What If Saturday: Dez Bryant Drafted by the Ravens

By Joe D.

As many of yall know, I love “what if” scenarios.  They make you think about not only what could have been, but also make you think about what is.  More often than not, the reflection makes you appreciate the “what is” even more.  It is widely speculated the the Ravens were going to pull the trigger on Dez Bryant at the 25th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.  The Cowboys traded up with the New England Patriots (swapping the Cowboys 3rd round pick for the New England 4th round pick).  The Cowboys drafted Bryant (who was rated as the 11th best player in the draft according to their draft board).

How do we know Bryant was rated 11th?  Because the Cowboys in-house television department mistakenly put a video clip of Jerry Jones in front of the board up on the team site for an infinitesimal amount of time.  Just enough time that people downloaded, cropped, and zoomed insight into the Cowboys draft day efforts.  Fortunately, the information was leaked on the third day which helped lessen the blow.  It should be noted, that most teams are very surreptitious about their draft efforts, but are willing to float misinformation prior to and during the draft.  If another team were to stumble across the draft board, certainly they would believe it wasn’t accurate and simply and effort of the Cowboys to mislead.

Now back to the conjecture.  If the Ravens either traded up in the first round (24th pick or earlier) and drafted Bryant, then the Cowboys would have considered the next player on their board.  Byran Bulaga (rated 13th) had just been drafted by the Green Bay Packers at 23.  Introducing the Dallas Cowboys first round draft pick of 2010 drafted 27th overall, Sean Lee!!!  (While doing research for this “article” I noticed that BTB’s did beat me to the punch, though I like to think I am taking this in a more detailed direction.)  Jared Odrick (DT) and Kyle Wilson (CB) were the next available players on the Cowboys’s board.  While it is possible that the Cowboys would decide to take Odrick or Wilson, I don’t believe they would look past Lee.

Considering this scenario, the Cowboys would still have their 2nd and 3rd round picks in tact.  With the Cowboys drafting of Lee, it is relatively safe to presume the remainder of the draft would not change substantially since Lee continued to drop until the Cowboys drafted him at the 55th overall pick.

The Cowboys next scheduled pick is in the 2nd round (59th overall).  The highest rated player left on their board with a first round grade is… Navarro Bowman.  Another Penn State linebacker.  How could the Cowboys take another linebacker in this draft where they have glaring needs at tackle and free safety.  Certainly you say to yourself, “They filled the LB need and they won’t consider another ILB until the 3rd day.”  The next best player on their board is Morgan Burnett, safety from Georgia Tech.  Burnett both fills a need and is only rated 10 players below Bowman.  Brandon Ghee is the next best available player, 18 players below Bowman.  I would be sincerely surprised if the Cowboys did draft back to back linebackers; the Cowboys certainly would have been eager to trade back in the draft and pick up additional picks.  Jerry Jones has been very disciplined lately about drafting the best available player, but there were several trades around and at the 59th pick.  If the Cowboys traded down, they would have received from Cleveland, a 3rd and two 5th round picks.  For the sake of this argument, I’m going to presume they don’t trade down.  One quick argument against the Cowboys trading down.  There was no guarantee that Bowman, Burnett or Ghee would be available when they would draft in the 3rd round.  As it turned out, all three were available, but the risk may not have been palatable.  Introducing the Dallas Cowboys 2nd round draft pick of 2010, drafted 59th overall… Navarro Bowman, linebacker from Penn State (or Morgan Burnett).

It should be noted that there is an illegible name on the draft board (9th best player in the 2nd round), so that alone could have certainly altered this exercise.  Notably missing from the Cowboys draft board are Tebow, Tim; Cook, Chris; Benn, Arrelious; Dunlap, Carlos; Cody, Terrence; Spikes, Brandon; Angerer, Pat; Brown, Charles; Walton, JD; Griffen, Everson; Campbell, Bruce; and Thomas, Cam.

With their 3rd round pick (90th overall), the best players on the board were Brandon Ghee, Corey Wooten (4 player spots below Ghee), Joe McNight (3 spots below Wooten), and Taylor Price (5 spots below McNight).  I like Wooten better than Ghee, but following the board…  Introducing the Dallas Cowboys 3rd round draft pick of 2010, drafted 90th overall… Brandon Ghee, corner-back from Wake Forest.

At this point, normalcy returns to the remainder of the draft.  Owusu-Ansah in the 4th, Sam Young and Jamar Wall in the 6th, and Sean Lissemore in the 7th.  Certainly when considering the 2010 Cowboys draft class, it will all be considered a success only based on production on the field and in comparison to who else could have been taken.

The real question is, “Are Bryant and Lee heading the top of the draft class better than Lee, Bowman (or Burnett), and Ghee.”  Considering the alternative, I certainly do appreciate the 2010 draft class more.

Topics: Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Arrelious Benn, Baltimore Ravens, Brandon Ghee, Brandon Spikes, Bruce Campbell, Cam Thomas, Carlos Dunlap, Charles Brown, Chris Cook, Corey Wooten, Dallas Cowboys, Everson Giffen, Georgia Tech, Green Bay Packers, Jamar Wall, Jared Odrick, Jd Walton, Joe McNight, Kyle Wilson, Morgan Burnett, Navarro Bowman, New England Patriots, NFL Draft, Pat Angerer, Penn State, Sam Young, Sean Lee, Sean Lissemore, Taylor Price, Terrence Cody, Tim Tebow

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