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Draft Recap

April 28, 2013

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With 3 days of commentary on the site I thought I should clean it up and put all of my Cowboys picks together in one column for a reader to peruse more easily.

Round 1: Travis Frederick

Travis Frederick Wisconsin #72 6’3 5/8 312 Jr.

Comparison: Philip Blake

Combine: Huge beard. Double major in computer engineering and computer science. Terrible 40 time being 5.50 or higher both times. 1.85 10 yd split. Surprisingly good in kick slide drill. Had slowest 40 time among centers and surprised me with only 21 reps as he’s a bigger center.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6035

312

33

 

5.58

21

28.5

907

7.81

4.76

 

Notes: In the 2011 Nebraska game was thrown aside on first play by Jared Crick for TFL (14:55 1st), solid 4 sec run block on run away (13:10 1st), had initial help from Konz and still couldn’t block Crick on run play who tackled him for short gain (5:55 1st), solid pull block getting MLB for a sec but unable to keep him blocked as he made the tackle (2:50 1st), good run block on Crick pushing him to the side he penetrated on to keep him away from play, stacked and shed but able to hold him enough to make Crick not make tackle. 2nd team Big 10 in 2012. 2nd team Big 10 in 2012. In the 2012 Nebraska game (Big 10 championship) he looked dominant and I loved his frame but his strength and athleticism didn’t jump out at me. He looks like a future 3rd-4th round pick who becomes a solid starter but is never elite 12/29/12. In the 2012 Wisconsin game (Rose Bowl) he turned NT David Perry for easy run up middle, beat on snap by DE Ben Gardner but recovered nicely to pancake him to side, got off balance on 2nd block and pancaked by LB AJ Tarpley, couldn’t block LB Shayne Skov on screen ruining play, turned and pancaked Perry on inside run, whiffed on Perry for TFL on 3rd and 1. He had a few poor plays but overall was pretty dominant against one of the 5 best DL in the country. 3rd round 1/3/13.

Overall: Frederick is a big, mauling center which is very rare to find. He cut weight to add athleticism for the Combine but usually he plays in the 320s. For a team that plays a bunch of 3-4 defenses (most 3-4 defenses have a huge NT lined up over the center) or runs the ball regularly Frederick will be a great fit as he was a roadgrader at Wisconsin and should continue in the NFL. That being said I almost moved him to OG from C as the center position requires a quickness that he appears to lack and I worry about that. Some have Frederick as the #1 C on their board but I can’t as I’ve seen far too much film of him being exploited by quicker DL or blitzing LBs and I think it is a weakness that will be exploited at the next level. A system specific (only run oriented offenses) center with an elite frame and strength but below average in other aspects. Late 3rd round as my #4 C 3/27/13.

Rankings:

Anderson’s 500

Mayock’s 100

Brandt’s 100

Daniel Jeremiah 50

Corey Chavous 200

98

92

45

NR

164

Jon’s Thoughts on the pick: This is flat out a terrible pick. Comparing the pick of where the player was chosen at vs. where I ranked him at gives me a score of -67 (#98 ranked player taken #31) which is the 4th worst score in the 1st round. What’s worse is that the scores worse than this (EJ Manuel, Kyle Long, Kenny Vaccaro) can at least be argued that I was the one going against the grain. EJ Manuel had a 2ndround grade on most boards so yes it was a reach in the middle of the 1st but it the score was inflated by me being the only person giving him a 4th round grade. Yet look at the other four scouts ranks I compiled and you will see that NO ONE gave this guy a 1st round grade. I gave him a late 3rd round grade as did Mayock with Corey Chavous giving him a 5th round grade and even Brandt giving him no better than a mid 2nd round grade. For the Cowboys to trade out of #18 when a Top 5 talent like Shariff Floyd falls into their laps AND then draft a second tier center with their later pick is an absolute disaster. The only two positives to come out of this are that Jerry finally actually did address the offensive line and that they added another 3rd rounder (#74) for Jerry to mad scientist with. This draft weekend is only 1/3 over and I’m already depressed. Thanks a lot Jerry!

