Coming into the 2015 draft I had cornerback ranked as the biggest need for the Dallas Cowboys; a need they took care of with the selection of Byron Jones in round one. So heading into round two I had the following needs remaining:
2. Defensive Line
3. Defensive End
4. Running Back
5. Swing/Backup Tackle
6. Developmental QB
Round one saw a perfect conflation of need and value. Would round's two and three be the same? And if not, which would Dallas prioritize?
Round 2: Randy Gregory
Based on pure talent Randy Gregory was a top-10 pick in this draft, but off field issues had him drop to the end of the second round where the Cowboys selected him with the 60th pick. While I saw both linebacker and defensive tackle as bigger needs for the Cowboys, the value here was just too much to pass up. I think this is a great pick; Dallas has a history of gambling on players with red flags in the second round, (both Sean Lee and Bruce Carter fell to the second because of injury concerns), and the chance to get a top-10 talent at the end of the second isn't something that comes around very often. The Cowboys still fill a need, but this is most definitely a value pick.
Round 3: Chaz Green
This is not a prospect that many fans know much about, so I'd like to direct you towards Rabble's draft profile on Dallas's newest offensive lineman.
This is a pretty puzzling pick for a number of reasons. It doesn't seem to be very good value; most people seem to feel that Chaz Green was a fourth- or fifth-round prospect at best (to be fair, most people felt Travis Frederick was a reach as well). But it also doesn't really fill a pressing need; the starters at tackle are set, and Dallas seems to feel they have something in Darrion Weems as a backup. So...what was the deal here?
There are a couple of explanations. One, we do know that Dallas grades players differently than the pundits, so it's possible they had a higher grade on Green than most people. Another explanation is that Dallas is more concerned about Doug Free than we know. Free had some health issues last season, and if he goes down Dallas is really thin at the tackle spot.
The most likely explanation is a combination of both, plus for the first time in the draft the board just didn't break Dallas's way. The early run on offensive linemen that helped push Byron Jones and Randy Gregory down the board also left the middle rounds devoid of OL prospects, and Dallas was probably worried some at the idea of the cupboard being bare by the fourth round. There was a run of inside linebackers in the second round, so there was probably no value to be had there. And while it rankles some (well a lot) that Xavier Cooper was still on the board and taken five picks later, after the home runs in rounds one and two a nice single in round three isn't the worst thing. Still, this definitely seems a pick where Dallas was chasing the board and took need over value.