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Cowboys Potential Draft Picks: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State

We don't see Dez Bryant as a legitimate option for the Cowboys in this draft. Do you?

Yesterday we detailed why we believe that fans should continue to support wide receiver Roy Williams.  He will battle for his job in camp, and during that time we will find out what sort of fight and determination he truly has within him.  This season will determine the path of the rest of Williams’ career.  Is he a champion?  Only time will tell.

Should Williams step up in camp, he will be the Cowboys’ 2010 starting wide receiver opposite Miles Austin.  We are so sure of this fact that we have purposely avoided discussing first round receiver Dez Bryant because, well, we just don’t see him as a legitimate option for Dallas.  Bryant is simply too talented to fall to the Cowboys’ 27th pick on April 22 (even though we brought up the possibility in a hypothetical scenario).

Further, the Cowboys have so much money tied up in the wide receiver position (we are including Austin’s future deal) that paying another WR big-time money makes little cents (cents. . .get it?).

Dallas is also excited about the future prospects of Kevin Ogletree.  The second-year man out of Virginia has turned heads within the organization.  Will it be enough to win a starting job in 2010?  Drafting Dez Bryant would do nothing less than give Ogletree little opportunity to play for the next five years.  Who knows. . .perhaps the answer to the team’s perceived wide receiver woes is already on the roster?

Nonetheless, there are more immediate needs than WR.  Yes, we all want Williams to play up to his potential, but we feel fully confident telling you that the Cowboys will not draft a wide receiver in the early rounds of this draft unless he is a dynamic return man, i.e. Cincinnati WR Mardy Gilyard.

Because Dallas is hosting Bryant, though, and because we can all dream, Bryant is the feature in this edition of our Cowboys “Potential Draft Picks” Series.

Scouting Report

Bryant is an absolute beast.  There is simply no other way to put it.  He is ranked No. 10 in our latest Big Board, and he is only that low due to concerns about his attitude and work ethic.

Bryant is a bit of a mystery to us.  He does bone-headed things like show up to his Pro Day with no cleats or (allegedly) arrive late to games.  However, one look at the guy lets you know he is a hard-worker.  Everybody knows Bryant can play–the question teams must answer will be how much he loves football.

On the field, we are confident in saying Bryant is every bit as talented as Larry Fitzgerald when he left Pitt.  That is a gigantic statement, but this kid has gigantic game.  His game tape and production are off the charts.  He displays top-notch hands and run after the catch ability.

We loved Michael Crabtree coming out of Texas Tech last year, and we will tell you there is really no comparing him to Bryant.  Bryant is superior in every aspect of the game–he runs better routes and is even more dangerous once he gets his hands on the ball.

Bryant recorded varying forty times at his Pro Day–from 4.52 (which he ran twice) to 4.68.  We are unconcerned about that number.  He plays as fast as any receiver in this class and we have yet to see him get caught from behind.

Again, every concern about Bryant is an off-field issue.  If he can prove he has the requisite attitude and work ethic to succeed in the NFL, there is simply no way he drops to the Cowboys.

Projection

Bryant could go as high as the top 10 (Buffalo?).  Even if some teams are scared off by Bryant’s perceived attitude problem, we just cannot see him dropping passed New England’s 22nd selection.

Would Jerry Jones trade up if Bryant makes his way into the 20’s?  Perhaps we will get the opportunity to find out.

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March 31, 2010 Posted by | ---"Potential Draft Picks" Series, Draft | , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

2010 NFL Draft’s Future Best Players, Part I: Offense

With the 2010 Draft approaching quickly, we know a lot of you cannot seem to acquire enough draft-related information and predictions.  Today, we are detailing which prospects from this class will wind up being considered the best at their position once their careers are all said and done.  In Part I, we take a look at those players on the offensive side of the ball.

QB:  Tim Tebow (Florida)

Is WVU's Jarrett Brown the real deal? We believe so.

Tebow seems to polarize analysts and fans like no player we’ve ever seen.  Yes, his mechanics are off and he isn’t your “prototypical” NFL quarterback, but we know he is going to work as hard as he possibly can to succeed.

Sleeper:  Jarrett Brown (West Virginia)

Brown may have the strongest arm in this draft.  He has the skill set of Jamarcus Russell without the poor attitude.

RB:  C.J. Spiller (Clemson)

People will argue that Spiller will never be an every-down back in the NFL, but who is anymore?  He is lightning in a bottle, reminiscent of another C.J. who was drafted two years ago.