Later analysis: What I find interesting is that Jerry Jones went from what would have been one of the best picks in the 1st round (Shariff Floyd) to one of the worst picks (Travis Frederick). The Frederick pick is bad enough and should be panned in its own right but losing out on Shariff hurts me much worse as it’s rare that a Top 5 player somehow drops to you, let alone at a position of need, and it angers me to no end to see the Cowboys spit in the face of destiny like this. It took a lot of luck for Floyd to drop like he did and it’s a phenomenon that happens once every half decade yet Jerry continually decides before the draft starts how he will pick and due to this he rarely is able to exploit the mistakes of others which is how you “work the board” the best. As if this night couldn’t get any worse I did some research and found out that the 49ers hosed the Cowboys in the trade as well. The 18th overall pick (per the trade value chart) has a value of 900 points which is 300 points more than the value of the 31st pick (which is 600 points, it’s nice that 18 and 31 have such round numbers to work with). So the 49ers would need to give the Cowboys approximately 300 points in value which works itself out to a late 2nd round pick (#60 to be exact) yet the 49ers somehow convinced Jerry Jones that their #74 selection (early 3rd round) was sufficient. So not only did the Cowboys miss out on a Pro Bowl caliber DT in Shariff Floyd and not only did they blow it by taking a center in the late 1st that no one had a higher grade on than a mid to late 2nd but they also were shortchanged in the trade by 80 points. It all adds up to my initial point when the trade occurred which is that I suspect it was worked out before the draft even began. Jerry probably got worried he was going to be stuck at #18 and have to take a player he wasn’t that interested in at that spot so he agreed in principle to the #18 for the #31 and #74 knowing it was a slight gain for the 49ers but also knowing that the depth of this draft is superior to the talent at the top. It all made sense in generalities yet suddenly the 18th isn’t just a number but is Shariff Floyd and the #31 isn’t just the 49ers pick but is a huge reach like Travis Frederick and suddenly that cute little trade of Jerry’s no longer seems too great. It happened before in 2004 when he had a trade in principle with Buffalo before they were on the clock and I suspect the same thing occurred this year. Only time will tell if missing out on Floyd hurts as much as missing out on Steven Jackson did but I suspect it will.

Round 2: Gavin Escobar

Gavin Escobar-6 months ago I would have been a fan of this pick but most scouts, me included, moved Escobar down due to his Combine and his level of competition. I had him rated as the #92 player and he was taken #47. To me it again feels like a reach and I just wonder why Jerry is drafting positions like center and tight end when safety is so much bigger of a need. I hope he doesn’t think Barry Church and Danny McCray are enough at safety as that would be an absolute trainwreck. I will be honest, I hate this pick and what’s sad is that to me it’s the worst pick in the 2nd round at this point. Below is his profile:

Gavin Escobar San Diego St. #88 6’5 7/8 254 Jr.

Stats:

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2013

       

2012

42

543

12.9

6

2011

51

780

15.3

7

2010

29

323

11.1

4

Combine: Not fast looking on 40. 1.73 10 yd split. Almost got diving catch in out and up drill. Caught everything in gauntlet and wasn’t as good as Ertz in it but better than Eifert.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6057

254

33.63

9.75

4.84

 

32

904

4.31

7.07

Notes: GBN, “a solid underneath receiver with the frame to grow into a decent in-line blocker.” Redshirted in ’09 and had a very solid freshman year in ’10 (29 323 4 TD). Freshman All American in 2010. The coaches love him and think he is a future star 12/24/10. Enters the 2011 season ranked #49 on my Big Board. In the 2011 Louisiana-Lafayette game he had a nice 12 yd curl on sideline toe tapping and showing great hands, dropped tough ball on 8 yd out over his head but somewhat catchable, dropped ball on 8 yd out as he was hit hard, good catch on 3rd and 7 with defender near him, great 20 yd catch on fade down sidelines vs. tight coverage jump catching ball (4:44 3rd), no separation vs. LB on 15 yd pass over middle but LB called for PI, no separation vs. CB but caught 12 yd cross extended hands one handed with final 4 being YAC. Listed as the #44 player on my Top 100 Board going into the 2012 season. Listed as the #55 player on my Top 100 Board in the middle of the 2012 season. In the 2012 BYU game he had perfect technique getting edge block to go inside, +20 yds on seam route showing soft hands and then broke a tackle and cut away from a defender for YAC.

