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DALLAS COWBOYS

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2008 draft     2007 draft     2006 draft     2005 draft     

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2009 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
3 69 Jason Williams LB Western Illinois #7 OLB Round 2

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Williams is ideal for teams that value speed and athleticism in their linebackers.  He runs like a wide receiver.  Williams was a two-time All American at Western Illinois.  Oh, and for for those that will look at Williams as solely a chase and tackle backer and not a hitter, he forced 14 fumbles and is one of the stronger linebackers in this class. 
3 75 Robert Brewster OT/OG Ball State NR Late Round Value
4 101 Stephen McGee QB Texas A&M #8 QB Round 4

East West Shrine Game

McGee was another player who was said to have played well in the practices leading up to the game.  In the game he was uneven, but showed good mobility and made some nice throws.  He also had a couple of balls batted down at the line of scrimmage.
4 110 Victor Butler LB/DE Oregon State NR Late Round Value
4 120 Brandon Williams DE/LB Texas Tech #16 DE Round 5
5 143 DeAngelo Smith CB/FS Cincinnati #21 CB Round 5

Senior Bowl practice comment

Did not look good in coverage, especially against fast, quick receivers - gives too big a cushion.  Not a man corner, may be best at free safety.
5 166 Michael Hamlin SS Clemson #3 SS Round 3

Senior Bowl practice comment

Hamlin had no face time until day four when he flashed on a pass play and a run play in the 11 on 11's.
5 172 David Buehler K Southern Cal #2 K Round 5

East West Shrine Game

Buehler made a 49-yard field goal with ease, and had a number of kickoffs that reached the end zone.  This kid has a NFL-leg.

Combine Note

I don't keep workout stats for kickers, but Buehler had 25 bench presses and ran a 4.56 forty!
6 197 Stephen Hodge SS TCU NR Late Round Value
6 208 John Phillips TE Virginia #13 TE Round 5

Senior Bowl practice comment

Showed the ability to get open and make catches in the one-on-one drills.
7 227 Mike Mickens CB Cincinnati #12 CB Round 3

Senior Bowl practice comment

Tried to play with still sore knee, did enough for a later look.
7 229 Manuel Johnson WR Oklahoma #23 WR Round 5

Senior Bowl practice comment

Came in late and caught everything thrown at him, including some nice grabs.  Made no big plays but had the look of a reliable wideout.
FA ---- Travis Bright OG Florida State #10 OG Round 5
FA ---- Rudy Carpenter QB Arizona State NR Late Round Value
FA ---- Greg Isdaner OG West Virginia NR Late Round Value
FA ---- Greg Ogletree WR Virginia #27 WR Round 5

 

C+

2009 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Cowboys were tough to grade on many counts.  They didn't have a selection until the third round, they made some questionable selections in my mind with some of their earlier picks, but finished very strongly.

As far as releasing T.O. is concerned, the Cowboys did the right thing.  Look for Romo to grow up and take on a leadership role now that he doesn't have someone chirping in his ear and in the locker room.  This year T.O. will stand for Team Offense, not Terrell Owens.  By the way, I classify Owens as a great playmaker, not a great receiver.  While he makes big plays he also drops too many passes, and cuts routes short causing turnovers.  On first or second down I would look for Owens.  However, on third down, or key plays in the game, I would look for someone I know would be in the right place and would catch the ball.  If that sounds like Witten, you're right.  So T.O. complaining that Romo looked for Witten in these spots was complaining about Romo doing the absolute right thing.  And how will Owens be on his new team in Buffalo?  I'm waiting for a reporter to ask Owens this question, "Since early in your career you have been clearly the number one receiver on your team.  How does it feel being clearly the number two option in Buffalo behind Lee Evans?"  How Owens answered that question (important to use "feel" over how will you handle) would provide excellent insight into when and how (not if) the situation will blow up.

DRAFT PICKS

Williams was a very very interesting pick by the Cowboys.  The kid is a tremendous athlete.  He is also strong and a good football player.  I saw him coming into the league as an outside linebacker in a 4-3 defense.  He played outside in college, and while he can rush the passer, he is not the big, former defensive end type that the Cowboys typically employ outside in their 3-4 defense.  However, the kid has enough bulk and strength to play inside and long term that could be his position.  With Ware, Spencer, James and Williams, opposing offensives will never know where the pass rush is coming from.  Initially, Williams will be a terror on special teams. 

The Cowboys had Brewster rated more highly than I did. While he has the size Dallas likes up front, I'm not sure he will ever elevate his game enough to be a starter a team puts in the lineup and feels it doesn't need an upgrade.  At guard, Urbik was available and he is the type of player you plug into your starting lineup and like what you have for the long haul.  In addition, wide receivers Derrick Williams and Mike Wallace were available here and would have provided the Cowboys with weapons they could use immediately, and down the line could have been quality starting wide receivers.  For me, the intriguing selection would have been Roy Miller, a strong, athletic defensive tackle in college who could have transitioned into a top defensive end for the Boys in their 3-4 defense.

McGee was the second fastest quarterback in the draft behind Pat White.  Dallas needed a long term answer at backup quarterback behind Romo, and McGee will fill that role nicely.

Butler is the more traditional player Dallas likes in its outside linebackers.  While a productive sacker in college, I question whether he has the athletic ability to play outside linebacker in the NFL.   Personally, after selecting Miller  at pick #75, I would have come back with guard Seth Olsen or tackle/guard Jamon Meredith here.

