There's a good chance that for a full month now, or ever since the Cowboys season ended, you've been inundated by draft talk. If you're a regular on Blogging The Boys, there's also a good chance that you've come across some strongly held opinions about a given draft prospect. And there's a very good chance those opinions don't mean squat.
For the sixth year in a row, BTB is hosting a January Mock Draft Challenge. And if the previous five years have taught us anything, it's that in January, nobody has a clue what the Cowboys will do in the draft. Our collective track record at predicting the Cowboys' first-round pick this early in the year is a complete disgrace.
- In our 2011 challenge, only one BTB member correctly picked the Cowboys' first-round pick, Tyron Smith.
- In the 2012 challenge: only one participant 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 had the Cowboys picking Travis Frederick - but only in the second round. Not a single person had Terrance Williams or Gavin Escobar in their mocks.
- In 2014, not a single one of the 120 submitted mock drafts had Zack Martin going to the Cowboys. Not one.
- And last year, only one mock listed Byron Jones, but only as a priority free agent target. Nobody had Randy Gregory in their mock, nobody had Chaz Green, and nobody had Damien Wilson.
Which just goes to show how hard it is to know anything about the draft in January.But that doesn't mean we can't have fun trying to improve over the previous years.
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 28, 2016 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? Deal with it.
- Until the compensatory draft picks are announced, the Cowboys hold the following picks: 4, 34, 67, 98, 171 (per Drafttek). I understand that this does not account for the missing Patriots pick, but once you start looking for trade partners, it can be a real hassle always having to deduct one spot because the Patriots cheated.
- You pick at your exact spot or anywhere below that (e.g. 4th or anywhere from 5th on down)
- You are allowed only one trade-down using this handy draft pick value calculator and the draft value chart immediately below it. The value you give up in the trade-down must be equal to or greater than the value you receive, e.g. your 4th (1,800 pts) pick could get you Baltimore's 6th, 101st, and 164th picks (1,722.8 pts).
- You may however trade up as often as you want. Again though, the value you give up in the trade up must be equal to or greater than the value you receive,
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.
To get this challenge started, I'll submit the following mock, which has one trade-down and one trade-up, leaving me with six picks in total.
TRADE DOWN: 4 for Baltimore's 6, 101, and 164 (1,800 for 1,722.8 points)
1. (6) Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss - Treadwell, who is quite similar to in the way he makes plays on and with the football, would be an ideal fit opposite Bryant, and there is little doubt that a receiver like Treadwell could supercharge the Cowboys' offense. Plus Treadwell would be up for a new contract at exactly the time Bryant's contract expires, so there's some interesting symmetry here.
2. (33) Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville - I'm hell-bent on beefing up my interior defensive line this year, and Rankins is the perfect player to give the Cowboys a lot more OOOOMPF! up the middle. The most productive defensive tackle in the draft from a FBS school (1.56 production ratio), Rankins has the size and power to play the 1-technique, but he offers some interesting pass rushing potential as well. He lined up at DE at times in 2015 for Louisville, and is one of the rare players that can get up the field from the 1-technique spot.
3. (66) Deiondre' Hall, CB, Northern Iowa - Encouraged by their success with Byron Jones, the Cowboys pick another hybrid corner/safety prospect. Hall is a rangy 6-2, gives the Cowboys a coveted "plus" corner, and was the 2015 Missouri Valley Defensive Player of the Year after forcing nine turnovers in his senior season (six interceptions, three forced fumbles).
4. (97) Miles Killebrew, SS, Southern Utah - Killebrew is another plus-sized defensive back at 6-3, 230 lbs, and could well be undervalued on the CBS board. He's drawn comparisons to Deone Bucannon and Shaq Thompson (both first-round picks) and if he runs in the 4.40s at the Combine as many expect, he might end up a potential first-round pick as well.
5. (101) Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State - The Cowboys sign a veteran backup QB and invest a mid-round pick in a rookie QB with potential. And boy, does Prescott have potential. Prescott put up Tebow-esque numbers in college with 70 passing TDs, 41 rushing TDs, 9,376 passing yards and 2,521 rushing yards and offers intriguing options as a dual-threat QB at the NFL level. With a 6:1 TD-to-INT ratio and a completion rate of 66.2 percent over 13 games (2nd best in the SEC) in his senior season, Prescott's efficiency in the passing game makes him more than just a runner with a strong arm, and teams will find it hard to overlook the electric playmaker.
TRADE UP: 164 + 170 for Kansas City's 122 (51.2 for 50 points)
5. (122) Javon Hargrave, DT, South Carolina State - A small-school standout if there ever was one, Hargrave put up a ridiculous 3.28 production ratio in college. Hargrave already dominated the Shrine game and was a late invite for the Senior Bowl. If you're looking for an Aaron Donald Starter Kit, Javon Hargrave is as close as you'll get this year. Eric Galko, writing for Bleacher Report, had this to say about Hargrave:
Posting 13.5 sacks in his senior season, Hargrave played an interior penetrating role for South Carolina State, showcasing unique quick-twitch athleticism for a defensive tackle and ripping, swimming and sidestepping blockers with remarkable consistency. He’s a bit overly aggressive, leading him to suffer in the run game and containment, but as a pass-rusher, he’s one of the 2016 class’ best.
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.