Sleeper:  Lonyae Miller (Fresno State)

Never heard of Miller?  He was Ryan Mathews backup at Fresno State.  At 221 pounds, he ran a 4.43 and posted 26 reps at the Combine.

WR:  Dez Bryant (Oklahoma State), Arrelious Benn (Illinois), Demaryius Thomas (Georgia Tech)

Notice all three wide receivers we listed have prototypical size and speed (perhaps with the exception of Bryant’s long speed).  The dominant wide receivers over the last decade generally tend to be of this body-type.  Our favorite:  Demaryius Thomas.

Tony Moeaki is a name most fans have never heard--yet.

Sleeper:  Dezmon Briscoe (Kansas), Mardy Gilyard (Cincinnati)

Briscoe is another huge pass-catcher, but Gilyard is undersized–a likely slot receiver at the next level.  Both recorded poor forty times at the Combine, likely causing their stock to slip.

TE:  Jimmy Graham (The U)

We aren’t nearly as thrilled about this tight end class as some other people.  We are low on Jermaine Gresham, Aaron Hernandez, and Dorin Dickerson.  Graham may just be more athletic than all three.

Sleeper:  Tony Moeaki (Iowa)

Moeaki is a late-round prospect, but watch out for this guy.  At his Pro Day, he recorded a 4.68 forty and a 36.5 inch vertical, all at 245 pounds.

OT:  Russell Okung (Oklahoma State), Trent Williams (Oklahoma)

Due to the Cowboys’ likely interest in an offensive tackle, we have studied a lot of tape of the top prospects.  Okung and Williams stand out as having the most consistent film of any we’ve seen.

Sleeper:  Vladimir Ducasse (UMass)

We have a feeling Dallas will address the interior line early in the draft, but Newhouse is an option later if they do not.

We love Ducasse.  His versatility to play possibly four (or even more) positions should vault him up draft boards.  We wouldn’t be surprised to see him go in the early second round.

OG:  Mike Iupati (Idaho), Jon Asamoah (Illinois)

Iupati will have to overcome a tendency to hold defenders, but he can also be dominant at times.  Asamoah may actually be a more likely prospect for Dallas later in the draft, assuming Iupati doesn’t drop to the 27th selection.

Sleeper:  Marshall Newhouse (TCU)

Newhouse has been rising up boards since the Senior Bowl.  He has the sort of size (326 pounds) Dallas covets in their linemen.

C:  Maurkice Pouncey (Florida)

Pouncey has been mentioned as the Cowboys’ selection in a couple of our mocks:  here and here.  We like him better than Iupati, even at guard.

Sleeper:  Matt Tennant (Boston College)

Tennant doesn’t display the versatility of Pouncey, but he could be an option in the later rounds for the Cowboys.

March 28, 2010 Posted by | Draft, Miscellaneous | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

March Madness: Dallas Cowboys Draft Pick Style (Elite Eight)

In the Sweet 16 of our Cowboys draft pick tournament, the field of was narrowed to just eight potential selections.  A few of the surprises from our first round were:

  • 13 seed USF safety Nate Allen upsetting 4 seed Rutgers offensive tackle Anthony Davis.  Allen has been soaring up boards and is now a realistic possibility for Dallas at pick #27.
  • 11 seed Boise State CB Kyle Wilson taking down 6 seed Texas safety Earl Thomas.  Wilson simply has a better chance of being available in the back of the first round.
  • 14 seed Michigan DE/OLB Brandon Graham overtaking 3 seed Maryland OT Bruce Campbell.  Graham is the “Cinderella story” of this tourney.

Remember, match-up “winners” are not necessarily the best choice for Dallas, but those which we consider most likely among the two.

Elite Eight

Taylor Mays is a possibility for Dallas, but much less likely than Mike Iupati.

Mike Iupati, G, Idaho

vs.

Taylor Mays, S, USC

  • Iupati blew by UCLA DT Brian Price in his first match-up, and he does the same to Taylor Mays here.  Iupati fills a need for Dallas, while Mays simply does not fit the Cowboys’ scheme.  Will anyone be able to take down Iupati?
  • Winner:  Mike Iupati

Maurkice Pouncey, C/G, Florida

vs.

13  Nate Allen, S, USF

  • Pouncey is a slightly under-the-radar player that many scouts believe could get selected before Iupati.  There is a chance Pouncey is off the board for Dallas.  If he does fall to the 27th selection, he constitutes good value, while Allen probably does not.
  • Winner:  Maurkice Pouncey

11  Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State

vs.