Ten spots after selecting Butler, the Cowboys drafted a similar player in Brandon Williams.  Actually, I have Williams rated more highly than Butler because he has better size and can also play defensive end in a 4-3.  In my draft scenario for Dallas I would have been fine with them taking a shot with either Butler or Williams here.

Smith's best chance at corner was with a team that played the "Tampa Bay" style of defense.  I do not believe he has the athletic ability to be a starting corner for Dallas.  If the Boys wanted a corner here, Macho Harris was available and he is a kid I like.  Also, wide receiver Jarrett Dillard would have been a great selection here.  While a smallish receiver, this kid can sky and has tremendous hands.  As a free safety prospect, Smith does make some sense here.

Now starts the portion of the Cowboys' draft where, for the most part, I like what they did.  Hamlin is a solid player who was excellent in round five.  He will eventually push Sensabaugh, a player who I like a lot.  Hamlin is more football player than athlete.  Sensabaugh is more athlete than football player.  Both can get it done on the field.

When the Cowboys first selected Buehler I did a head-scratch.  Folk is one of the best kickers in the league (and is on my fantasy football team as well).  However, the more I thought about this selection the more I liked it.  Buehler is the rare kicker who is strong, fast and a good athlete.  He has a big time leg and gets great distance on his kickoffs.  As someone who lifted the bar 25 times (more than any player drafted by Dallas except Jason Williams who had 26) and ran his forty in 4.56, he will be a plus covering the kicks he doesn't kick out of the end zone.  I also wouldn't be surprised to see him on the punt coverage team should he be needed there in a pinch.

Hodge is another good athlete who will be a plus on special teams.  Personally, I liked Jamarca Sanford better at this spot both as a safety prospect and special teams player, but I cannot fault Dallas for selecting Hodge here.

Phillips will be the perfect number three tight end for Dallas.  He can block, he has surprising quickness, and good hands.  He won't play much, but will be a plus when he is on the field and will be a contributor if he sees the field because of injury.

Mickens was not a good pick.  He was a great pick.  A knee injury effected his post-season.  His workout numbers are not a true reflection of his athletic ability.  I had a third round grade on Mickens who is an underrated cover corner with a nose for the ball.  He is a better corner than Smith, drafted in round five, and I expect him to develop into a quality starting cornerback in time.

Johnson was another excellent pick.  The kid was a late add to the Senior Bowl and caught everything thrown at him during practice, including some nice grabs.  Johnson hurt his hamstring at the Combine and didn't workout before the draft.  This hurt his stock because teams needed to see his quickness and cutting ability numbers to know if he could get open regularly in the NFL.  From what I saw (I also would have like to see his numbers), I think he has the skill set to be a very good slot receiver for Dallas.  I look for him to be a surprise in camp and make the decision on the final receivers for roster spots a difficult one for the Cowboys' coaching staff.

COLLEGE STREET FREE AGENTS

Travis Bright was a nice signing by Dallas as a college street free agent.  As far as potential and talent, I like him more than Brewster.  He is stronger, quicker and more athletic.

Carpenter could develop into a serviceable #3 quarterback.  For now he is a camp arm, but it wouldn't surprose me to see him end up on Dallas' development squad.

Isdaner is a player I had rated very similarly to Brewster.  Withy Brewster's guaranteed money and Bright also on hand, Isdaner is probably playing for a development squad spot.

Ogletree is another interesting prospect.  Thought to be a, smart, possession receiver, he ran a 4.37 forty, a 4.08 short shuttle, and a 6.67 three cone.  With all the bodies at receiver, look for Dallas to "hide" this kids' skills and hope he lasts all year on their development squad.  If they are uncertain that they can, they might have to find a way to keep him on their roster.  I like Manuel Johnson and Ogletree is a similarly rated prospect by me.

For chart below: red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft
ARM-HAND relative to position, for ranges see ranking pages for 2009 draft

LAST NAME
at Combine
FIRST NAME SCHOOL HGT WGT ARM-
HAND
BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT LONG 3 CONE VERT BROAD
Williams Jason Western Illinois 6'1.2" 238 - 26 4.46 1.49 2.59 - - - 39" 10'9"
Brewster Robert Ball State 6'4.2" 325 L-M 23 5.29 1.78 3.06 4.76 - 7.68 30.5" 8'2
McGee Stephen Texas A&M 6'2.7" 222 L-M - 4.58 1.53 2.63 4.49  - 7.34 33" 9'4"
Butler (olb) Victor Oregon State 6'2.1" 241 XL-XL 24 4.72 1.60 2.72 4.40 - 7.21 33" 9'11"
Williams (de) Brandon Texas Tech 6'2.4" 261 M-M 18 4.78 1.56 2.76 4.49  - 7.23 33.5" 9'10"
Smith DeAngelo Ciccinnati 5'10.5" 194 S-M 17 4.50 1.50 2.63 4.26 - 6.81 32" 9'7"
Hamlin Michael Clemson 6'2" 214 L-L 17 4.57 1.56 2.71 4.42 - 7.14 37.5" 9'9"
Hodge Stephen TCU 5'11.5" 234 L-M 22 4.49 1.53 2.65 4.34 - 7.21 35" 10'2"
Phillips John Virginia 6'5.3" 251 XL-L 20 4.77 1.62 2.76 4.27 11.77 6.84 33.5" 9'4"
Mickens Mike Ciccinnati 5'11.4" 184 M-XL - 4.53 1.53 2.62 4.17 - 6.94 35.5" 9'10"
Johnson Manuel Oklahoma 5'10.7" 189 S-M - - - - - - - - -
Bright Travis BYU 6'4.3" 316 - 35 5.28 1.80 3.06 4.56 - 7.75 35.5" 9'0"
Carpenter Rudy Arizona State 6'1.5" 218 M-S 11 4.89 1.67 2.82 4.47 - 7.28 29" 8'4"
Isdaner Greg West Virginia 6'3.4" 325 S-L 24 5.28 1.78 2.99 4.75 - 7.73 27" 8'6"
Ogletree Kevin Virginia 6'0.4" 196 S-M - 4.37 1.55 2.52 4.08 - 6.67 36" 10'2"

