When you wake up this morning, you can say to yourself, "Self, we are now exactly two weeks away from the NFL draft." And you can look at yourself in the mirror and smile. Because, draft.
What the Dallas Cowboys can expect in the first round- Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer looks at the recent history of the 27th pick, going back to 2010. The 27th pick that year, you may remember, belonged to the Cowboys, but they traded up with New England, who did this three picks later:
Devin McCourty, S, Rutgers (New England Patriots): He entered the NFL as a cornerback but made the switch to safety in the middle of the 2012 season. He is one of the defensive leaders for the Patriots and was rewarded with a $47.5 million contract this offseason with $28.5 million guaranteed.
Cowboys’ 2010 draft review: Dez makes this class a winner; if Sean Lee stays healthy even better - DMN Staff
The DMN's look back at each of the Cowboys’ last five draft classes kicks off with a gander at that same 2012 selection meeting. There's a lot of good at the top. At the bottom? Well, there's this:
Sixth round: OT Sam Young from Notre Dame How he fared: Young appeared in only two games during the 2010 season. The following year, he struggled in training camp and the Cowboys waived him in early September 2011. He was then claimed by the Buffalo Bills. In 2013, Jacksonville claimed him off waivers and last season he started six games at right tackle. How he rates: Bust. Young didn’t take a step forward in his second professional training camp and the Cowboys had to cut ties.
If my daughter brought home a guy as goofy as Young, I'd stop inviting her to family holidays...
2015 NFL Draft Profile: Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State - Bob Sturm, DMN
Sturm's draft series rolls on, with a look at the speed (and I mean speedy!) Buckeye wideout. Here's The Sturminator:
Summary: He may be the #1 deep threat in this draft, but unlike the others (Green-Beckham, Kevin White), he doesn’t have any other tricks and he doesn’t have their superior size traits that say he can be taught to do other things well. Now, he is solid on special teams as a cover guy, but there will be a real cost-benefit discussion about how far up you should take a player like this. He might sneak into a Top 50 discussion, but I think any of these 1st round projections are a bit too rich for my blood. A very nice player with very key skills, but just not enough versatility to invest too heavily.
Apparently, yesterday was Devin Smith day. Check it:
Cowboys 2015 Draft Targets: Ohio State WR Devin Smith - Blogging The Boys
BTB's in-depth examinations of the Cowboys' national invitees continues with a look at Ohio State WR Devin Smith
Running back profiles:
Cowboys' draft breakdown: RB Tevin Coleman - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer's film breakdown of various Cowboys draft targets continues with a peek at the Indiana tailback. Here's his takeaway:
Cowboys fit: I started off by saying he looks like Murray to me, so clearly I think he fits. They need a runner who can put his foot in the ground and go when it’s time to go. This guy can do that. Like a lot of these runners after Gurley and Gordon, there is some wonder if picking him at No. 60 is too high or if No. 91 will be too late for the Cowboys. If they can get a pick between the two with a trade then I can see him stepping in as a good fit immediately.
Cowboys draft series: Why Alabama's T.J. Yeldon is a fit for Cowboys - Rainer Sabin, DMN
Sabin's series on the top running back prospects in the 2015 NFL draft looks at Yeldon, with this being one key takeaway:
Yeldon, by all accounts, would also match Garrett’s "right kind of guy" profile. He’s diligent, football savvy and reserved, showing the same kind of introverted personality traits Murray exhibited throughout his tenure with the Cowboys.
Yeldon’s background is also appealing. By virtue of Yeldon playing in the crucible at Alabama, Garrett knows the tailback won’t cower in the spotlight tracking the Cowboys or be consumed by the idea of replacing an accomplished running back.
Cowboys 2015 Draft: Is A Trade For A Running Back In The Works? - Tom Ryle, Blogging The Boys
The Estimable Ryle sorts out all the commotion surrounding rumors of Dallas' interest in moving up to snag one of the top running backs. After much lucid cogitation, his takeaway is about the only honest thing you'll hear anybody say in the next two weeks:
In the meantime, we can just speculate...
It fibbin' season, y'all...
Cowboys 2015 Draft Profile: CB Byron Jones - Joey Ickes, Cowboys HQ
Ickes' prospect profiles continue with a look at the super (and I mean SUPER!) athletic UConn corner. Heeeere's Joey:
Byron Jones is everything the Cowboys should be looking for at cornerback. The size, athletic ability, competitiveness and football intelligence make him the prototypical "Garrett Guy" and if he is available at 27 he would be a no-brainer pick. QBs and WRs have very long days playing against him, and that would be a welcome presence in the back end of the Cowboys defense. Given his college experience at Safety, his explosiveness and his ball skills, he would be a guy I would consider looking long-term to transition to the true free safety position that the Cowboys defense has lacked in recent years.