14  Brandon Graham, DE/OLB, Michigan

  • It is extremely difficult to determine a winner for this match-up.  We like both players as sleepers for the Cowboys.  Wilson would greatly enhance Dallas’ return game, while Graham is a player with whom coach Wade Phillips will likely fall in love.  Our winner is the player we see as having a more immediate impact.

    Are the #2 seed Odrick and the #1 seed Iupati on a collision course?

  • Winner:  Kyle Wilson

7  Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State

vs.

Jared Odrick, DT/DE, Penn State

  • Is it really possible that Bryant drops all the way down to the back of the first round?  Probably not, but it would be very difficult for Jerry Jones to pass him up if he does.  Odrick may or may not be the selection if he is still on the board, but he has a much higher probability of being available.
  • Winner:  Jared Odrick

There you have it–a sweep for the top-seeded players.  In part III of the series, we will detail the Final Four match-up, listed below.

Final Four

Mike Iupati, G, Idaho

vs

Maurkice Pouncey, C/G, Florida

11  Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State

vs.

Jared Odrick, DT/DE, Penn State

March 22, 2010 Posted by | Draft, Miscellaneous | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

March Madness: Dallas Cowboys Draft Pick Style (Sweet 16)

As the NCAA Basketball Tournament kicks off, we thought it would be fun to complete our own bracket of Cowboys’ possible draft selections.  Below is our “Sweet 16”–the draft prospects we view as the top 16 possibilities for Dallas in the first round.  This is Part I of a three-part series.

Each player is seeded No. 1-16.  Match-ups proceed just as in the NCAA tourney.  Match-up “winners” are not necessarily the best choice for Dallas, but those which we consider most likely among the two.

Idaho guard Mike Iupati is our #1 seed because he is such a popular selection for Dallas in mock drafts.

The Sweet 16

Mike Iupati, G, Idaho

vs.

16  Brian Price, DT, UCLA

  • In our first match-up, Idaho guard Mike Iupati faces UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price, the ultimate “sleeper.”  Many see Price as a three-technique player, but we think he could transition to a five-technique end for Dallas.  No #1 seed has ever lost in the real tourney, however, so Iupati marches on.

Taylor Mays, S, USC

vs.

Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma

  • In our closest battle of the Sweet 16, USC safety Taylor Mays faces off against Oklahoma tackle Trent Williams.  While we believe Dallas would prefer Williams, Mays gets the nod due to a higher probability that he is still available at pick #27.

Maurkice Pouncey, C/G, Florida

vs.

12  Charles Brown, OT, USC

  • #12 seeds are known to pull off the upset, but it doesn’t happen in this case.  We profiled Brown as a potential Cowboys draft pick, but his small frame makes him a less likely fit for Dallas scheme than Pouncey.

We just profiled Nate Allen and he is moving up draft boards quickly.

4  Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers

vs.

13  Nate Allen, S, USF

  • Our first upset of the tournament is a big one.  Anthony Davis, a player who is sliding due to work ethic concerns, cannot hold off a charging Nate Allen–a unique talent who some are now considering a late first-rounder.

Earl Thomas, S, Texas

vs.

11  Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State

  • The 6/11 match-up in our Sweet 16 features a dream scenario for Cowboys fans.  If Thomas and Wilson are somehow both available, Jerry Jones will do backflips.  Despite Thomas probably being higher on the Cowboys’ board and being a superior fit, Wilson wins this match-up due to a higher probability of actually being available.
  • Winner:  Kyle Wilson

3  Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland

vs.

14  Brandon Graham, DE/OLB, Michigan

  • Campbell as a #3 seed. . .what were the bracket-makers thinking!?  In any event, yet another upset occurs here as Graham–a player we see as the most under-the-radar possible Cowboys’ selection–overtakes Campbell.  Watch our for Graham come April 22nd.  You heard it here first.
  • Winner:  Brandon Graham

    Golden Tate has had a nice offseason, but we think Dez Bryant is the only WR Dallas would consider on round one.

7  Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State

vs.

10  Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame

  • This is a tough match-up because we see both players as unlikely to join the Cowboys.  Despite Bryant’s recent fall down some boards, we still think he will be gone by pick #27.  However, Tate is not a big enough game-breaker to justify Dallas passing on a player at a larger position of need.
  • Winner:  Dez Bryant

Jared Odrick, DT/DE, Penn State

vs.