2009 NEEDS PRIOR TO DRAFT AND FREE AGENCY
Major need
     Need     Upgrade possible     Depth/possible need     Not a need

QB Romo may not be winning the big games right now, but I have no doubt that he will be winning big games as his career progresses.  He is a very good quarterback who needs the team to get rid of T.O. so he can grow into more of a vocal leader.  T.O. is a quarterback killer, not just because of his selfishness, not just because of his spotty ands and rout-running, but because he makes it hard for a quarterback (particularly a young quarterback) to take charge of his team.  The Cowboys need better back ups than Johnson and Bollinger.
RB With Barber as a starter you need solid backups.  Not because of his talent but because of his reckless running style.  He is a top back.  I know the Cowboys fans were probably laughing at me when I said that the Cowboys should have drafted Johnson instead of Jones, and that Choice could be a better back for Dallas than Jones.  I don't look so foolish now.  Not that Jones played poorly.  He didn't, he played well before getting hurt.  With Barber, Jones and Choice the Cowboys are set at running back.
WR On paper, greatness.  In real life, a mess.  I would get rid of T.O.  When he called out Romo for throwing to Witten too  much in key situations, I would have said, "T.O. is a great playmaker.  When I want a big play, I look for T.O. first.  However, T.O. is not a great receiver.  He drops passes.  He doesn't always finish routes.  I'm not always confident he'll be where he is suppose to be when I throw before he's open.  Therefore, when I need to convert a third down, Witten is my guy."  Roy Williams has very good talent.  He won't show it until he becomes their #1 receiver.  Crayton is solid.  Austin has promise.  I would draft a young receiver to start as #3 and eventually replace Crayton as a starter, and of course, cut "the player."
TE Witten and Bennett is the best one-two punch at tight end in the league.
OL The Cowboys line looks better than it is in pass protection because of Romo.  Their interior line with Kosier coming back from injury is very good.  But it's time to replace Flozell Adams at left tackle.
DL Ratliff had a breakout season on the nose.  Spears and Canty are solid, but unspectacular players at end.  However, Canty is an UFA who will have suitors.  There is no starter waiting in the wings for him.  Depth needs to be addressed.
LB Ellis, Spencer and of course Ware give Dallas a terrific trio outside.  Bradie James had a monster year inside and deserved to go to the Pro Bowl.  Zach Thomas is an UFA who may look to go back to a team that plays a 4-3.  However, he played well enough for the Cowboys to resign him.  By the way here is a typical Jerry Jones situation.  One where it looks good on paper and for a time on the field, but wrecks team chemistry and growth.  If Ray Lewis an UFA isn't tagged and moves on, Jones could sign him, be applauded in the press, but stunt the growth of young Mr. James, a player who is working his way towards being the vocal leader of this defense.
DB Look for Scandrick, one of my underrated players in last year's draft to win the corner spot opposite Newman.  This will allow Henry to be the nickel, where he'll excel.  At safety, Hamlin is solid, but a strong safety who can cover and play in the box is needed.  It's time to move on permanently from Roy Williams.
ST Folk and McBriar are fine.  However, the Cowboys need an upgrade in their return game.  They tried with Pacman but that failed on many levels ("Levels, Jerry, Levels" - Cosmo Kramer). 

 

2008 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 22 Felix Jones RB/Ret 5'10.1" 207 Arkansas #7 RB Round 2
1 25 Mike Jenkins CR/Ret 5'10.2" 197 S Florida #5 CB Round 1
2 61 Martellus Bennett TE 6'6" 259 Texas A&M #3 TE Round 2
4 122 Tashard Choice RB 5'10.4" 215 Georgia Tech #9 RB Round 3

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Choice runs tough between the tackles and is a natural running back.  He makes sharp cuts and has good, but not great speed.  At minimum, Choice is the move-the-chains part of the two-headed running back in vogue in today's NFL.  Best case, he is a full time starter.
5 143 Orlando Scandrick CB/Ret 5'10" 192 Boise State #18 CB Round 4

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Scandrick started for three years at Boise State and had a great workout at the Combine.  He was thought to be just a straight-line speed guy, but his 6.83 3-cone tells a different story.  He is the type of athlete who a team will take a chance on earlier in the draft than many think, and based on his college performance, could be rewarded for taking that chance.
6 167 Erik Walden DE/OLB 6'2" 238 Mid Ten St   Free Agent
FA   Danny Amendola WR 5'10.4" 183 Texas Tech   Late Round Value
FA   Mark Bradford WR 6'0.6" 211 Stanford   Late Round Value
FA   Julius Crosslin FB/RB 5'11.5" 235 Oklahoma St   Late Round Value
FA   Keon Lattimore RB 5'11" 222 Maryland   Late Round Value/Free Agent
FA   Joe West WR 6'1.1" 213 UTEP   Late Round Value/Free Agent
FA   Dowayne Davis SS/FS 5'11.3" 202 Syracuse   Late Round Value
FA   Marcus Dixon DE/DT 6'4" 292 Hampton   Late Round Value/Free Agent
FA   Darrell Robertson DE/OLB 6'4" 255 Georgia Tech   Round 3

