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Cavanaugh: Post-combine Cowboys draft preview – Who you should (and shouldn't) hope for

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  • Cavanaugh: Post-combine Cowboys draft preview – Who you should (and shouldn't) hope for

    Post-combine Cowboys draft preview – Who you should (and shouldn't) hope for
    By Jeff Cavanaugh 10 hours ago

    The combine is in our rearview mirror and it's time to reassess how we feel about the 19th overall pick. Let's sort through a bunch of potential names and what my reaction would be if they end up being the Cowboys' pick. I'm going to separate the potential picks by categories that I've created for just this occasion.

    Category 1: “Throw a party, Jerry's paying.”

    Derwin James – S – Florida State. He was a good player this year and that's only going to get better and better. The sky is the limit with Derwin. He can cover tight ends, play either safety spot and with the athleticism he showed at the combine, he could play cornerback if someone wanted to try him there. I don't want to, I'm just saying. Check out his Relative Athletic Score (RAS) here – this measures how his testing ranks compared to all other players at his position from 1987 to now. It's a scale of 1-10 so anything above 5 is above average. He's elitely elite, if that's a thing. James is the 2nd-best graded strong safety of all time.

    Roquan Smith – LB – Georgia. I can't see him being available, but sometimes off-the-ball linebackers fall through the middle of the first round. He's undersized but I think he's perfect for today's NFL. Instincts, sideline to sideline speed, violence. He's got it all.

    Category 2: “You know what, that's solid. I'm a happy camper.”

    Isaiah Wynn – OG – Georgia. I know, I know. The Cowboys have a ton of assets on the offensive line already. They drafted a running back at #4 overall because they declared that's how they planned to win football games. If he's the best player available when you're on the clock I'm all aboard. Double down. Triple down. Quadruple down. Kick everyone's butt at the line of scrimmage and don't apologize for it.

    Harold Landry – DE – Boston College. Pass-rushing is always at a premium in the draft. Landry played on a banged up ankle this year and you have to look back at 2016 to see the reason you'd take him this high. A guy that can tear around the edge like he can is very valuable to any NFL team. He might be small for the Cowboys' preferences, but that 3-cone time tells you he can bend the corner and get to the QB.

    Tremaine Edmunds – LB – Virginia Tech. I like him more for the player he can become than for the player he is today. He got better and better as the season wore on and he's incredibly young. He has the frame of a middle linebacker and the movement skills of a safety. He's also got the length to keep blockers off of him and can cover and track down running backs.

    Category 3: “Wait a minute; I didn't even need this position! Whatever – he's the top player on our board. You can never have enough corners!”

    Jaire Alexander – CB – Louisville. The 2017 tape is good, the 2016 tape is great, and his athleticism matched (or even exceeded) what I thought he'd do in testing. He's a scheme-versatile twitched-up dude that can make plays on the football. He tested off the charts as far as changing direction goes.

    Mike Hughes – CB – Central Florida. He's a beast at the line of scrimmage. Hughes loves to play press man and will force even bigger guys to the sideline or out of bounds on outside releases. He can give up some plays inside when bigger guys are able to move him, but he's fearless and has the stop-and-start ability to shadow receivers. Ran a little slower than I thought he would in the 40 but is still a great athlete overall.

    Category 4: “Fine. I can deal with this. They were out of ribeye, give me a sirloin.”

    Vita Vea – DT – Washington. There's no doubt he's a force of nature. That size/power/speed combination is so rare. The only reason he's dropped to this category for me is (much like most NFL teams) it's a little hard for me to justify this sort of investment at a run-stuffing spot in today's NFL especially considering the depth of the positions in this particular draft. If he were to make it to #19 and be a Cowboy I'll be happy about the addition; I'm just not sure about the value.

    Calvin Ridley – WR – Alabama. People will tell you he didn't test well at the combine. I'll tell you he tested just fine. He ran in the low 4.4s in the 40 and had a good time on the 3 cone drill. I'm not throwing him jump balls, I don't care how much he weighs and I'll never ask him to run anyone over. I just want him to win by creating separation and catching the football. He only falls into this category because of the depth and relative lack of separation of the other top wide receivers in this year's class. I want Calvin Ridley on my football team. Is his value at pick #19 better than the value of Michael Gallup/Anthony Miller later in the draft? I'm not so sure.

