We all know that the Dallas Cowboys are not only picking early, but thanks to having four compensatory picks, they will select a lot of players compared to many other teams. This breaks down the value of their slate of picks, with a neat graphic to illustrate where all the teams stand.
This article delves into an attempt to project the productivity of edge rushers coming out of the draft, and includes a look at how it has done in the past. Some names that it has as top prospects this year: Joey Bosa of Ohio State and Emmanuel Ogbah of Oklahoma State, who you have heard of. And a couple of names you may not know: Bronson Kaufusi of Brigham Young and James Cowser of Southern Utah (must be something in the water there). Bad news for those of you who like Ronald Blair of Appalachian State: He has the lowest score of all rushers they studied.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com has been widely quoted as saying that he doesn't think the Cowboys are interested in drafting Joey Bosa, despite the need to upgrade the pass rush. But as noted here, it may be far too early to make that assumption.
He would fill a need for the Cowboys, but would he be the best player available on the board? Truth is, while Zierlein undoubtedly got "no love'' info from somebody, he did so before the Cowboys engaged in an Ohio State workout day that featured Bosa and in any event it's a wide brush to use to paint a thought process that includes multiple Valley Ranch brains that will only start the process on formalizing the Cowboys board around a week from now.
And more than "not loving,'' there is this: As we get deeper into the process of examining not only all the options at 4 (which include the idea of QB), we see Dallas doing its due diligence on a handful of guys who play Bosa's position, or at least along the D-line. Shaq Lawson joins Bosa as a 30-Visits guy this week, as does DeForest Buckner and Sheldon Rankins, we're told.
Former Washington and Houston GM Charles Casserly completely disagrees with Zierlein.
"Some people will say he's not an elite player; shouldn't be taken that high. To me he's better than Ziggy Ansah, who (was drafted) around that point, he's better than Leonard Williams, who should've gone by that point in the draft," Casserly said on NFL Network's "Path to the Draft". "And guess what? He's a safer pick and will be more productive than Jadeveon Clowney has been. That answers that question to me."
This detailed scouting report on Emmanuel Ogbah finds him to be maddeningly inconsistent, looking totally pedestrian for long stretches, then turning into a monster at other times. There may be a reason he has not shown up on the national invite list for Dallas.
I just don't know how you draft a guy like Ogbah high and have any kind of confidence in what he will or won't develop into as a pro. That doesn't mean I can't see a team taking him in the first round. After all, guys his size and with his speed and production in college don't grow on trees.
A team will have to be honest and realize he is a boom-or-bust guy. They are just going have to bet on the boom, but they damn sure better be prepared if he ends up being a bust.
Although he is not an edge rusher, DeForest Buckner did get to come to Dallas on a visit. He would be a defensive tackle if the Cowboys draft him, but he is not worried about having to make the switch from what he played in college.
Many draft observers believe Buckner's frame and skills project best at 3-4 defensive end, where he played in college. Buckner doesn't think he's limited to one style of defense, though. He played some 4-3 in high school and contributed at multiple spots in college.
"I personally feel like I can play in any scheme, play in any spot," he said. "Even though we were a 3-4 team at Oregon, I played all the different techniques on the defensive line. I feel like personally whatever scheme I'm put in, I'll fit right in."
The Cowboys are doing their due diligence on many projected first round players, including Laquon Treadwell. And during his visit - well, they say a picture is worth . . .
Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell pic.twitter.com/RAmj03VTBH— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) April 5, 2016
For all you Zeke Geeks, Rick Gosselin makes his case for taking Ezekiel Elliott in the first round.
His presence would take the pressure off Romo to make all the plays -- and a steady diet of handoffs would burn the clock and keep your defense off the field. Murray's emergence as the offensive workhorse in 2014 took 100 passes away from Romo and he wound up winning his first NFL passing title. The less Romo throws, the more I like him as a quarterback. The more he throws, the more prone to error he seems to become. Also, the less time he spends in the pocket, the fewer shots pass rushers get at him. And his health would be a concern to me if I envisioned him playing another 4-5 years.
And in the interests of equal time (like that matters around here), we also present an opposing view.
The reasoning behind this is that a RB's shelf life in the NFL isn't very long due to the physical nature of the position and investing heavily in a RB is considered unwise based on this thinking.
In Elliott's case, it's not only the fact that the Cowboys would be investing a premium draft pick in him, but also the money that is guaranteed for selecting a player that high.
There is, of course, a large and vocal contingent of Jalen Ramsey fanatics who want him to be the Dallas pick at four. However, there are also a lot of draftniks who think he could be gone. If he is, Sturm thinks Eli Apple may be a fallback for the Cowboys.
I am awfully torn about this crop of corners because it is difficult to find a no-brainer who can lock down and make a difference on every play, but there are certainly a few who could grow into that role. Apple checks so many boxes and has always been the most athletic guy on the field in any game he has ever played. He is rarely attacked, very confident and when he is engaged, you can squint and see a real player here.
So, for a fit with Dallas: He is right there if they would choose to go get another corner. I prefer Jalen Ramsey as a football player, but that is because of his skill set at the safety position. If I am simply looking for a big corner with real lockdown potential, I think Apple has all the tools you would seek, and at 20 years old, his ceiling is quite high.
The interview of Greg Hard has ignited angry and dismissive responses from all quarters.
The bottom line here is that Hardy has long had a false sense of reality, always teetering between a mythical world that is seemingly far more pleasant for him than the reality of his situation. It's a way for Hardy to camouflage his real issues and keeps him from owning up to his mistakes.
We don't want to leave you with that bad taste in your mouth, so here is a nice little interview with just re-signed defensive lineman Jack Crawford during a visit back home in England.