Over the course of the next three months, we're going to see prospects rise and fall in almost an insane fashion. This is what Jerry Jones would call "the way draft go". He's not lying either, you fall in and out of love with prospects and that's why you see thousands of mock drafts all over the internet. Those mocks change faster than a teenage girl's hairstyle and there is absolutely no problem with that. It is the nature of the beast.
So, as I was given an impromptu day off Thursday, I decided to spend that time with another avid Cowboys' fanatic like myself. What we did was open the Scotch and head to DraftBreakdown.com to watch tape on all these prospects. We tore the book open, too. On one hand we had a television on NFL Network's coverage of the Senior Bowl practices, on the other we had tablets out fixated on YouTube and the aforementioned DraftBreakdown. We got to studying, reading, and trying to digest just about everything we could on these players. What came of it was sheer fun through three in the morning and some new knowledge of players we never thought of. That's the point though, because as much as we get enamored with 50-100 prospect's names, the Cowboys will take an Anthony Hitchens in the fourth round or even a Travis Frederick in the first. Like Bryan Broaddus says on the draft show, you investigate then educate.
After all that film study, I know that it doesn't make me an expert. What I can tell you though is the excitement and anticipation of what the Cowboys could do are endless. Sticking with the first round, here are just a few guys that caught our attention span, to say the least. We'll stick with prospects at the fourth-overall pick.
*Disclaimer: When going to YouTube or any other site to watch prospect tape, stay away from just watching highlight productions. For the real meat and potatoes, look at how they performed in courses of games. That's where you can really see what they have and need to work on.
CB Jalen Ramsey, Florida State (CBS 3rd Overall Prospect)
What's not to like about Ramsey? He has just about everything you want in a cornerback. He's got size, he's physical and is a well-polished tackler. Ramsey has played just about everything the Seminoles have asked him to and has done so extremely well. The Cowboys have a conundrum at cornerback with Morris Claiborne hitting free agency and Brandon Carr's large contract. They also need a significant upgrade at the position. The current crop of corners in Dallas do everything except make plays. Ramsey is so intriguing because his intelligence is off the charts. His athleticism and fluid movement are something to marvel. This kid just flat-out balls when he's out on the field and his play recognition skills are fantastic as well as his ability to change directions and hunt for the ball. If the Cowboys decided to go with the best cornerback or just perhaps the best secondary prospect in the draft, it would certainly be a difference maker for this defense.
LB Myles Jack, UCLA (CBS 5th Overall Prospect)
Jack is simply a supreme athletic specimen and you can tell that he has the ability to dominate the game no matter where he lines up. UCLA has done a wonderful job at stacking their team with pure athletes and to see Jack stand out is very encouraging about his professional prospects. What is probably the most telling about Jack is that if he decided to be a running back, he would probably still be an early-round selection. His natural ability and awareness for the game are unmatched and his intensity is what you crave for in linebackers. He's so intelligent with instincts that jump out at you. In 2013, Jack won both the Pac-12 Offensive and Defensive Freshman of the Year award(s). Just watching him fly all over the field making plays gives you all the reasoning you need.
QB Jared Goff, California (CBS 4th Overall Prospect)
Goff's position among these quarterbacks will vary several times throughout this process but he still looks the like the superior passer in his class. His toughness and mental capacity for the game is excellent. Goff is a product of his up-tempo offense at Cal, but almost all quarterbacks coming out have played in similar situations. What is impressive about Goff's film is his ability to put the 'touch' on his passes. Whether he's on the move or tossing it downfield, Goff has precision and is accurate. It's also intriguing to know that his offensive line could use a trip to Jiffy Lube, those boys be leaking, hard. Either way, Goff stands in the pocket and delivers the football with ease. He'll certainly have to work on his feet, but see my former comment on his protection. Goff is able to fit passes in tight windows, which is imperative at the NFL-level. It's clear by watching his tape that he's improved over his time at Cal. He's so precise and surgical that it's hard not to think it won't translate to NFL success. He has room for further improvement, but so does every other passer in this class.
DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State (CBS 1st Overall Prospect)
Bosa has the look of an NFL pass rusher and his first-step speed is pretty good. He's very strong at the point of attack and can often use his upper-body strength to dominate tackles. He's not elite as a speed rusher per se, but he has excellent pursuit and can win with polished pass rushing moves. The J.J. Watt comparisons are pretty far off though and Brugler's comparison to young Jared Allen makes more sense. In his Fiesta Bowl tape with Notre Dame, he had early trouble getting off blocks and getting turned out of the play. However, his ability to adjust to what tackles were trying to do to him was superb. After he figured them out, he was in the backfield routinely and even caused an interception. Bosa has the skills to set the edges and uses his heavy hands to stun blockers. He's also very controlled and disciplined. He lacks true quickness as a rusher but is a gifted athlete. Not sure how he fits Rod Marinelli's scheme if the quickness isn't there, but he's going to be a solid contributor for an NFL team. He's got power, athleticism and is very instinctive, all of which are going to get him drafted very high this year.
WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss (CBS 6th Overall Prospect)
Treadwell is an exceptional receiver that uses his power and frame in all the right ways. Brugler compares him to a more soft-spoken Dez Bryant. He's a great athlete with sticky hands and will catch a ball that had no business being caught. He's got a great feel for ways to get himself open and he's a physical specimen. Treadwell isn't going down easy and has excellent 'run after catch' abilities. Not too many Cowboys fans are keen on taking a receiver at four, but Treadwell earned his top 10 ranking. He's an intelligent player with leadership qualities off the field. He's also a prideful blocker in the running game. Treadwell is the ultimate competitor but will need route-running polishing. Ole Miss let Treadwell do what he does best, go get the football and punish people. That's why he gets some comparisons to Dez, he can out-physical the man covering him. He's not a flashy wide receiver but has all the traits to become a WR1 in the NFL.
Of course, the draft is what Bryan Broaddus calls Baskin Robbins with 31 flavors. Everybody likes somebody else. These are a just a few guys that we spent extra time taking a peek at. As always, we encourage the conversation.