The draft is nearly upon us! As befits the occasion the links today focus on the draft, from crazy rumors to player profiles.
Let's start with the mocks....
Why click on nearly a dozen different mocks when the Google has already compiled the data?
Mike Mayock is fairly unusual among draft prognosticators; he only releases one mock draft each year. Mayock has Dallas drafting Landon Collins a pick he describes as:
This is not sexy, but Collins is a solid pick. He can help on special teams, and play linebacker in the dime package. This is not a boom-or-bust situation
In this interesting two part series Bill Barnwell does a mock draft in which every pick involves a trade. He sees two potential Dallas trades, one trading up to pick 25, and the other involving trading back one spot while picking up Denver running back Montee Ball.
Now that the mocks are out of the way, let's examine the prospects.
The Star Telegram argues that Dallas doesn't need to address cornerback in the first as there will be good players later in the round.
In other words, don’t be surprised if the Cowboys go in a different direction early with the belief there is better cornerback value in the later rounds.
An intriguing cornerback to watch will be Quinten Rollins out of Miami (Ohio), who visited with the Cowboys. He spent four years as the point guard on the basketball team and then switched to football for a year, where he has established himself as a legitimate prospect. He has tremendous upside and is projected to be as high as a second-round pick.
Machota highlights ten players that Dallas may pick with its first rounder. Interestingly enough, he has three linebackers included among the targets, and no defensive tackles. He does think that two of the top edge rushers may slip due to red flags.
The indefatigable Todd Archer argues that despite picking three offensive linemen in four years, age and injury concerns still leave Dallas with needs on the offensive line. He points to Texas A&M offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi as a possible candidate for pick 27:
He tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the Aggies' bowl game and could start the season on the non-football injury list. Teams shouldn't be short-sighted about the first half of a rookie's first season on a contract that could last five years.
Teams love his athleticism, ability to move and his run blocking. Paired with Smith, who is signed through 2020, the Cowboys could have their bookend tackles not only for the end of Tony Romo's career but the beginning of his successors, whenever that time comes.
The fine folk over at Football Outsiders unveil their newest formula to measure quarterback draft prospects. It's an interesting read; their formula predicts that Jameis Winston will be a major bust and that UCLA QB Brett Hundley projects as the second best QB in the class.
They also use their formula to retroactively forecast prior quarterbacks. Not to poke a still sore subject, but they nailed Quincy Carter's career. Their QBASE formula projected a DYAR of 248 in years 3-5, and his actual DYAR for that time period was a make you want to cry, 263.
Over at Grantland, Robert Mays examines the decline in value of the running back position, and tries to fit Todd Gurley's value into that context. In an excellent piece he decides that Marshawn Lynch is a better model for Gurley than Adrian Peterson, and also gives us this little nugget:
In the past 10 years, only five backs — Peterson, Arian Foster, Chris Johnson, Thomas Jones, and Marshawn Lynch — have more than three seasons of 1,200 yards or more. Only Peterson has more than four.
Robert Mays gives us a breakdown of the top four pass rushers in this draft, and as a bonus, highlights an unheralded pass rusher who may just end up being the best of them all:
The respectable club-rip of Beasley has nothing on the one Kikaha throws out every once in a while. An ex-judo champion, he wastes no movement with his hands, often tossing aside a tackle’s arms without much effort. Add those talents to an insane amount of balance and the most natural bend back toward the quarterback that I’ve seen among this group, and for my money, you get the best pure pass-rusher in this draft. Seriously, just go watch the highlights. He’s an instructional video. There was another guy in the 6-foot-3, 260-pound range who led the nation in sacks his final year of college before running a 4.84 in the 40 before the draft. His name is Terrell Suggs. Kikaha will fall because of the sprint times and the injury history, but if I were picking a single pass-rusher from this draft — and again, Oreos for dinner recently — it would be Hau’oli Kikaha.
And now some random news and notes.
Our own Tom Ryle examines the latest silly rumor of silly season. And speaking of silly rumors...
Adrian Peterson's newest nickname should be Friday the 13th, because the rumors around him just won't die.
Todd Archer doesn't believe Jerry Jones recent talk regarding running backs, and is not impressed with the moves Dallas has made this offseason to shore up the position.
Interested in some schadenfreude? Take a walk down memory lane, and see just how bad the 2009 draft was for the rest of the league! Plus, did you know that Stephen McGee was one of the better QB values to come out of the 2009 draft?
Best value: Quarterbacks selected after Freeman to start an NFL game:
- Curtis Painter, 201st, eight starts for the 2-14 2011 Colts;
- Keith Null, 196th overall, four starts for the 1-15 2009 Rams;
- Stephen McGee, 101st, one start for the 2010 Cowboys.
McGee won more games as a starter than Null and Painter combined. If you needed a quarterback and did not have the first pick, you were not going to be happy. Even at No. 1 overall, Matt Stafford was the best value at quarterback in the draft.
The process continues. Football Outsiders looks at the average age of teams, weighted by snaps taken. Dallas's age comes out to be 26.1, fourth lowest in the league.
Dallas only has 22 players on its roster that were initially drafted by the Cowboys, good (or bad?) for 25th in the league. Of course this is mitigated somewhat by the success Dallas has had with UDFAs, something the article fails to talk about.
The Underwear Bandit rides again!
So 51 players "linked" to 1st round. Tomorrow will definitely be interesting pic.twitter.com/sswh7UwVqw— Rob Quinn (@RQUINN619) April 30, 2015