2011 Draft Part 3: Cowboys Split The Uprights Late

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Nov 22, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent (92) in action against Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III on Thanksgiving at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

2011 Round 7:

According to player data accumulated by Pro Football Focus, the 2011 seventh-round draft yielded only one future starter. Several other players have seen some rotational and spot-start duty, but only right tackle Derek Newton in Houston has a full season of starts to his credit.

Of course, players don’t have to start to impact a game. The Seahawks found a future Superbowl MVP in this round. Linebacker Malcom Smith made 10 starts in 19 games this year, playoffs included, and the Superbowl was not among them. In earning that game’s MVP honors, Smith played only 34 of the team’s 71 defensive snaps. That’s makin’ it count.

While starters are outliers in this round, finding contributors is rare. Snap counts at PFF show about three out of four 2011 seventh-round picks have yet to play more than a couple of hundred regular season snaps.

7th Round Draft Picks, 2011

Starters

1

2.0%

Role Players

11

21.6%

Non Factors

39

76.5%

The odds of finding a contributor in this round were about one in five, so we’ll call that a good job of player evaluation and development. Finding a player who’s still knocking around the league is better than average.

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