 

C+

2008 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Cowboys draft was so-so for the third year in a row.  Their war room misses Bill Parcells.  Jones was every draft guru's projection for Dallas in round one and they got him.  However, that doesn't make it the correct move.  Also, after trading Fasano, they had to grab a tight end early.  So instead of having Fasano as a backup tight end and a receiver like Manningham, Hawkins, or Caldwell, the Boys have Bennett.  Choice and Scandrick were good picks both in terms of talent and value.  Robertson, Davis and Bradford could be free agent finds. 

DRAFT PICKS

Felix Jones was a game breaker in college.  However, his workout numbers do not make me feel confident that he will be as dangerous in the NFL.  My pick would have been Chris Johnson.  I'll go far as to say Dallas passing on Johnson will be looked at down the line as the single biggest lost opportunity in the entire 2008 draft.  Johnson with his 4.24 speed, was the ideal fit for the Cowboys.  In addition to being an explosive outside runner, he has the skills to spilt out wide and catch the ball downfield.  He will be better in the New-Orleans-Reggie Bush-role than Reggie Bush.  The Cowboys signing of Barber to a big contract (and drafting of Choice) only reinforces my opinion.

Jenkins was an excellent selection.  He is strong and fast and has has good man cover skills.  He will be better on the outside than covering slot receivers because he is more fast than quick.

After trading Fasano, I have no argument with the selection of Bennett, who would be a better fill in for Witten's role should Witten go down with injury.  I would just rather have had Fasano and one of the receivers than Bennett.

If Barber gets hurt, look for Choice to carry the load, not Jones.  In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if Choice ends up splitting carries with Barber down the line over Jones.  Choice runs hard and is sneaky fast (note he is sneaky fast with similar forty speed to Jones who is suppose to have game-breaking speed).  

Scandrick was another good pick.  With his combination of speed and quickness he could be a long term answer for the Cowboys as a nickel back.

Walden is practice squad material.  He played defensive end in college but will be tried at outside linebacker in the Boys' 3-4 defense.  This is another spot where there was an ideal player on the board who I would have drafted if I were Cowboy management.  Josh Barrett is a big strong safety with excellent speed.  He could have offered the-box presence of Roy Williams and had upside in coverage because of his tremendous speed (4.33 in the forty).  He would have been worth a shot in round six.

COLLEGE STREET FREE AGENTS

Amendola is a polished receiver with good hands and below-average speed and athleticism.  He is the type who can hang onto a last receiver spot if he shows he can play on special teams because coaches have confidence he will run good patterns and hold onhto the ball if needed in a pinch.

Bradford is bigger, faster, stronger and more athletic than Amendola.  He is also a heady receiver.  At worst, he should spend a year on the Cowboys' practice squad.   He will need to show he is durable since he spent time on the shelf at Stanford.

Crosslin is a good goal line and short yardage runner.  He is not a top blocker, but has body and strength to develop.

Lattimore is Ray Lewis' kid brother.  He was productive in college and could be a consideration for the Cowboys' practice squad.

West has good hands and can make crisp, sharp cuts.  However, he will have his hands full with Bradford and Amendola also fighting for roster and practice squad spots.

Davis picked a good spot.  He could be a sleeper in Cowboy camp.  He has a nice mix of size, speed, quickness, strength and athleticism.  He could replace Davis as the Boys' backup safety/special teams stud.   He could also be more down the line.

Dixon has the size to be a base end in a 3-4 defense.  He will need time to develop and could be a priority for Dallas to place on their practice squad.

Robertson would have gone in round three or four if he was able to workout.  However, he was injured while working out for the Combine and teams needed to see Robertson because he was being projected to move from defensive end to 3-4 outside linebacker.  It wouldn't surprise me if he moves past sixth round pick Walden when healthy.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft
(blue college name indicates workout #'s include Pro Day numbers)

COMBINE
YES
FIRST NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT LONG 3 CONE VERT BROAD
Jones Felix ARKANSAS 5'10.1" 207 13 4.47 1.55 2.59 4.19 NA 6.90 34.5" 10'4"
Jenkins Mike S FLORIDA 5'10.2 197 18 4.38 1.47 2.53 4.40 NA 7.21 34" 9'9"
Bennett Martellus TEXAS A&M 6'6" 259 18 4.68 1.53 2.67 4.58 NA 7.64 34" 9'10"
Choice Tashard GEO TECH 5'10.4" 215 20 4.50 1.50 2.55 4.26 NA 6.87 37.5" 10'3"
Scandrick Orlando BOISE ST 5'10" 192 NA 4.32 1.46 2.49 NA NA 6.83 38.5" 10'5"
Walden Erik MID TEN ST 6'2" 238 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
Amendola Danny TEXAS TECH 5'10.4" 183 13 4.58 1.56 2.67 4.25 NA 6.81 31.5" 8'2"
Bradford Mark STANFORD 6'0.6" 211 19 4.49 1.59 2.66 4.26 NA 6.93 41" 11'1"
Crosslin Julius OKLAHOMA ST 5'11.5" 235 29 4.64 1.62 2.72 4.52 12.55 7.42 34.5" 10'1"
Lattimore Keon MARYLAND 5'11" 222 11 4.58 1.64 2.72 4.52 FA 7.20 35" 10'0"
West Joe UTEP 6'1.1" 213 20 4.51 1.53 2.62 4.33 11.66 6.96 32" 9'5"
Davis Dowayne SYRACUSE 5'11.3" 202 21 4.46 1.52 2.57 4.14 NA 6.88 34" 9'11"
Dixon Marcus HAMPTON 6'4" 292 21 5.14 1.71 3.00 4.56 NA 7.28 31.5" 9'3"

