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Draft Thoughts Part 1

April 11, 2016
  • Everyone is talking about the trio at the QB position (Wentz, Goff, and Lynch) yet I think Connor Cook is being overlooked. He’s a Matt Ryan level talent in terms of reading a defense, throwing open a WR and being able to run an NFL offense. Cook could start for a team on Day 1 and is a sleeper in this draft, which is rather confusing considering he’s been the star of a high profile program the past 3 seasons.
  • While everyone is talking about the trio at the top of the QB draft board I think there also is a trio at the top of the CB draft board (Ramsey by the way is a safety in my eyes). Vernon Hargreaves III, Mackenzie Alexander and Kendall Fuller all look like future starters. Alexander, despite being ranked 2nd by me in this group, actually has the highest upside but his 0 career INTs really bothers me as does his constant showboating and selfish attitude. I could see him becoming a locker room cancer during his career. Hargreaves and Fuller have a lower upside but are more stable personalities and when you’re talking about 1st round draft picks you’re talking about foundation type pieces so character is even more involved than in other picks. Also Hargreaves and Alexander are universally regarded as 1st rounders yet Fuller isn’t due to his injury plagued final season and his smaller size. If my team was seeking help at the CB position I would target Fuller as he could fall to the early to mid 2nd round which would be an absolute steal for a talent like him. He compares very favorably to Jason Verrett who is having a nice career with the Chargers.
  • I’ve only completed three positions yet already I’m seeing a trend of Ohio State players being overhyped. Eli Apple is the worst example in my opinion as I see him getting 1st round grades yet couldn’t find any playmaking skills at all from him. His highlight reel is probably the shortest I’ve ever seen for a player with his draft grade. I gave him a 3rd round grade as he’s a tall, fast CB measurement wise that didn’t really do anything in his 2 seasons at OSU. Cardale Jones, Von Bell, Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott, Darron Lee, Eli Apple, etc. The list of potential early round draft picks goes on and on. Remember that when Miami and USC were gushing with NFL talent there were quite a few busts. For every Reggie Bush there was a Dwayne Jarrett. For every Ed Reed there was a Mike Rumph. For every Bryant McKinnie there was a Vernon Carey. For every Carson Palmer there was a Matt Leinart. My point is that when college teams become uber talented, mediocre players look like future NFL stars because of how much talent is around them. I think there will be some busts in this Ohio State draft class and Eli Apple is my pick as the most likely candidate.
  • The Cowboys have talked about getting more INTs and improving their pass defense for years. It recently sunk in though how insane that talk is for a franchise that for the past four seasons has had a top 3 depth chart at CB with Carr, Scandrick and Claiborne. The definition of insanity by Albert Einstein is, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Yet below is the Cowboys rank the past four seasons for passing defense based on yards per attempt, a stat I highly emphasize:
    • 23rd (2015)
    • 20th (2014)
    • 26th (2013)
    • 27th (2012)

Seeing those stats it would be insane for the Cowboys to each year bring back the same personnel right? (I’m just focusing on the CBs but Barry Church has been a starting S each of those past four seasons too and JJ Wilcox has been for each of those past three seasons). Well this offseason they finally had a chance to get away from the Top 5 draft mistake that was Morris Claiborne and the 5yr $50.1 million free agency mistake that was Brandon Carr (such a horrible offseason) yet what did they do? More of the same of course by re-signing Claiborne and not cutting Carr. The Cowboys biggest issue is a secondary that is overpaid, gives up too many big plays and doesn’t create enough turnovers. This is a good draft to fix it as there are a number of guys that I feel are unfairly being pushed down draft boards. If the Cowboys could get 2 of these players I list below it could allow them to cut Carr this offseason and next offseason say goodbye to a Claiborne, Church or Wilcox. All three of those players are solid, mediocre starters so none are the cause of the problem by themselves but they are still part of the problem as there are no impact, turnover producing players in that secondary and it is the reason why Dallas has been 2nd to last in the league in interceptions 2 of those past 4 seasons. Change MUST be made and if the Cowboys somehow (draft one at #34 and move up into the middle of Round 2 for the other?) come out of the draft with 2 of these guys then the Cowboys will be more set in their secondary than at any time in the past half decade. Below is my list of potential steals at the CB or S position for the Cowboys to target starting at #34:

    • Kendall Fuller
    • William Howard III
    • Jalen Mills
    • Karl Joseph
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