It's funny how the various outlets sometimes focus in on the same thing some days. We start off with a bunch of posts about running backs that may be of interest to the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL draft, and some obstacles that may be involved with some of them.
Adam Schefter laid out his reasoning for why Dallas was looking to take a running back in the early rounds.
"Dallas has to find another running back," Schefter said on ESPN. "Darren McFadden is not the guy they can go and count on to replace DeMarco Murray. They made the decision, they put a certain value on DeMarco Murray, it didn't work out. Now they're bringing other running backs to Dallas. T.J. Yeldon has been in there and visited, the Alabama running back. Todd Gurley's been in there to visit. They've brought in at least a half dozen running backs and you can rest be assure that barring a trade for Adrian Peterson, this team will be drafting a running back relatively high.
The odds are very good that Gurley will not be there if Dallas stays at 27, but if he is . . .
Sometimes college runners look better than they are because of scheme and their line. Gurley was able to create some big plays on his own without decent blocking at times. With the Cowboys' line it's important the runner has the right blend of patience, power and speed. He has all of those.
A reader was skeptical about the hype surrounding Gurley, and Bryan Broaddus explained in no uncertain terms why he thought said reader was wrong.
Bryan: Have something against outstanding players? I wouldn't bet against this kid and neither would several other NFL teams. If you get the chance to draft a player with this talent regardless when he is ready to take that shot. As a matter of fact, I am now going to walk into Will's office and tell him he should trade up.
As was mentioned, Gurley is not very likely to be available, which may have the Cowboys looking another direction.
I'm told the Dallas Cowboys very high on Melvin Gordon/RB/Wisconsin and are targeting him in round one. Trade up?— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) April 13, 2015
If you are looking for a payer that has an attitude that will get the Jason Garrett stamp of approval, Gordon may just fit the bill.
Gordon has shown what he can do at the college level. Now he wants show how valuable he can be in the NFL at a position many argue has been devalued.
"It's a passing game," Gordon said. "It's hard to say if we're a devalued position. Teams are just going with the picks they actually need. I don't know the thoughts that are going through their heads. Maybe they didn't feel the running backs the last couple of years were first-round talent. Le'Veon Bell and Gio [Bernard] were pretty good. I can't answer that. We just have to change that this year and show people that we're capable of going in the first round."
That's the problem with the good ones. Someone else tends to horn in.
One notable connection fueling the speculation is that former Wisconsin running backs coach Thomas Hammock is going into his second season on the Ravens staff. He coached Gordon for the running back's first three years with the Badgers.
As you may have heard, this is a deep group, and should Dallas not get one of the likely first round talents, there are still some really good options out there.
Some draft experts will say Coleman is the closest thing to DeMarco Murray in this entire draft. He's a complete back who will get the tough yards but will also break off the long runs. While Murray finished 12 of 16 regular-season games with 100 rushing yards, of his 28 career touchdowns, 14 of them have come from 43 yards or more. Eight of this touchdowns are longer than 60 yards. Coleman is also a good blocker, meaning he will stay on the field in passing situations and that only opens up plays such as the lead draw. He's a complete back who could turn into a three-down back in this offense.
And this mock has another option for Dallas in the second round.
60. Dallas Cowboys -- T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama: With the Cowboys' targets at defensive end (Hunter, Harold, etc.) off the board, Dallas pulls the trigger on the top running back on their board.
And just because this whole Peterson rumor is so irritating, here is an explanation of why something is not likely to happen on draft day.
To pull off a trade, Peterson's new team will have to address Peterson's contract. Which means that negotiations will have to be finalized before the two teams call the trade in to the league office. Because once the calls are made and the pick is submitted by the Vikings, it will be too late to go back.
That doesn't make a trade impossible, but it will require plenty of trust and discretion to keep the Vikings from getting screwed by someone letting the cat out of the bag.
Meanwhile, in other news:
Clark is a very talented player, but he had a domestic violence charge hanging over his head. Given the Greg Hardy situation, this might have been something that would have put the Cowboys off, but they did bring him in for a visit. And things may have gotten a little easier to stomach for the team.
Late last week, former Michigan defensive end Frank Clark reached a plea agreement after a domestic violence incident last year in Toledo, Ohio.
The incident led to Clark's dismissal from the team and put his NFL future in doubt. Clark had faced a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence but pleaded down to disorderly conduct. He was also fined $450, was ordered to complete counseling and has to have one year of good behavior.
Unlike the cornerback pool, the safeties are fairly shallow. Bob Sturm looks at a different way to approach this, considering several players who did not play the position in college, but could be candidates to convert, like this one.
P.J. Williams, Florida State: He is so good going forward, blitzing, and offering a play-maker's knack for big plays, I wonder if we are looking at a real impressive safety who has been playing corner in college. Read the complete evaluation
The Cowboys have a lack of depth in the middle of their powerful offensive line, with only Mackenzy Bernadeau to back up all three starters. While this is not a early round priority, it may be a good investment of a late round pick.
Adam Shead, G, Oklahoma - Shead started 40 games over four years at left guard for the Sooners. The 6-5, 338-pounder is pretty nimble for his huge frame, but needs to improve his technique for the next level. Shead could be a late-round upside pick given his size and experience against major college competition.
In a Q&A, one question Brandon George addresses is just how much more time Claiborne has to prove himself.
Claiborne has one more year left on his rookie contract. The Cowboys don't plan to pick up his fifth year option on his rookie deal in May. So that gives Claiborne one more season to state his case to remain on the roster.
Many of us are hoping that the Cowboys get to trade back, and that fifth year option may make moving up into 27 more attractive for some teams.
With the advent of the fifth-year option on first-round picks, there is added value to those selections. What team wouldn't want to guarantee a fifth year for a player that has been a starter without having to use a franchise or transition tag?
Just bringing this up to reinforce the fact that there is only one matchup that the league and NBC should be considering for the first Sunday night game of the season: Dallas Cowboys. Philadelphia Eagles. Make it happen, people.
And finally, it is hard to imagine how on top of the world this man is. A green jacket at 21. And a golfing buddy most of us would die for.
He counts quarterback Tony Romo as a friend and someone he regularly plays golf with (they teamed up to finish third at the 2013 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am).
Plus he hangs out with Jason Witten and Roger Staubach sometimes, too. I'm the color of that jacket.