Overall: Escobar is a talented player that is dropping on draft boards due to a poor Combine yet possibly was a little overrated to begin with. As a blocker he’s adequate which puts him ahead of Ertz and Fauria who are flat out bad but well below the McDonalds, Williams, and Sims of this draft. He is 254 lbs with the frame, at 6’6, to add weight yet I doubt he’ll ever be more than an average blocker which is why his 4.84 40 was so detrimental to his stock as pass catching TEs need to have speed. I was surprised by the time yet when I went back to the film it was noticeable that he didn’t separate against too many people and I think that is where he probably was a little overrated. He looks like an average starter at the next level which is why he drops below Vance McDonald in the end as Vance is a far superior blocker than Escobar and I think at the end of the day that a team would prefer a dual threat like Vance over Escobar who looks like a pass catching TE without great speed. 3rd round who just barely is behind Vance as my #4 TE 3/6/13.

Later analysis: Well McShay loves the kid apparently so at least someone thought he made sense in the mid 2nd. What’s worse though is that Escobar was a 3rd but Ertz was a late 1st and they only went a few picks apart. This pick isn’t nearly as bad as the Frederick pick last night but I once again would argue that their next pick, #74, would have seen Escobar available. They seem to keep reaching in my opinion.

Later later analysis: It’s too bad that the Cowboys were so hell bent on addressing the offensive line in the first round. Assuming they agreed with pretty much everyone else, it’s Jerry we’re talking about so no guarantees, that Zach Ertz was a superior player to Gavin Escobar then these first two picks couldn’t have been pretty good if they had just taken Ertz at #31 and Frederick at #47. The OG/C and TE positions would both have been addressed yet I would feel a heck of a lot happier than I do now. This draft had 4 talented tight ends and the Cowboys got one of them but while Ertz has Pro Bowl potential and projects as an immediate starter, Escobar projects as a first year backup that could eventually develop into a slightly above average starter. 

Round 3: Terrance Williams-Great pick though again it doesn’t fill the safety position which to me is by far their biggest need. That’s being nitpicky though as after 2 reaches the Cowboys finally get a steal with Terrance being #46 on my board (ahead of Cordarrelle Patterson by the way) and his deep speed is just what the Cowboys offense could use. By the way I have Keenan Allen ranked ahead of Williams so that would be my pick at WR in this spot. Below is the full bio, go Cowboys!

Terrance Williams Baylor #2 6’2 208 Sr.

Senior Bowl: Day 1: No separation on post vs. BW Webb for PBU, no separation vs. Sanders Commings on slant for PBU, blew right past Bacarri Rambo on 9 route but overthrown-not even close, beat BW Webb on deep in yet dropped easy catch, struggled the most of any WR on Day 1. Day 2: PI on Marc Anthony on double move yet still had very nice high point catch for long gain, jammed by Webb but eventually got off it and his acceleration was too much on deep route-INC on overthrow, had great block on 1×1 drill vs. CB-best of group, he really improved and looked like a stud on Day 2. Day 3: Has inconsistent hands, yet has the ability to make a great catch, yet his size/speed ratio is the best of any WR here. In the 2012 Senior Bowl he started at WR, pressed by Dwayne Gratz and couldn’t get into route, little separation for 9 yd out vs. Jordan Poyer, 7 yd reverse successful only b/c of his speed.

Stats:

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2012

97

1832

18.9

12

2011

59

957

16.2

11

2010

43

484

11.3

4

2009

5

72

14.4

0

Combine: Tied for the 3rd smallest hands among WRs. 4.52 40 which is disappointing considering what I saw on film-great burst on film. Good hands on tip toe sideline drill. Nice adjustment on outside shoulder drill. Only dropped one but didn’t look smooth on gauntlet drill-body catches and the ball moved a few times. Dropped one and double caught another on gauntlet drill. Good cut and catch in quick out drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6020