    D.J. Moore – WR – Maryland. He essentially carried the Maryland offense on his own. Moore is so hard to bring down in the open field and can break any catch for a huge gain. Measured at 6′ when everyone thought he was 5'10, then tested as an elite athlete. I think you can have a legitimate conversation about whether he's the best receiver in the draft.
    Category 5: “#NotMyPick”

    Da'Ron Payne – DT – Alabama. He played great football in the final two games of the season and tested well at the combine, but I'm troubled by the lack of overall production. To have ONE tackle for loss on the season as a nose tackle and go in the middle of the first round just feels strange to me. I do think he'll be a good player, but a 1-technique must be truly special to warrant being picked at #19.

    Marcus Davenport – DE – UTSA. Could he end up being a great player? Sure, he could. He has the tools. My issue is that in college, he rushed straight into the chest of offensive linemen, and I don't think that's going to work in the NFL. He's going to have a big learning curve to develop a pass rush arsenal and figure out how to get to NFL quarterbacks.

    Any Tight End – TE – Anywhere. There are a lot of guys I like in this draft at tight end but #19 is just too high. Hayden Hurst, Dallas Goedert, and Mike Gesicki are my three favorites at the moment but they don't belong in the first round.

    I didn't bother listing players at the very top of the draft (say, Quenton Nelson) that I don't believe have ANY chance of them making it to the Cowboys. If you feel like I left off your guy feel free to leave a comment and we'll have civil discourse because we're all very distinguished gentlemen/ladies.
    2016 DCC LOTY Fantasy Football Champion

  • #2
    BS, I would be thrilled to get Vea, Ridley or Davenport. More than happy with DJ Moore or Payne. A TE would be a reach and we don't need another fucking corner so f that S.
    I was on the draft LVE train. I was for trading for Amari before it happened.
    'nuff said

    Comment


    • #3
      Was this article written by a valley girl?

      Like, so extra.

      Fucking idiot.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by lostxn View Post
        BS, I would be thrilled to get Vea, Ridley or Davenport. More than happy with DJ Moore or Payne. A TE would be a reach and we don't need another fucking corner so f that S.
        Yeah basically a bunch of guys we have no shot at and the guys we might have a shot at he makes it sound like they are meh.

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        • #5
          People who focus on supposed top positions only in the first round just don’t know football.

          It’s all interconnected.

          I’m not talking about extremes like QB or punter/PK, but pretty much all the other starting positions.

          A Vea in the middle not only pressures your QB he makes it easier for everyone else— not to mention stuffing the run and forcing the offense to be more one-dimensional.

          The Steelers won the Superbowl when they had Casey Hampton, but can’t even get there with the big three and elite OL on offense.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ravidubey View Post
            People who focus on supposed top positions only in the first round just don’t know football.

            It’s all interconnected.

            I’m not talking about extremes like QB or punter/PK, but pretty much all the other starting positions.

            A Vea in the middle not only pressures your QB he makes it easier for everyone else— not to mention stuffing the run and forcing the offense to be more one-dimensional.

            The Steelers won the Superbowl when they had Casey Hampton, but can’t even get there with the big three and elite OL on offense.
            Defense wins championships.
            I was on the draft LVE train. I was for trading for Amari before it happened.
            'nuff said

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ravidubey View Post
              People who focus on supposed top positions only in the first round just don’t know football.

              It’s all interconnected.

              I’m not talking about extremes like QB or punter/PK, but pretty much all the other starting positions.

              A Vea in the middle not only pressures your QB he makes it easier for everyone else— not to mention stuffing the run and forcing the offense to be more one-dimensional.

              The Steelers won the Superbowl when they had Casey Hampton, but can’t even get there with the big three and elite OL on offense.
              I agree with you there. I'm not sure how a team can put so much emphasis on guards and centers who block DT's but then not put the same emphasis on DT's who are such a threat that we need elite guys to block them.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Cowboysrock55 View Post
                I agree with you there. I'm not sure how a team can put so much emphasis on guards and centers who block DT's but then not put the same emphasis on DT's who are such a threat that we need elite guys to block them.

                That's a good point.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cowboysrock55 View Post
                  I agree with you there. I'm not sure how a team can put so much emphasis on guards and centers who block DT's but then not put the same emphasis on DT's who are such a threat that we need elite guys to block them.
                  I can tell you exactly how it happens.

                  First, it starts with the fact that Jerry and Stephen don't actually have their own philosophical views on football, because at the end of the day they aren't football minds.

                  So working off that, they derive their football views at any given time based on who they have trust in as far as the coaching staff/front office goes.

                  It's pretty clear McClay knows his shit but he's a talent evaluator, not a coach who is putting together pieces inside of a scheme. He can find you a player to fit a role within a scheme but if you have a coordinator like Marinelli who clearly has sway with the brain trust telling you there is no need to spend premium resources on a run-stuffing 1-T who is going to hold the point and clog the middle, then it's just not going to happen.

                  You think McClay doesn't realize the theoretical value a player like Vea or Payne brings? You think he doesn't know that they are elite run-stuffing 1-T's?

                  He most certainly does, but it doesn't mean shit if you have the DC telling you that those attributes aren't important.

                  At some point there were respected coaches like Hudson Houck and Garrett himself vouching for going OL in the 1st with guys like Smith, and when that worked out so well you can see why they'd keep going back to the well.

                  If Marinelli retired tomorrow and Richard became the DC, presumably bringing the same philosophy from Seattle where they spent a 2nd rounder on a pure run-stuffer like Jarran Reed, you can bet your ass you'd hear a different tune coming from the braintrust.

                  At the end of the day Jerry and Stephen don't have any sort of guiding football philosophy that they developed independently, they just rely on whoever is around them. Luckily McClay knows his shit for the most part and is able to guide us in the right direction as far as the draft goes.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    RAS, huh.

                    Sparq was soooooo 2000s.

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                    • #11
                      Well and to be fair our scouts still seem to rank NT types highly on our boards. We just overrule them on draft day because our coaches think that they can find those traits easily.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Simpleton View Post
                        At the end of the day Jerry and Stephen don't have any sort of guiding football philosophy that they developed independently, they just rely on whoever is around them.
                        They follow contemporary football theories meant for the superficial fan.

                        QB. Rush the QB. Protect the QB. Receivers for the QB. CB's for the Receivers. Blah, blah and blah.

                        All the other positions don't matter except maybe RB because they can start right away, and yes they take pressure off the QB.

                        They just don't get how all positions feed off each other. Superior talent (P/K, LS notwithstanding) is to be coveted at any starting position.

                        Failing in that pursuit is idiotic and one of the biggest reasons we've been in a 23 year dry spell for the NFC title game.

                        Originally posted by Simpleton View Post
                        Luckily McClay knows his shit for the most part and is able to guide us in the right direction as far as the draft goes.
                        He's giving us a puncher's chance.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          According to most scouting reports I've read, after Vea and Payne the overall talent level drops off as far as pass rush/run stuffing. I know there's other options out there but I'm not sure how effective they would be. I.E.- Settle, BJ Hill, Senat, to name a few.
                          On the flip side I'm not sure if we should take Hernandez at #19 and set the interior of our O-line for the next decade

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Couchcoach View Post
                            According to most scouting reports I've read, after Vea and Payne the overall talent level drops off as far as pass rush/run stuffing. I know there's other options out there but I'm not sure how effective they would be. I.E.- Settle, BJ Hill, Senat, to name a few.
                            On the flip side I'm not sure if we should take Hernandez at #19 and set the interior of our O-line for the next decade
                            I'm not sure the drop off is really as significant as they make you believe. This is a really stellar NT class. And frankly I'm not that high on Payne. His overall resume does not justify a first round pick in my opinion. It's a lot of dancing at the line of scrimmage. And yes I know he had a couple awesome games in the playoffs.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cowboysrock55 View Post
                              I'm not sure the drop off is really as significant as they make you believe. This is a really stellar NT class. And frankly I'm not that high on Payne. His overall resume does not justify a first round pick in my opinion. It's a lot of dancing at the line of scrimmage. And yes I know he had a couple awesome games in the playoffs.
                              And that's where I get hung up on Payne. I know he's athletic and had a big combine and playoff performance. But his stats at Bama just aren't impressive.

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