2008 NEEDS PRIOR TO DRAFT AND FREE AGENCY

DAL       Major Need          Need          Upgrade         Depth Need         Not a Need

QB  Romo will be Pro Bowl quarterback for years.  Johnson is  cagey old pro, but old is part of that description.  A third quarterback to groom as Romo's future backup should be added.
RB  Jones is a free agent and will be gone.  Barber is a restricted free agent who I can't see the Boys allowing to leave.  Thompson has had his moments but a scat-back type will be added to spell Barber.
WR  Owens and Crayton will be back.  Hurd showed some skills but is still not ready to be a #3.  Glenn is injured, may not be ready, and may be cut.  A slot receiver will be added as an upgrade over Hurd.
TE Witten is as good as they come.  Fasano can block, but hasn't been a reliable option in the passing game.  Curtis is intriguing.  A camp body could be added.
OL  Adams is a free agent.  Free could be given a shot to replace him if he leaves, but another tackle could be brought to camp to challenge him for the spot should Adams leave.  A backup guard will also be added.
DL This unit is deep but lacks a playmaker.  Ratliff could grow into that player, especially if Ferguson comes back and he is kicked outside.  The Cowboys could bring in a boom or bust type of player who will either be an upgrade or cut. 
LB Ellis, Ware and Spencer are a deep and talent trio outside.  James is solid inside.  Ayodele could be replaced.  He is just okay.  Burnett could be that guy, but also look for Dallas to add a player in the offseason to compete with the two of them to start.  Carpenter, a disappointment so far, may be cut and end up with Miami.
DB Newman is a good player, even if overrated a bit.  Henry is solid, but is the type of corner teams look to upgrade, but are happy with if he plays. Look for the Boys to draft a young corner to play the nickel and challenge Henry down the line.  Hamlin had a good year, which surprised me since he gave up the big play while playing free safety in Seattle.  My comment, therefore, is show it to me again.   Williams' rep has outdistanced his performance on the field.  He still packs a wallop, but can get beat in coverage and uses the horse collar tackle too often.  It may time to look for a replacement.  His rep will not match his performance when it comes time for a new contract.
ST Kicking and punting are in excellent hands.  A punt and kick returner with the talent to take it the distance is needed.

2007 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 26 Spencer, Anthony DE 6-3 266 Purdue # 5 DE Round 2
3 67 Marten, James OT 6-7 303 Boston College # 5 OT Round 2
4 103 Stanback, Isaiah QB 6-2 216 Washington Late Round Value
4 122 Free, Doug OT 6-7 318 Northern Illinois #9 OT Round 4
6 178 Folk, Nick K 6-1 215 Arizona # 3 K Late Round Value
6 195 Anderson, Deon FB 5-10 236 Connecticut Late Round Value
7 212 Brown, Courtney CB 6-1 205 Cal Poly #22 CB Round 4
7 237 Ball, Alan CB 6-1 183 Illinois Off My Board
FA Battle, Jackie RB 5-11 229 Houston #9 RB Round 3
FA Coleman, Alonzo RB 5-10 207 Hampton #13 RB Round 4
FA Dagunduro, Ola DT 6-2 313 Nebraska Late Round Value
FA Hannah, Rodney TE 6-6 245 Houston Late Round Value
FA Harrington, Dedrick ILB 6-3 248 Missouri Late Round Value
FA Moore, Matt QB 6-3 192 Oregon State Late Round Value
FA Philips, Blair ILB 6-1 243 Oregon Late Round Value
FA Rissler, Kyle OG 6-3 307 Florida Late Round Value
FA Turner, Robert OG 6-4 318 New Mexico Late Round value

 

C+

2007 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Cowboys so-so draft was helped by some very good college street free agent signings.  They did get very good value with Courtney Brown in round seven.