208

31.25

8.75

4.52

11

32.5

911

4.32

7.01

Notes: In the 2011 Kansas St. game he was unable to get diving catch on 3rd and 5 that would have been tough but was catchable (2:30 1st). In the 2012 Louisiana Monroe game he showed great speed with 48 yd TD blowing through secondary, had a great 22 yd sliding catch on a post for a TD. He has NFL speed (4.4 at minimum), good hands, and has been productive. 4th round and could easily move up 9/28/12. 1stteam Big 12 in 2012. Led nation in receiving yards. In the 2011 TCU game had a long TD on a WR pass trick play early in the game then had 43 yd TD on 9 route getting a step on CB Greg McCoy (6:11 3rd). In the 2012 UCLA game he blew past CB Aaron Hester on 9 route for +50 yds-stepped out trying to avoid S otherwise an 80 yd TD, looks to have low 4.4 speed, scouts say he isn’t quite as fast as Kendall Wright. In the 2012 Texas game he outplayed Quandre Diggs getting 2 PI calls on quick slants and a +60 yd TD on a stop and go route that Diggs slipped on.

Overall: Terrance is the classic size/speed WR as he has small, inconsistent hands, doesn’t run great routes, and isn’t extremely quick yet he led the nation in receiving yards last year as he’s just so fast for a guy his size. At 6’2 208 he’s a legit 4.4 speedster (watch the tape not the 4.52 40 he ran at the Combine) and was the basis of the Baylor offense in 2012. He has a number of holes in his game and I’m not positive he’ll be able to work them all out but at worst he’ll be a capable #2 WR that can blow the top off a defense and give room for a #1 wideout to work and there’s enough talent in him that I could see him developing into a true #1. As such I’m keeping a high grade on him despite a mediocre Senior Bowl and a poor Combine as the kid is just too talented to not at least be a quality #2 for some NFL team. Early 2nd round as my #5 WR 4/20/13.

Later analysis: I love the Terrance Williams pick. He’s great value (2nd round grade on my board taken in the early 3rd), adds the deep speed to our receiver corp that was what I thought was missing, and has the size to play outside. Expect Williams to play outside and Miles Austin to move into the slot at times in 2013 so they can get their top 3 wideouts all on the field at the same time. Williams had a poor Senior Bowl but the man that led the nation in receiving yards in 2012 had a 1st round grade on many people’s boards at the end of the season and is a great find in the 3rd. For once this weekend I was able to say, “Great pick Cowboys!”

3rd round: JJ Wilcox-Let me start by saying that some people love him. Mayock has him ranked #68 while I have him ranked #170 and Gil Brandt doesn’t have him in his Top 100. To me it’s another reach but the kid does have potential so there’s a chance this one works out. My pick at safety would have been Baccari Rambo who was a late 1st rounder on my board but isn’t surprising that he’s still available as I liked him far more than most. So to recap I have Barrett Jones, Vance McDonald, Keenan Allen, and Baccari while the Cowboys selected Frederick, Escobar, Williams, and Wilcox at those same spots while addressing those same positions. Below is Wilcox’s profile:

JJ Wilcox Georgia Southern 6’0 213 Sr.

Senior Bowl: Day 1: Easily beat by good route of Tavarres King on out. Day 2: No separation vs. Russell Shephard on 9 route, way too much contact but in hip pocket of Michael Williams the entire time. Day 3: Good day in goal line drill. In the 2013 Senior Bowl he backed up at S, definitely a SS not a FS, good burst and strong hit at end of run, beat by Jack Doyle but overthrown, good tackle on PR cov.

Combine: Had a 4.57 40 which with his size (213 lbs) puts him as a safety not a CB. Was on offense until his senior season. He just didn’t look fast in his 40. Tight in hips drill. Not smooth at all in out and up drill. Perfect in team catch drill. Short arms.

HGT

WGT

Arms

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3Cone

6000

213

31

4.57

17

35

1004

4.09

7.02

Notes: Phil Savage considered Wilcox the best safety on the South roster at the Senior Bowl. Only played defense for 1 season.

