It’s that time of year again. The NFL Combine has recently wrapped up and college pro-days are at the forefront of football news. Well pro-days and Peyton Manning sightings of course.
Some NFL prospect’s stock fell somewhat and on the flip-side of matters other pro prospects have boosted stock. Risers and fallers, like the Dow Jones all based off of an over-inflated attention to drill performances which forces the masses back to countless media viewing devices in an attempt to locate that one little iota of information that may have been over looked on tape.
Ever wonder why some analysts always say after a great showing at the combine by an athlete, “we went BACK and looked at the kids tape and since it has really changed our perception of this kid.”?
As if to insinuate that the declaring analyst already viewed game tape on the kid and plenty of it to boot.
Well allow us to pull the wool from over your eyes. Folks, there are so many kids preparing for the NFL or at least the opportunity at a shot in the NFL that it’s virtually impossible for an analyst to view tape of every potential prospect show casing skills at the NFL combine. Stephen Hill, wide receiver from Georgia Tech who lit up the combine with his blazing fast forty yard dash time is a prime example of the carelessness that goes on at times. Prior to the NFL combine one would of been hard pressed to find Hill within the top fifty players on anyone’s big boards outside of the state of Georgia.
However that is also one of the reasons behind the rationale that some believe is just as exciting a time of year as the actual kickoff to the NFL regular season. NFL combine, college pro-days, roster moves in anticipation of upcoming free agency and the NFL draft.
And with the NFL draft comes mock drafting and draftniks abound, one of those mock drafts is the highly anticipated and most comprehensive twitter based seven round #mockone NFL mock draft to land on the social media platform.
The twitter based mock draft finally kicked off this past weekend and none too soon in many of the participant’s opinions. This NFL mock draft is comprised of 32 separate individuals who happen to know anywhere from a little to a lot about their represented teams.
Each individual usually qualifies in some way, shape, or form by covering their respected teams via blog, networking, tweeting and or actually covering their teams for the home town faithful on a professional level. Each individual representing said assigned team usually garners the support of war room staff members for consensus type picks in a democratic fashion much like actual NFL team war room staff.
At least that is how this Dallas Cowboys team representative approached the situation. This incumbent Dallas Cowboys crack staff consisted of Alex Brown of optimumscouting.com: twitter handle @ABXXV25, Allen Howard Dallas Cowboys enthusiast since popping out the womb: twitter handle @allen21howard, and yours truly.
This year’s happenstance invite back into #mockone originated by partaking in the festivities of the 2011 #mockone, version 3.0, last year. That was where both formalities and introductions were made unto the aforementioned cohorts as we all were asked to oblige in serving as a make shift Jerry Jones & company if you will. Imagine a, “what would we do if we were the Dallas Cowboys general manager & staff on draft day?” type situation.
Nonetheless we speed up to this NFL offseason and the founders of #mockone are at it again. With a brand new interactive website mockone.net and strategically targeted analysts in the industry to grade out each team’s mock draft, what wasn’t there to like about being invited back into the fold yet again? The realism, along with the suspense of each pick last year made it almost a slam dunk that members from last years Cowboys representative team would be back if invited…and we were.
Leading up into #mockone the team was pretty much on the same page from the get go. The three of us, being @ABXXV25, @Allen21howard felt as if upgrading the secondary was top priority just as most of the Dallas Cowboys faithful. However, getting the early jump on #mockone before actual free agency begins led us to feel as if at least one top free agent cornerback would be signed by Team Garrett, Jones & Son.
Sounds almost like a law firm doesn’t it?
Back to the secondary issues with Dallas not only will the Cowboys likely cut or restructure Terrence Newman and/or sign a top flight free agent corner but the war room believes that their will be value at the defensive back position later in the draft. So after deciding that a major cornerback acquisition via free agency is likely in the cards for the Dallas Cowboys and with the recent franchising of Anthony Spencer we ended up deciding on the same game plan that thelandryhat.com editor Steven Mullenax wrote about over the weekend in his post referencing the free agency needs and the splash that the Dallas Cowboys may or may not make once free agency opens up.
In Steven’s opinion, “Mario Williams is a pipe dream. I still think Jay Ratliff moves over to this position and we draft a true defensive tackle.”
The war room’s crack staff couldn’t agree with the boss more. Rob Ryan’s defense needs that abominable behemoth of a man-child collapsing the pocket from center stage. How many times wereDallasfans sick with seeing perfectly formed pockets forming around opposing quarterbacks without the slightest site of a big bodied baby Huey set to wreck havoc from front and center? We know we were absolutely sick of the occasional Jay Ratliff sighting penetrating the middle due to timing the snap count out in a timely manner.
Taking nothing away from Jay and his pro bowl accomplishments but it is time for the former defensive tackle to relinquish his former role to a monstrosity of a man in the middle. Jay Ratliff’s football career will thank us for the move later but as for now number ninety slides over to defensive end and we set our sights on target Fletcher Cox.
Coming in to the #mockone draft the team had seen enough of Cox on Saturdays to know the Mississippi State Bulldog was a beast especially considering the fact that the defensive tackle played much of college career against superior opposition being that the Bulldogs played in the Southeast Conference. Constantly thriving and being able to dominate the competition across the line of scrimmage from you while being on, what equates to, lesser talented teams really takes some mental fortitude and hunger.
Sure the kid has negatives about his game but his measurables at the NFL combine also helped his stock much like we explained early on in this write up. Nonetheless, Fletcher Cox was drafted by the Carolina Panthers with the 9th overall pick which really surprised very few but our staff was hoping he would fall. Unfortunately for the Dallas Cowboys the highest rated defensive tackle on our big board did not.
Once Fletcher Cox was drafted we all felt the room tighten in on us. We knew we had set forth with a plan and if Cox wasn’t there we were hoping our next highly rated man-child would be available. Luckily the next four picks past without further ado. The Seattle Seahawks with the twelfth selection did grab defensive tackle Michael Brockers two picks ahead of us which could have severely derailed our “Plan B”. After the Fletcher Cox fiasco, had the Seahawks taken our target instead of Brockers being both Brockers and our target play the position it would have severly hampered our original agenda.
Nonetheless the Dallas Cowboys were on the clock and we had a nibbled on trade talks with the Cleveland Browns at number twenty-two but nothing ever materialized so without hesitation the Dallas Cowboys staff was quite ecstatic to acquire Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe.
Poe was another recipient of rising stock due to extraordinary drill times at the NFL combine and stealing him later, at his original projected draft spot (pre-combine), somewhere in round two was not likely going to happen. So the team didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger on @Bigpoe74. Twitter handle thrown in for free.
Some fans may not be happy and then some will love the selection but we all know that you can’t keep everyone happy all of the time so there is really no need in trying. With Poe the team filled a need, acquired a day one starter at defensive tackle who is athletic and agile enough to slide over and line-up at defensive end. Poe weighs in at a whopping 346 pounds but carries the weight well on his 6′ 4″ frame. The former Memphis Tiger will need to work on both widening his base more while fighting off opposing offensive linemen as he has the tendency to end up on the ground often enough. A wider stance and keeping his pad level lower will be things right out the gate the kid will need to work on but overall Poe should be able to thrive in this Rob Ryan coached defense.
Getting crazy with the cheese whiz here we are hoping the presence of Poe, and Ratliff side by side will actually enhance Anthony Spencer’s ability to get to the opposing quarterback but then again the outside linebacker maybe to consumed with counting his $8.8 million dollar one-year deal.
Poe is an absolute beast in the weight room but if nothing else we paid a expensive price for a two down, run-stopping, one gap penetrator who will combat weight issues and eventually fizzle out in four to five short years and then the war room staff can rest assured that we as a unit accomplished our goal of living up to the draft day prowess of the current reigning regime.
Be sure to follow us on twitter @j0eo1s also follow the hashtag #mockone on twitter to keep up with rounds 2-7.
We will throw out questions leading up to the teams turn on the clock and may even be influenced by followers to go a certain route if it makes overall sense for the team.