The Cowboys trade with the Browns, while netting them good value, resulted in them losing the player I thought was a missing piece for their defense, free safety Brandon Meriweather.  I know the Cowboys signed Hamlin this offseason, but Seattle was fine with him leaving (replaced with Grant) because they experienced some of the same bad experiences as the Cowboys.  The Seahawks gave up some big plays in the passing game just like Dallas.  Hamlin's strength is not pass defense.  In fact, Hamlin is a solid NFL starter, but he is a hard hitting safety who can make big plays.  He is closer in skill set to Roy Williams than to a player like Ed Reed.  Meriweather is a free safety with excellent cover skills, is a hard hitter, and makes big plays.  He would have plugged the biggest hole on the Cowboys' defense.  Only time will tell if the Cowboys have plugged their hole at safety with Hamlin.  That said, the Cowboys got a good player in Spencer, who I loved as a 4-3 speed rushing end, but have some questions as to how well he will adjust to playing outside linebacker in a 3-4.  He is very strong with good speed, for an OLB in the 3-4, but has only average quickness and athleticism when compared to others who have been top players at that position.  Marten was a very good pick in round three.  I had a second round grade on this underrated prospect.  His upside is limited, but so is his downside.  He will be a very steady, reliable tackle for a long time in the NFL.  Stanback will start off at quarterback, but his lack of accuracy coupled with his athleticism will result in him eventually being moved to wide receiver.  As a quarterback, street free agent Matt Moore could have a higher upside.  As a receiver, while I like Dallas Baker a bit better, there was no obvious "should have drafted" player that Dallas passed at the position.  Stanback could be a contributor at wide receiver.  Free is a quick, athletic tackle who needs to get stronger.  However he has the frame and the skills to be a very good tackle if he can learn to play more physically.  Folk was my third ranked kicker in the draft.  He gets good distance on kickoffs, is very accurate under 40 yards, and can fill in as punter.  He will challenge Gramatica for the job in camp.  Anderson is a good short yardage runner and has plus hands as a receiver out of the backfield.  He needs work on his blocking but is a solid special teams player.  In my opinion, the Cowboys (and others) passed on the best fullback in the draft, Cory Anderson.  Brown was a steal in round seven, although coming from Cal Poly he may have to apprentice for a year because of the jump in competition before getting on the field on defense.  Brown has excellent size for a corner, top speed and quickness, and tremendous athleticism.  However, he is not just an athlete playing football.  He was one of the better players in his league and has a nose for the ball.  Track him over the next few years, he could be a nice surprise for the Boys.  Ball is also a tall corner who was productive in college.  However, he will need to bulk up and prove he can contribute on special teams to stick.

Running back Jackie Battle is the prize of the college street free agent signing period.  I had a third round grade on him, but was not overly surprised he went undrafted.  Last year I had a third round grade on Mike Bell and he did fine for Arizona.  Battle will be better than Bell.  This back has workout numbers as good as Combine star Chris Henry.  However, he was a more productive back in college.  With Jones and Barber around, he may have to wait a year before he gets on the field, but if he shows Dallas what I think he will, one of those two could be traded down the line.  Coleman was another nice signing, but unless the Cowboys make a move with Jones or Barber he will probably land on their development squad.  That may be perfect since he needs some work on his receiving.  Coleman has the tools to be a very good change of pace back.  He has good speed and quickness, and is a very strong kid.  Dagunduro is a nose tackle who can occupy tacklers and plug the middle.  He could stick as a backup who also plays on goal line defenses.  If not, he is certainly worth a shot on the development squad.  Hannah switched from basketball to football his senior year.  He has good size and athleticism and if he shows something in camp could find a spot on the Cowboys' development squad, or even stick as the third tight end.  Harrington is a good character guy who plays hard all the time, and has good athleticism and college production.  His best shot in the NFL was as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense and that is what the Cowboys' run.  The odds may be against him, but he will make it difficult for the team to cut him.  Moore is a quarterback some scouts loved.  He was a late bloomer in college.  If he continues to improve he could surprise.  If he doesn't take the next step he could be out of football quickly.  He needs to improve his decision-making and accuracy, but has a NFL arm.  Phillips is a heady player who, if he sticks, will be a very good special teams player. Rissler is a strong,  undersized guard who has also played center and could stick some day as a versatile backup.  Turner played well at the East West Shrine Game.  He is a quick guard who will have to prove he can keep his quickness as he bulks up in order to be viewed as a legitimate NFL prospect.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

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SPENCER ANTHONY PURDUE DE/OLB 6'2.7" 261 30 4.69 1.56 2.74 4.43   7.14 32.5" 9'4"
Many have Spencer projected best as an OLB in a 3-4 defense.  I do not.  Spencer has the strength and speed to be a very gpood end in a 4-3, while his quickness and athleticism are better served at end than at OLB in a 3-4.  He is a very good player but coulod be overdrafted by a team looking at him as an OLB in a 3-4 defense.

COMBINE
YES

 

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MARTEN JAMES BOSTON COL OT 6'7.4" 309 25 5.08 1.72 2.90 4.54   7.68 30.5" 8'4"
Matren is an underrated prospect.  He has excellent quickness and very good feet for a tackle.  He has the look of a player who is plugged in as a right tackle at some point early in his career, plays effectively, and stays there for a long time (unless replaced with a Pro Bowl type talent).

COMBINE
YES

 

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STANBACK ISAIAH WASHINGTON

QB/WR

6'2.3" 216 22                
Stanback is more athlete than quarterback.  He never completed more than 55% of his passes in any year in college.  Long term he could be a better receiver than QB in the NFL. 

COMBINE
YES

 

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FREE DOUG NORTHERN ILLINOIS OT 6'6.2" 324 22 5.19 1.76 2.96 4.53   7.38 30" 9'3"
Free is a quick, athletic tackle who may be best suited for a zone blocking team.  He is not a physical blocker but does have the fram to add muscle and develop into one.

COMBINE
YES

 

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ANDERSON DEON CONNECTICUT FB  5'10.6" 243 23 4.68 1.62 2.74 4.43   7.27 33" 9'6"
Anderson is a solid short yardage runner with good hands.  He needs work on his blocking, but is a strong kid.  He is also an excellent special teams player.

COMBINE
NO

 

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BROWN COURTNEY CAL POLY CB 6'1.3" 200 15 4.32 1.46 2.48 4.07   7.10 41.5" 10'11"
Brown was one of the best players in his league and has a tremendous combination of size, speed, quickness and athleticism for a cornerback.  He also showed a nose for the ball.  He could be a real sleeper in the draft.

COMBINE
NO

 

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BALL ALAN ILLINOIS CB 6'1.5" 183 11 4.52 1.57 2.58 4.18   6.75 36" 10'4"
Ball is a productive college cornerback who will need to bulk up to stick in the NFL.  Ball is more quick than fast and will have to make a living on special teams.

COMBINE
NO

 

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BATTLE JACKIE HOUSTON

RB

5'10.5" 229 19 4.42 1.52 2.55 4.11   6.51 41" 10'11"

PLAYER WHO COULD HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN PLAYERS SELECTED AHEAD OF HIM in the DRAFT

Sshhhh.  Everyone knows about Chris Henry's workout because he did it at the Combine.  He will now go on day one.  However, check out Battle's numbers.  They are as impressive as Henry's numbers.  The difference is, however, that Battle had better production in college.  He ran for just under 1000 yards, with a 5.1 yard per rush average, and 15 touchdowns.  He is big, strong, fast, quick, and athletic.

COMBINE
YES

 

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COLEMAN ALONZO HAMPTON

RB

5'9.7" 207 27 4.49 1.54 2.59 4.12   7.40 32.5" 10'0"
Coleman has good speed and quickness and could be a solid change of pace back in the NFL.  He is also a very strong kid which makes up for his short stature.  He will need to work on his receiving, however, to be of real value to his NFL team.  I believe he will be able to do that.

COMBINE
NO

 

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DAGUNDURO OLA NEBRASKA DT/NT 6'1.7" 313 26 5.15 1.68 2.89 4.73   7.53 26.5" 8'5"
Dagunduro is a big-body defensive tackle who can plug the middle and occupy tacklers.  He is a good fit as a backup nose tackle, who can also help on goal line defenses.

COMBINE
NO

 

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HANNAH RODNEY HOUSTON

TE

6'6.2" 245                36"  
Hannah is a recent convert to football from basketball.  He is new to the position but worth a shot in camp to see if he can be further developed.

COMBINE
NO

 

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HARRINGTON DEDRICK MISSOURI ILB 6'3.1" 248 26 4.68 1.60 2.62 4.28   6.90 36" 9'11"
Harrington is an excellent character guy who plays hard and is a good athlete.  He is best suited as an inside linebacked in a 3-4 defense.

COMBINE
NO

 

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MOORE MATT OREGON ST

QB

6'3.3" 192   4.92 1.70 2.81 4.46   7.25 26" 8'5"
Moore is quarterback that some like a lot.  He was a late bloomer in college who at times shows excellent skills, and at other times makes poor decisions and appears inaccurate.  If he continues his improvement he could surprise.  He is worth a shot late in the draft.

COMBINE
YES

 

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PHILLIPS BLAIR OREGON ILB 6'1.1" 243 23 4.77 1.59 2.60 4.34   7.01 32.5" 9'2"
Phillips is a heady player who plays better than he works out.  He should be a solid special teams player which will help him in hois effort to stick on a NFL roster.

COMBINE
NO

 

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RISSLER KYLE FLORIDA OG/C 6'2.7" 307                  
Rissler is a versatile lineman who could stick as a backup because he can play guard or center.  He has good strength, but not ideal size.

COMBINE
NO

 

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TURNER ROBERT NEW MEXICO OG/OT 6'3.7" 318                  
Turner had a nice post season which should get him on a NFL team's radar.  He has a good frame and has can add more weight to settle in as a guard.  However, his main strength is quickness and he will have to show he can keep his quickness if he adds bulk.

 

2007 TEAM NEEDS PRIOR TO THE DRAFT and FREE AGENCY
major need     need     depth/possible need     not a significant need

QB Romo will be fine, Bledsoe will be gone.  Depth is needed.
RB Jones and Barber are an excellent tandem.  If one is moved, depth will be needed.
WR Owens could implode, Glenn may be too expensive to keep, Crayton will improve, another body is needed.
TE Witten and Fasano are an excellent 1-2 punch, but Dallas uses a lot of 2 TE offenses so another TE would help.
OL Columbo and Gurode are UFA's, Rivera is facing surgery, the line needs to improve its pass blocking.
DL Dallas has good players along the line although a young nose tackle should be added.
LB Ware is a budding star, Carpenter came on strong, James is solid, another OLB should be added.
DB A cover safety and depth at corner with Glenn getting older are needed.
ST Gramatica is an UFA but where will he go?  A return man to relieve Newman and return kicks would be nice.