And a rebuttal of sorts:
NFL Draft Alternates: Six Cases When Picking Production Over Promise Will Make Sense This Year - Matt Hinton, Grantland.com
Hinton comes up with a list of prospects who might not have elite measurables but are, simply put, football playin' dudes. A sample:
Why: Connecticut CB Byron Jones?
Why Not: Central Florida CB Jacoby Glenn?
Jones won the combine with a world-record broad jump and elite numbers in most other categories, likely earning himself millions in the process as a projected first- or second-rounder. Poll opposing coaches in the American Athletic Conference, though, and they’ll tell you the better bet is Glenn, a two-time All-AAC pick who could have made it four times if he hadn’t opted to leave his last two seasons of eligibility on the table. Individually, Glenn was credited with more passes defended over the past two years (35) than all but one other FBS player; as a team, UCF ranked in the top dozen nationally in total defense, scoring defense, and pass efficiency defense. By contrast, Jones never appeared on an all-conference team in three years as a starter and missed much of his senior year with a shoulder injury. Jones is bigger and faster than Glenn, and he can clear the Potomac in a single bound, but against the same competition in the AAC he looked like just another face in a terminally mediocre crowd.
Five to Fit: Despite Weak Class, Never Too Early To Consider QB | Dallas Cowboys
The guys over at The Mothership continue reviewing the depth chart and recommending possible recruits. Here, Rob Phillips looks at signal-callers. I found one of these possibilities intriguing (in an outlandish kinda way):
Jerry Lovelocke, Prairie View A&M – Just a year ago, West Texas A&M product Dustin Vaughan made the Cowboys’ roster with a strong preseason. Vaughan will enter this year’s camp as the incumbent third quarterback, and who knows, another small-school star like Lovelocke could make a similar impression somewhere as a late-round pick or priority free agent. Lovelocke is big (6-4, 248) and mobile with impressive arm strength. His biggest challenge will be refining his mechanics and adjusting to a much, much higher level of competition.
Cowboys have 3 remaining choices to deal with RB situation; Peterson is worst option - Bob Sturm, DMN
In his weekly Wednesday Q&A, Sturm was asked about the Adrian Peterson meme-that-won't-die. His response is shrewd and impeccably reasoned, so I will share it here:
They had 3 choices this offseason for RB (maybe 4). Choice 1 was pay the NFL rushing champion to stay here (which he wanted to do). They passed. Choice 2 would be take a RB and although he is unproven, he will cost about $4m for 4 years (or $1m per season). So, the price is worth it. Choice 3 is to trade a top pick AND pay Peterson "Murray money". This makes no sense because of age, work load, and the fact he costs you a 1st or 2nd round pick when Murray would not cost you any of that. Choice 4 is to use McFadden and Randle and see how that works. Peterson, to me, is the worst choice.
Preach, Brother Sturm. Preach.
And, finally, I offer you a comic ending:
NFL analyst Ron Jaworski doesn't think changes have made Philadelphia Eagles a better team - DMN Staff
Ron Jaworski, a current ESPN analyst and former Eagles quarterback who took the team to its first Super Bowl appearance, doesn't think so. Speaking on ESPN affiliate 97.5 The Fanatic, Jaws told host Mike Missanelli the following:
"I don't think they're a better football team right now than they were when the season ended. They're making a lot of moves projecting where this team may be, but I just don't see this team as a better team."
No big deal if Dez misses OTAs; right now, I think Chip Kelly ‘is a mess’ - Bob Sturm, DMN
From the Department of Lolz comes Sturm's take on the Eagles "genius" head coach:
I still have no feel for the Bradford situation which I assume we are still waiting to see if anything happens in the draft. Then, what do they do with their first pick? Corner? Wide Receiver? Trade everything for Mariota? They have really confused all observers this offseason and also acquired players rehabbing ACL injuries. If he pulls this off and wins big, I will have to concede he is special. Right now, I think he is a mess that has fooled most of the NFL media into thinking he has everything all figured out.
I have long said his undoing will be when he gets full personnel control, because that is the fatal flaw of so many coaches. Almost none of them are as successful at "buying the groceries" as they think they can be. Kelly, with no personnel background whatsoever, is betting on himself heavily and sending his accomplished players away.