, 91, 124, 155, 208 and 218 (per prosportstransactions.com)
- You pick at your exact spot or anywhere below that (e.g. 27th or anywhere from 28th on down)
- You cannot trade down, because it would be too easy to trade to the exact spot your favorite prospect is sitting at. Plus, this is not Fanspeak.
- You may however trade up using this handy draft pick value calculator and the draft value chart immediately below it. The value you give up in the trade up must be equal to or greater than the value you receive, e.g. your 27th and your 91st picks (816 pts) could get you Detroit's 23rd and 119th picks (816 pts).
Post your mock in the comments section below. As you read through the mocks other BTB members have posted, look for mocks that you like and rec' them (Just press rec at the bottom of the comment box). And don't be stingy with your rec's. It's more fun for everybody involved if we have a high rec' count.
The best mocks will be featured on the front page in some form next week, so put some thought into your mock. And give us a rationale for your picks - mocks that have some extra content beyond 6 or 7 player names usually get more rec's, are more fun to read, and will be treated preferentially as I pick the best mocks for the front page post next week.
I'll get this party started, and I'm sitting on my picks, so no trades. This leaves me with picks 27, 60, 91, 124, 155, 208 and 218. Here's who I pick:
1. (28) Nate Orchard, DE, Utah - The 6-4, 255 edge rusher has one of the highest production ratios in this year's draft class (2.08). Orchard fits well at the LDE spot and together with DeMarcus Lawrence could set the edge for the defense in Dallas for the next ten years. Team Captain.
2. (60) Xavier Cooper, DT, Washington State - One of the most productive defensive tackles in the draft (1.32 production ratio) gives the Cowboys a lot more OOOOMPF! up the middle. Game Captain at Washington State.
3. (99) Josh Shaw, CB, USC - At a muscled-up 6-1, Shaw give the Cowboys a coveted "plus" corner. Plus he plays with intelligence and is a solid tackler.
4. (138) Chris Hackett, FS, TCU - Hackett is another plus-sized defensive back at 6-2, and finally gives the Cowboys a true free safety. Hackett is fast, very good in coverage and plays with great play recognition. He was fourth overall on the TCU defense with 75 tackles on the season.
5. (172) Miles Dieffenbach, OG, Penn State - The Cowboys take a flyer on Dieffenbach, who missed parts of 2014 with an ACL tear. Would likely be a good fit for the Cowboys' zone-blocking scheme when healthy. Team Captain.
7. (219) Malcolm Brown, RB, Texas - Already being called a poor man's DeMarco Murray, the 6-foot, 215 pound Brown has the speed and agility you want, though he struggled with his college production at times. Game Captain.
7. (225) Chucky Hunter, DT, TCU - Not a natural pass rusher, Hunter would be a good fit at the 1-technique: he's great at collapsing the pocket and forcing the quarterback to move around, allowing his ends to come in and finish the job.
You think you can do better? Go ahead and show us your mock.
Please don't be stingy with your rec's for the mocks submitted below. If you like it, rec' it.