15  Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers

  • We really like McCourty, so it pains us to kick him out of the tourney so soon.  Depending how the draft shakes out, though, we see Odrick as very likely to become a Cowboy.  We have been pushing his selection for weeks.

So there you have it.  In Part II of our March Madness Cowboys Draft Pick Tournament (should we have chosen a shorter name?), we will detail the “Elite Eight” match-ups, listed below.

Elite Eight (coming tomorrow)

Mike Iupati

Check back to see just how far sleeper Brandon Graham will go in our tourney.

vs.

Taylor Mays

Maurkice Pouncey

vs.

13  Nate Allen

11  Kyle Wilson

vs.

14  Brandon Graham

7  Dez Bryant

vs.

Jared Odrick

March 19, 2010 Posted by | Draft, Miscellaneous | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Iupati, Bryant, Odrick, Wilson: Who Do You Select?

It is Thursday night, April 22nd, and the Dallas Cowboys are on the clock in the 2010 NFL Draft.  By some stroke of divine luck, there are four stellar players left on the board:  Idaho guard Mike Iupati, Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant, Penn State DT/DE Jared Odrick, and Boise State CB Kyle Wilson.

The Cowboys have needs at all four positions, although some more than others.  So, who do they select?  The pros and cons of each player are listed below.

Mike Iupati

Pros

Iupati is the consensus #1 guard in this year’s draft, and the Cowboys brass are reportedly quite interested in him.  Current starting LG Kyle Kosier’s contract runs out at the end of this season, so Dallas will have to make the guard position a priority in the near future.

Cons

Because of the stellar play of the guards in 2009, Iupati would be unlikely to crack the starting lineup this season without an injury ahead of him.  Jerry Jones might want to secure a first round player with the ability to have an immediate impact in 2010.

There is also concern about Iupati’s inclination to hold defenders, a situation all too familiar to Cowboys fans.

Dez Bryant

Pros

Bryant is a physical freak and, in terms of pure talent, perhaps a top five player.  Although we do not see wide receiver as an immediate position of need, Bryant would probably be an upgrade over Roy Williams.  Combining him with Miles Austin would scare a lot of defensive coordinators.

Cons

There are a wealth of concerns over his attitude and work ethic, though, and a lot of scouts say he could drop out of the entire first round.  Bryant reportedly showed up late to practice and even games.

Further, rookie receivers rarely have an enormous impact on a team, so like Iupati, Bryant’s 2010 upside could be limited compared to other players.

Jared Odrick

Pros

Odrick is a personal favorite of ours.  He was a three-technique player at Penn State that would transition to the five-technique (defensive end) for Dallas.  Marcus Spears, Stephen Bowen, and Jason Hatcher are all restricted free agents, so Odrick could start as early as 2011.

He also has the versatility to be the backup for Jay Ratliff at nose tackle.

Cons

Odrick got arrested last March, so there are a few character questions.  He also may not get much playing time in 2010 barring an injury, and could take time to transition to a new position.

Kyle Wilson

Pros

Wilson is an incredible athlete, listed as the #1 cornerback and #8 overall player on our Big Board.  Wilson would come in and immediately compete with Orlando Scandrick for the nickel cornerback position.  Scandrick struggled some last season, and we gave him a ‘C’ in our cornerback grades.

Wilson’s true impact, though, would come on special teams.  He would be an upgrade at both the punt and kick returner spots.  We listed a dominant return man as the Cowboys’ top draft need.

Cons

Scandrick is not a poor player and we expect him to improve in 2010.  Remember, he played so well his rookie season that he earned the right to alternate starts in the beginning of the season with current starter Mike Jenkins.  Bringing in Wilson could set back Scandrick’s progress, although you can never have too many cornerbacks.

Wilson may also have the toughest time of all these players eventually cracking the starting lineup.  Iupati, Bryant, and Odrick could all be starters by 2011 at the latest, while Wilson might have to wait a little longer.

Who is the pick?

With the 27th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select. . . . . . . . . Kyle Wilson!

If these four players are somehow still on the board at 27, it will surely be hard for Jerry Jones to pass on Dez Bryant.  Still, we see Wilson as a unique talent without the character concerns.

Dallas could also pencil Wilson in to have an immediate impact (as a returner), something they probably could not do with the other three options.

March 17, 2010 Posted by | Draft, Miscellaneous | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments