While it’s intriguing to see the various grades given to the Dallas Cowboys 2017 draft, let’s review the effectiveness of the selections from 2014.
It’s just plain fun to grade and analyze the most recent draft class of the Dallas Cowboys. However, the real grade of a draft can only come after several years have passed and a proper evaluation can be applied to the value of those picks.
With the premise that three years is a fair amount of time for player development, today we look at the draft class of 2014 to gauge their value to the current Cowboys roster.
This evaluation of the 2014 draft class is based on my personal criteria and opinions, as follows;
I believe a draft class should yield 2-3 eventual starters, and 2-3 solid contributors. Those numbers presume the signing of 1-2 starting free agents per year to keep the roster complete and in contention for a playoff spot.
The 2014 Cowboys selections by round were as follows:
Round 1 – Zack Martin, Tackle, Notre Dame
Round 2 – DeMarcus Lawrence, Defensive End, Boise State
Round 4 – Anthony Hitchens, Linebacker, Iowa
Round 5 – Devin Street, Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh
Round 7 – Ben Gardner, Defensive End, Standford
Round 7 – Will Smith, Linebacker, Texas Tech
Round 7 – Ahmad Dixon, Safety, Baylor
Round 7 – Ken Bishop, Defensive Tackle, Northern Illinois
Round 7 – Terrance Mitchell, Defensive Back, Oregon
Zack Martin (starter); Martin was an immediate win for Dallas. One of the smartest picks in the recent years leading up to the 2014 draft, the Cowboys are exercising the fifth-year option of his rookie contract, and will undoubtedly sign him long term.
DeMarcus Lawrence (solid contributor); I don’t think Lawrence has given the Cowboys enough production and reliability to be considered an every week starter. Inconsistencies due to off-field issues as well as injuries have kept the young pass rusher from living up to expectations.
Anthony Hitchens (solid contributor); Hitchens has been a game day starter when called upon, and a very solid rotational player. I feel he was the second best pick of the Cowboys 2014 draft class.
Unfortunately, those are the only players remaining on the Cowboys current roster.
Street failed to lock down a job as a back-up receiver and was released after the 2015 season. However, Devin is still in the league and has now been claimed by the New England Patriots.
The 7th round yielded little or no value. Of the five picks in the seventh round, only Mitchell remains in the league, fighting for a roster spot with the Kansas City Chiefs. Gardner, Smith, Dixon, and Bishop are all out of the league.
My “retro” grade: C-
With only one current starter, and two solid contributors, this draft class failed to meet the minimum of my evaluation formula.
Do you feel this is a fair grade? How do you base your grade on a past daft class? Let us know in the comments below.