Overall: A tall, athletic safety with good hands (former wideout) and very good lateral quickness JJ Wilcox has moved up draft boards after a solid Senior Bowl was followed by an impressive Combine. With only 1 season of experience at safety he’s raw and will likely need even more time to develop due to the level of competition he’s coming from yet the talent is there for him to develop into a starting SS. He lacks instincts for the position and wasn’t incredibly productive as a senior so I’m not as high on him as others are but he’s an interesting project with starter level talent if given time to develop. Early 5th round as my #18 S 4/18/13.

Later analysis: Going into the draft I had the top 5 needs of the Cowboys (in order) as safety, defensive tackle, right tackle, right guard, and running back. Assuming you consider Travis Frederick as a center and not a guard (something most do but Jerry Jones stated one reason he took Frederick is to add competition to all three interior line positions so who knows) then the Cowboys have only addressed any of the Top 5 needs (safety) and their 4 most valuable picks have been used. That is a bad scenario and makes me more hopefully than ever that they can sign a stop gap free safety like Charles Woodson after the draft as that position flat out scares me at this point. JJ Wilcox is a guy that many liked in the 3rd round but few saw as a Day 1 starter. I wasn’t as high on him as others were but the biggest issue with him is how raw he is as he only has been a safety for one season, played offense in his first 3 seasons in college. To me they have yet to add a starter to any of their 5 biggest need areas. That is a damning revelation about this draft for the Cowboys.

Later later analysis: 

In a glass half full summary of the Cowboys first two days of the draft we can say that Jerry addressed the interior line (a big need) with his first pick, added an extremely athletic backup TE that will allow the team to play two tight end sets (will help the RT in pass protection with a TE often staying in to block), added some much needed deep speed to a receiver corp that was lacking it, and added a playmaking safety that was well liked by many scouts after a very good Senior Bowl.

-In a glass is half empty summary of the Cowboys first two days of the draft we can say the Cowboys blew it by missing out on the steal of the 1st round when Shariff Floyd fell to them, made it worse by trading for below market value back in round 1, made it even worse still by drafting an interior lineman that most had a 3rd round grade on, then followed it up by taking a prospect widely regarded as the #4 TE despite the #3 still being on the board (Vance McDonald) and the #2 being chosen just a few picks earlier (no one would have been mad if they had chosen Ertz at #31 and Frederick at #47 but they instead got Frederick at #31 and Escobar at #47 which is a much weaker haul), made it a little better with the value selection of Terrance Williams (though he didn’t address a huge need), and then chose a raw safety that likely won’t make an impact until 2014.

You decide which narrative you think is the closest to reality. I already have.

Round 4: BW Webb-While most won’t know who this kid is let me just say this is a good pick. For the Cowboys and the way they’ve drafted I’ll definitely take good. The top CB on my board was Steve Williams from Cal (#11 CB) but not much higher in grade than Webb who was my #13 CB (#2 still available) so I really like this pick both value wise and fit wise. Webb is an incredibly quick, feisty CB that just lacks the pure speed to be a starter. As such he projects as a slot CB and will battle it out with Orlando Scandrick for that role. Hopefully by the end of the year they are happy enough with this kid that they can cut Scandrick and his terrible contract next offseason. Good job Cowboys!

BW Webb William and Mary 5’10 ¼ 184 Sr.

Comparison: Dwight Bentley

Senior Bowl: Day 1: Perfect cov on post vs. Terrance Williams for PBU, tight cov on 9 route vs. Tavarres King for INC, beat by Terrance on deep in (hold too), #1 CB on Day 1. Day 2: Solid cov vs. Connor Vernon on double move for INC, good jam of Williams but then beat deep-has 4.5 type speed. Day 3: Continued his strong play in the goal line drill. In the 2013 Senior Bowl he backed up at CB, missed tackle on Denard Robinson on 0 route for YAC, 30 yd PR showing good speed and quickness.

Combine: Had one of the most underrated Combines at any position with the best shuttle (3.84-1st among 60 DBs), best vertical (40 ½), and 3rd best broad (11’00). Average 40 though (4.51). Solid in turn and run drill. Even better the 2nd time. Good in hips drill. Good but not explosive in out and up drill. Very quick with nice burst in backpedal and run to sideline drill. Perfect in team catch drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5102

184

30.25

 

4.51

14

40.5

1100

3.84

6.82

Notes: 1st team All Conference each of past 3 seasons and ends with 9 conference awards to his name including 2012 Special Teams POY as a punt returner.

