Need Is The Worst Evaluator of Talent

The Draft as always has been filled with many surprises thus far, and with the depth still available there is plenty left in the air. This Draft was always going to be peculiar, with so little talent at the skill positions it was touted early as one of the least exciting drafts in recent memory. The prizes to be found in this Draft were in the depth at the lines of scrimmage and the defensive back positions. I tend to believe that there are depending on how you look at it 12-16 players with actual 1st round grades. That is why the majority of pundits have mentioned the sweet spot of this Draft being in the 2nd and 3rd Rounds.

Every team grades prospects differently, which is why you see E.J. Manuel as the 1st Quarterback taken in the Draft when most believe Geno Smith to be the best at the position. With 32 teams picking in the 1st round, it is inconceivable to believe that everyone is going to stay put and get a blue-chip prospect. I’ll admit that I believed all along The Dallas Cowboys would trade out of the 18th pick if The Big 5 on the Offensive Line were gone. I did not expect to see The Dallas Cowboys pass on Sharrif Floyd, but when 22 other franchises pass on arguably the 3rd best player on the board; something has got to be off.  In truth, I would have probably stayed put and picked Floyd, but I don’t work for The Dallas Cowboys, I can only give analysis to my readers.

November 24, 2012; University Park, PA, USA; Wisconsin Badgers offensive lineman Travis Frederick (72) blocks Penn State Nittany Lions defensive tackle DaQuan Jones (91) at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The major factor that causes Teams to pick by position is when there is a run on that certain position. Teams then can become very much enthralled with making sure they don’t miss out on the position in the run. Thursday Night there was a major run on Offensive Linemen; with the majority of the top graded Tackles and Guards off the board, Dallas came to the conclusion to make a trade. The Dallas Cowboys took the opportunity to garner another pick in the 3rd round, whilst also getting the top rated Center in the Draft.

Anger and disgust spewed through the audience as this trade was announced, because many believe Center is not a need on this Offensive Line. May I remind you that The Cowboys struggled mightily at this position the past few years? Phil Costa did play well in 2012, but he was banged up all season and wound up on IR. Mackenzy Bernadeau was signed because of his versatility to play both Guard and Center, yet he excelled at neither. David Arkin plays with almost zero strength and that is concerning for even a 4th round pick. Kevin Kowalski didn’t play a down last year due to his injury concerns. The Cowboys spent a 7th round pick on Ryan Cook, who played admirably in the opener, but could never get this line in-sync.

Travis Frederick was given a 2nd or 3rd round grade depending on whose board you look at. The one thing that he has that may be more valuable than anything else is his intelligence. He has been described by pundits as being a “typical Wisconsin Linemen.” The word typical is often used in a negative light, but in this case that is one of the greatest compliments he could receive. Wisconsin is known for their success with creating some of The NFL’s best “Fat-Guys” as Tony Romo calls them. The Center has to know all assignments and get his Line in place, while also giving blocking assignments to the line. The quarterback should not be telling these guys where to line up. Wisconsin has shown their ability to create intelligent Offensive Linemen that excel at the next level. Although some believe that Center isn’t a need for this organization, it’s arguable that every position on this Offensive Line could use an upgrade.

 

The Dallas Cowboys spent their 2nd round selection on Tight End Gavin Escobar. At 6’7 254lbs, he has proven his ability to be a legitimate threat for opposing Defenses. The “boos” were evident on Day 2 following Tony Casillas’ announcement, because again fans believe this is a position of strength, not a need. To that I say really? The NFL is definitely a passing league and The New England Patriots, who are consistently a top offense year-in and out have guided The NFL to bringing back the Tight End. Tight Ends are imperative in blocking but also as receivers in the slot and make great red zone targets. I don’t need to preach that to Cowboys fans, because Jason Witten may go down as the greatest tight end in history when he’s done, but that’s just it. Is this team just going to stop using the Tight End as frequent when Witten hangs up his cleats? James Hanna really showed a lot of promise for a 4th round pick; but Escobar is a real big and nasty Tight End. He needs work in his blocking schematics and techniques, but he offers Tony Romo 2 capable young targets and 1 sure-fire Hall of Famer at the position.

With their first 3rd round pick, The Dallas Cowboys selected Baylor Wide Receiver Terrance Williams. When it comes to Offensive weapons, you can never have enough. Miles Austin has shown his inability at times to stay healthy, and although Dez Bryant is coming off a breakout year, behind them you have 1 receiver in Dwayne Harris who has shown flashes of play-making ability and others such as Danny Coale who was injured and Cole Beasley a UDFA best suited as a slot receiver in certain packages. Williams was the highest rated receiver in yards last season. He has some size and great hands and offers The Dallas Cowboys more depth at a position that is terrifying if any of the Top 2 gets significantly injured. In honesty, depending on how Williams and the rest of these guys perform this year, Dallas may unload some cap relief if Austin is inconsistent.

The Dallas Cowboys used their second 3rd round pick on Free-Safety J.J. Wilcox. This is by far the most intriguing pick so far. J.J. Wilcox is a play-maker  He isn’t afraid to hit anyone, and for such a short period of time at his position, he just seems natural. If you remember my last mock had The Dallas Cowboys drafting him, and I’m proud of that pick. This team has been handicapped at Safety at times, I’m not declaring Wilcox as the savior, but one thing is certain this kid can play and he never gives up.

The picks by the Cowboys have been exactly what Jason Garrett has wanted; guys that work hard at their craft, and play hard on the field every Sunday. This Draft is not over yet, but allow me to calm the nerves of Cowboys Fans all over, because in the end The Cowboys don’t go by every other team’s boards, they have their own. Today was filled with teams taking names that none of you have heard of but they were selected because that franchise believed they fit their plan. When teams draft players using needs as their key they usually fail. The approach so far has been intriguing and should not be overlooked. So for those whom are panicking: Please step off the ledge, take your heads out of the oven, and put your razor blades away; there is plenty of hope alive and 3 more rounds for The Dallas Cowboys.

Topics: Dallas Cowboys, Dez Bryant, Jason Garrett, Jason Witten, Tony Romo

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  • Big Ed

    Oh my. Those rose-colored glasses fit you well. There are 31 other NFL teams that are just as excited as you are about the Cowboys AWFUL draft. Ridiculous!

    • disqus_kLJwdEdnOL

      No question the Cowboys are the laughing stock of the NFL. It is amazing what they have turned into since Jimmy Johnson left. Thanks JJ.

      • Michael Sisemore

        Stop living in the past Gene, things have not bee that bad since Garrett has taken over draft wise. There will be a flux of younger guys drafted in the last few years that will demand playing time this year and you will see. Jimmy Johnson didn’t do it by himself, he had scouts and trusted them so does Garrett.

    • Michael Sisemore

      the only thing ridiculous is this comment. Rose colored glasses or not I don’t believe this Draft was a huge failure like some of the readers here, if it’s so Awful why is Mayock and others giving it the “underrated tag”? They got help at some key positions and still have options through FA and UDFA, stop listening to local media and do evaluations yourself, then try and tell me that T. Williams, Frederick, Wilcox, and the others can’t play!

  • Ronald W. Jones

    Arkin has no strength? Frederick only had 21 reps at the combine. A Wisconsin lineman with only 21 reps??? There are some safetys with 28 reps. When the players the Cowboys targeted started to fly off the board Jerrah panicked…traded down and didn’t get equal value…..because he didn’t have a plan.

    • Michael Sisemore

      Wisconsin O-Line don’t emphasize reps, they try large weight less reps, he said it himself and his coach has already backed that up. Reps aren’t everything

    • CBoyFan70

      Fred benches 600+ and can squat 700+. He is by no means lacking in strength.

  • http://twitter.com/OldFrog75 Old Frog

    You will never convince me that it was good enough to select only 1 offensive lineman in this draft. The O-line is better now with Frederick but stlll on of the worst in the NFL.

    • disqus_kLJwdEdnOL

      We can only hope they will improve the OL by signing Winston.

    • Michael Sisemore

      I agree that they should have tried for more offensive line, look for guys like Alvin Bailey and other that didn’t get drafted to be possibilities, as well as Eric Winston or Tyson Clabo in FA

      • ‘mericas_team2013

        I really thought they wouldve chased Bailey as hard as they did Leary last off season, but he is now in Seattle… Kwame Geathers is another guy I would’ve loved to see as an UDFA….

  • disqus_kLJwdEdnOL

    I agree that you should never draft according to need unless two or more players are graded equally and one of the players fits a need. However, considering how the Cowboys could have drafted I am respectfully stepping off the ledge. I like the players they picked but if they had better prepared for the draft they could have obtained better talent.

    • Michael Sisemore

      I think taking the best center wasn’t a bad idea considering the flux of o-line that went early. However I think most people look for names in the Draft and that’s not the way too look at things, watch tape and evaluate, then look at scheme and positioning and make fits.

  • Carl Rossini

    In a draft with depth on the lines, and with urgent needs on the line, Cowboys revert to form. They choose “sexy” pass catching TE (already have a receiver TE type) over the best lineman available. That turns a “B” draft into a “C” draft. Do that for 5 years and you have a .500 team. Hello?

    • CBoyFan70

      You do realize Witten is in his 30′s right? They needed to find his eventual replacement and I think they did with this 6’6″ TE.

  • http://www.silverandbluecrew.com/ Stacy Justice

    Michael, I couldn’t agree with you more. This is the same thing I’ve been telling everyone. People need to do their own research and form their own opinion, not just be a Mayock crony. Great piece man.

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