The NFL Draft is still a long ways away. But it’s never too early to start preparing for it. And here is a quick exercise I like to use every few weeks just to see who is likely to be there when Dallas drafts, and who won’t be. Below I have gathered four draft sites (ESPN Scouts Inc, CBS, Bleacher Report-done by Matt Miller and Draft Countdown) and took their top ranked players. I then took the average of a players rank on all four sites and put them into the chart below. The sites were all updated as of February 1st. So let’s get into it:
The very first thing I want you to notice is that a few of the heavily mocked players such as Defensive Tackle Aaron Donald and Safety Calvin Pryor are missing. Neither of those players made the top 20 of any of the four sites, which explains why they are not on the above chart. We will get back to these two.
The first 8 players on that list you can almost bank on won’t be available for the Cowboys to draft at #16/17, assuming nothing major happens between now and the draft. It is also important to note that Quarterbacks, Cornerbacks and Safeties tend to rise come draft day. As you can see, Johnny Manziel is the 16th ranked player according to this chart, yet, I will be willing to bet that he is selected in the top 10. We also don’t see QB prospect Derek Carr on this chart. I have a gut feeling we will be hearing his name more as the weeks go by.
But I want to go back to Aaron Donald for a minute. If you haven’t heard of Aaron Donald, he is a defensive tackle from The University of Pittsburgh who has dominated every level that he has ever played, including the Senior Bowl a few weeks ago. He was nearly unblockable and is a perfect fit for Rod Marnelli’s defense. Check him out:
I bring him up because he is likely going to be on the short list of players the Cowboys will consider in the first round. But they may be able to move down and select him.
I will update this chart at the beginning of every month, using the same four sites and monitor the changes. This type of exercise is what NFL teams do often to be prepared for any scenario. Who would you choose out of this list? Would you trade up to make sure you grab an elite talent or would you fall back some and take an Aaron Donald? The NFL draft is still months away, but that doesn’t mean we have to wait to prepare.