Overall: With the proliferation of slot receivers and spread out offenses BW Webb is a great case test to determine just how important a slot CB is to an NFL team. With only mediocre height (5’10 ¼), below average weight (184), and below average deep speed (4.51) he likely will never be a starting outside CB but with elite explosion and quickness (1st in vertical jump and shuttle among 60 DBs) he has all the makings of an outstanding slot CB. I love the kid as he has a chip on his shoulder to go with incredibly quick feet and very good ball skills yet I do question just how high I can rank the kid considering he projects as a career #3 CB. With the slot being a specialty position all it’s own now in the NFL I consider it paramount for teams to have a CB with the quickness to play the spot so he’s higher on my board than most have him. 3rd round as my #13 CB who has the makings of a great slot CB 4/20/13.

Round 5: Joseph Randle-So it wasn’t just a rumor it was the truth. Randle is a great value here (+73, easily the best value of any of the Cowboys picks to this point) and makes a lot of sense. Now I pointed this out earlier in my RB series that Randle isn’t the best complement to Murray but is a great backup to Murray in other words they have the same strengths (speed, receiver out of the backfield, elusive) and the same weaknesses (not powerful, not a great inside runner). At this point though you take him without a thought as it’s incredible value. Here is my post about Randle in my draft preview series about possible fits for the Cowboys:

Joseph Randle

Positives: A fast, athletic running back that would fit perfectly into a time share backfield. He’s dangerous in space and has very good hands so he fits a passing offense perfectly

Negatives: Murray has good hands and is good in space as well so they don’t really complement each other but more get in the way of each other. Randle is terrible as a short yardage runner and I see him being a career time share back and not a 3 down type.

Fit for the Cowboys: If the Cowboys want a player that can pick up right where Murray left off when he inevitably gets injured next year then Randle is their guy. If they want a guy that can fill in some of Murray’s holes and be a great one two punch with Murray then Randle couldn’t be a worse fit. I personally like him but don’t think he makes great sense unless the Cowboys could add another RB to their roster that is a bruiser type. Peyton Hillis is currently a free agent and he would complement both backs to a tee so that would be the type of move needed if they went for the pairing of Randle and Murray as Murray’s flaws are even more pronounced on Randle.

And here is the full profile of Randle (by the way he was the #1 RB available on my board as well so for once the Cowboys and I draft the same player. Not to sound cocky but that’s usually a good thing as the guys the past two years we’ve agreed on Dez Bryant and Morris Claiborne have worked out pretty well).

Joseph Randle Oklahoma St. 6’0 204 Jr.

Comparison: Laurence Maroney

Stats: Big 12

Year

Yards

Avg

TD

Rec

Yards

TD

Fum

2013

             

2012

1417

5.2

14

28

224

0

 

2011

1216

5.9

24

43

266

2

 

2010

453

5.6

2

37

427

1

 

Combine: Surprisingly poor 40 (4.63) as he looked 4.4 on tape. Lost 6 fumbles in last two seasons. Tripped in high leg then cut drill. Below average in 3 bag cut drill. Not ready and skipped in mini gauntlet drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6000

204

 

8.75

4.63

 

35

1003

     

Notes: Had a very nice freshman year with spot duty behind Kendall Hunter in ’10 (450 2 TD 5.6 ypc). In the 2011 Arizona game had a nice 1 yd TD as he jumped over the pile (11:30 1st), showed very good hands and fluidity as a receiver beating a DE to the corner, grabbing the ball in stride, and getting a 1st down (4:40 1st), has WR like soft hands and was used that way lined up wide and catching a quick hitch that he turned upfield for 12 yds (1:35 1st), good strength on 5 yd TD run hitting a LB at the goal line and staying on his feet for a rather easy run (13:30 2nd), great cut on defender making him fall down on draw play that netted him 23 yds (5:37 3rd), good inside run with defender bouncing off him and getting another 2 yds showing toughness (5:15 3rd), and showed his great receiving skills as he ran a seam route and was wide open yet also showed his lack of great speed as he easily was caught by defenders still getting a 63 yards though (13:00 4th). In the 2011 Texas A&M game he had a 20 yd run showing very good speed and quickness (11:50 1st), chop block (5:30 1st), good job extending ball out as he got tackled on 3rd and 2 for 1st (13:30 3rd), good juke of Terrence Frederick in open space reception getting 8 yds (4:44 3rd). In the 2011 Oklahoma game he had a 32 yd run through a huge hole showing good speed and almost going the whole way but safety had the angle, showed his good quickness and vision avoiding and juking defenders to get 26 yds up the middle where most would get 5-10, good hands and looked smooth catching ball out of backfield and taking it 20 yds, easy 15 yd run through huge hole, nice speed and vision cutting upfield on 30 yd run-did have a huge initial hole though.  In the 2012 West Virginia game he had great burst for 14 yds, back to back runs hitting someone and going back not forward-could struggle in short yardage, dropped easy dump off in flat, impressed with his burst every time, hit S hard in hole for YAC and sending him to sideline, good patience and avoided 2 defenders in the hole getting more yards than what was blocked. In the 2012 Oklahoma game he had nice cut on 6 yd run, strong leap into end zone taking the hit and keeping ball, juked S Tony Jefferson in flat for +20 yds on dump off, dropped slant in tight cov-would be TD, juked Jefferson in open field at end of +30 yd run for YAC, leapt a defender on inside run. In the 2012 Texas game he had a nice juke of S Kenny Vaccaro in open space then broke a tackle for 69 yd TD-great speed shown too, good speed on 27 yd run through huge hole, broke two tackles on inside run showing underrated power. With Weeden and Blackmon in the NFL they’ve gone to more of a running attack and he has been the workhorse with Jeremy Smith rarely being seen. His numbers could be huge this year and he could elevate his stock dramatically as he still has great speed and quickness 10/14/12. 1stteam Big 12 in 2012.

Overall: Joseph at 6’0 204 is a tall, undersized runner who has a great burst and often almost looks like he’s gliding on the field. He timed a disappointing 4.63 in the 40 but looks much faster than that on film and is very difficult to bring down in the open field. Unfortunately he isn’t a great inside runner as he doesn’t run with good pad level and rarely gets yards after contact in close quarters. My biggest complaint of his is that if he can’t juke a defender it’s basically over as he rarely breaks tackles and runs somewhat soft. Arguably the best attribute of Randle’s though is his hands as he has soft hands that easily catch the ball and he has experience in the passing game with 108 receptions the past 3 years. He won’t be a good inside runner or short yardage back but otherwise he has it all with good vision, good speed (not 4.4 but he plays 4.5ish), can make defenders miss, and has no history of injuries. Randle looks like a future above average starting RB albeit one who might need to be paired with a smash mouther runner to add the toughness that Randle lacks. Early 3rd round as my #6 RB 3/23/13.

Round 6: Devonte Holloman-This is another good pick, 3 in a row for the Cowboys on Day 3 of the draft, as I had him at #191 Overall but might have underrated him a bit. He was one of three or four guys that I thought I maybe underrated (JC Tretter, Reid Fragel, and a few others were on that list) and almost changed my grade on. He’s a hard hitting, versatile LB that played some safety at times for the Gamecocks and was all over the field. A good pick especially for their new 4-3 scheme which asks their linebackers to cover a lot of ground which is his specialty. I by the way would have gone with LB Kevin Reddick from North Carolina but Holloman makes sense here. A solid pick, Go Cowboys!

Devonte Holloman South Carolina #21 6’1 3/8 243 Sr.

Stats: SEC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

PBU

INT

TD

2012

55

2

8

2

4

3

0

2011

51

0

4

0

4

1

0

2010

69

0

2

1

3

2

0

2009

30

0

1

0

2

1

0

Combine: Good hands and quickness in backpedal drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3Cone

6013

243

32.5

4.76

15

33

905

4.26

7.3

Notes: #19 in ESPN 150 for ’09. In the 2011 Georgia game he showed good speed on a pursuit play from the backside catching RB Isaiah Crowell on draw play that would have been a first down if not for his great pursuit (3:42 1st). In the 2011 Clemson game he had very good coverage on post route vs. WR DeAndre Hopkins (6:05 4th). In the 2012 Tennessee game he showed drastically inferior speed to TE Mychal Rivera allowing +25 yd gain-looked completely unable to cover him. In the 2012 LSU game he had deflected pass in coverage reading QBs eyes. In the 2012 Florida game he had blitz up middle for easy sack. In the 2012 Michigan game he had tackle and FF in open space vs. scrambling QB-great strip, nice tackle on screen getting off WR block, blitzed off edge avoiding FB block to dive tackle RB for TFL-all over the field in 1st half. He’s all over the field yet his draft grade is difficult as he has S size but played LB all year essentially. His 40 will be huge for his grade. 5th round as of now but he could go much higher or lower depending on measurables 1/19/13.

Overall: Devonte is a unique player as he played a combination of WLB and SS and did it at +240 lbs. That versatility is rare and while I don’t foresee him playing SS in the pros I do think he could play any of the LB positions in a 4-3 and even play ILB in a 3-4 if necessary. His best positions will be either WLB or SLB in a 4-3 though as he will be a very good cover LB and be capable of handling a RB or TE in man coverage. In the end Holloman is a mid round LB with great versatility but without great athleticism and projects as an OLB in a 4-3 that will excel in coverage. 5th round as my #18 LB 4/14/13.

Draft Recap: In the past 3 drafts the Cowboys have been very good in the early rounds netting Dez Bryant, Sean Lee, Tyron Smith, Bruce Carter, DeMarco Murray, and Morris Claiborne. They’ve also been pretty terrible in the mid to late rounds drafting guys I’d never heard of such as Matt Johnson, Bill Nagy and Akwasi Owusu-Ansah or guys I’d heard of before but didn’t like such as Danny Coale, James Hanna, Caleb McSurdy, Josh Thomas, etc. This year’s draft was basically the exact opposite as I hated the 1st round pick and disliked the 2nd round pick yet the early 3rd rounder (Terrance Williams) was a steal and the late 3rd rounder (JJ Wilcox) made sense and was liked by others. Then the Cowboys followed it up with the best late round drafting  I’ve seen from them since 2008 when they took Tashard Choice (#3 RB for the Bills), Orlando Scandrick (#3 CB for the Cowboys), and Erik Walden (just signed a big money deal with the Colts as their starting 3-4 OLB) in rounds 4-6. The selections of BW Webb, Joseph Randle, and Devonte Holloman were each very good as they all addressed positions of need and netted them players at a point in the draft where people would consider them good value. You could argue that the Randle pick was one of the two or three best picks in the 5th round and I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say that about a 5th round pick chosen by Jerry. It’s sad that the Cowboys recent history of being so successful in the early rounds didn’t continue this year as they were close to having a great draft. Unfortunately the importance of nailing your first pick is so big that it will cast a shadow on this draft until Frederick becomes a legit starting center or guard. Even when that happens I’ll still always remember that we could have had Shariff Floyd instead of Frederick and Terrance Williams. Despite how good the #74 pick was for the Cowboys I still wouldn’t do that deal as Floyd was universally regarded as a Top 10 talent with most having him as a Top 5 player in this draft. To add him on a defensive line with DeMarcus Ware would have been special to see and I will always think of the 2013 NFL Draft as a missed chance by the Cowboys. That being said the picks got better as the draft went along and by Day 3 the Cowboys were actually making out pretty well. In all their haul includes a likely starting C or OG, a #2 TE that could allow them to use more two tight end sets, a speed receiver on the outside that will give Romo the deep threat he hasn’t had since Terrell Owens left, a raw but talented safety that will compete for a starting job if only due to the lack of competition at the position, a quick, undersized cornerback that will compete with Orlando Scandrick for the #3 CB role, a fast and elusive RB in Joseph Randle that will be superior to Felix Jones as the #2 RB, and a hard hitting, versatile LB in Devonte Holloman that will excel in coverage and on special teams. It all adds up to a pretty good draft, if you can just get yourself to forget what could have been at #18.

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