2006 DRAFT PICKS
Links go to write-ups at NFL.com

Dallas
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 18 Carpenter, Bobby OLB 6-3 255 Ohio State # 4 OLB Round 1
2 53 Fasano, Anthony TE 6-4 258 Notre Dame # 6 TE Round 3
3 92 Hatcher, Jason DE 6-6 283 Grambling State Late Round Value > Round 4
4 125 Green, Skyler WR 5-9 191 Louisiana State Late Round Value > Round 4
5 138 Watkins, Pat FS 6-5 212 Florida State # 3 FS Round 2
6 182 Stanley, Montavious DT 6-2 314 Louisville Late Round Value > Round 4
7 211 McQuistan, Pat G 6-6 314 Weber State   > Round 4
7 224 Whitley, E.J. C 6-5 301 Texas Tech Late Round Value > Round 4
  FA Austin, Miles WR 6-2 205 Monmouth Late Round Value > Round 4
  FA Parham, Kai ILB 6-3 244 Virginia # 7 ILB Round 4
  FA Butler, Quincy CB 6-1 182 TCU Late Round Value > Round 4
  FA King, Marcus CB 5-10 199 Missouri Late Round Value > Round 4

 

C

2006 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

In my opinion the Cowboys reached for all picks in rounds 2 through 4.  However, I understand the reason for each of those selections.  Dallas did get great value with Watkins in round five.

Carpenter was a solid pick in round one.  While some draft analysts thought Dallas would go with Lawson at this spot, Lawson is too similar to Ware.  Carpenter is Parcells' Banks playing opposite Ware who has the LT role.  If Parcells played the 3-4 like the Steelers' 3-4, then Lawson could have been the selection.  Carpenter is an all around linebacker who will get his share of sacks, can pursue ball carriers and make tackles, and can hold his own in pass defense.  Unlike many of the converted ends playing rush outside linebacker in a 3-4, Carpenter has true linebacker skills and could have played outside if a 4-3 team selected him as well.  I had a high third round grade on Fasano so he was a bit of a reach, but is the ideal fit for Dallas' two tight end offense.  He is a good blocker and a good receiver, but lacks the ability to get deep because of limited speed.  Hatcher was a reach in round three.  However, a number of teams were said to be looking at him because he has the perfect skill set to develop into a long term 3-4 defensive end.  However, he is far from a sure thing.  With Spears and Canty added in the draft last year, the Cowboys can give Hatcher time to develop.  Skyler Green was also a reach.  However, the Cowboys need a return man and that is Green's strength.  Dallas will also look at Green as a potential third receiver, and while he may be okay in that role, he will not be good enough to be a long term player at that position.  Now some good news.  Watkins was an out and out steal in round five.  Watkins has excellent size, is very fast, and is a great, not good, athlete.  He is a willing tackler, can pick off passes, and has plus skills in coverage.  Look for Watkins to win the Cowboys' starting free safety job at some point this year.  While many were labeling Stanley a late round steal, he went about where I though he would in the draft.  Stanley's best chance for NFL success is as an inside rusher in the nickel.  He could perform that role well, but this is the right spot in the draft for a player with that limited skill.  I do not see him as a nose in th3 3-4.  Pat McQuistans' brother Paul is the better prospect.  While he is worth a shot, there were other tackles I liked better at this spot, including Martin from Virginia Tech, and Morris from North Carolina State.  Whitley is a developmental prospect at guard.  He is currently a better pass blocker than run blocker.

The Cowboys signed four college street free agents of note.  The first is WR Austin.  Austin has nice size and leaping ability, soft hands, and better speed than many thought he had.  Austin is three years away from significant playing time on offense, but could develop into a better receiver than Green.  Parham is a perfect fit as an inside linebacker in a 3-4.  He has good size, is very strong and can play odd blockers to make tackles, but is slow.  He could develop into a quality sub for the Cowboys.  Butler has very good cover skills but lacks the speed needed to be a starting corner.  He could stick as a special teams performer and help as an extra defensive back in zone coverage schemes.  He could also be moved to free safety.  King is a  small corner who has good coverage skills and is more quick than fast.  He could battle Butler for one of the last spots on the bench as an extra defensive back and special teams player.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft

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Carpenter Ohio State 6'2.4", 256 4.66     4.31   6.88 20      
OLB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Carpenter is a steady player who is always in the right position to make plays.  He gets sacks without big-time speed, and plays the run well.  Carpenter has played the role of rush linebacker, and sideline to sideline tackler in college and perfromed well in both roles.
Gil Brandt, NFL.com - Carpenter looked good in position drills at his Pro Day.
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Fasano Notre Dame 6'4.1, 259 4.71     4.34   6.94 19 33.5" 9'4"  
TE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Fasano is a traditional, very reliable, move-the-chains, good blocking tight end.  He does not have the speed of the other top tight ends, but could be the best bet for a team that wants a tight end to block in the running game as well as being a pass-catching threat.
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Hatcher Grambling St 6'6", 284 4.91 1.72 2.89 4.50   7.68 28 35.5" 9'5"  
DE
Butch Davis, NFL Network - Hatcher has the size and strength to develop into a solid 3-4 defensive end as well as an end in a 4-3.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Hatcher is a developmental project with good upside.  He projects best as a 3-4 defensive end because he has good size and strength, but limited speed.
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Green LSU 5'9.1", 192 4.44 1.57 2.65 4.20   6.84   34" 10'0"  
WR/RET
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Green is a return man as well as a potential slot receiver.  While I read that some coaches liked him, I didn't see anything to make him stand out in the Senior Bowl practices I saw, or the game itself.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Green's best chance to stick on a NFL roster is as a return man.  His upside on offense is as a slot receiver in multiple receiver sets.  Even as a slot receiver, his speed and quickness are not not notch, and he is not a home run threat.  During his last two years in college he only started 8 of the 23 games he played, and averaged 28 catches a year and less than 9 yards a catch.
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Watkins Florida State 6'4", 211 4.42 1.56 2.64       14 41" 11'1"  
FS
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Watkins looked good in coverage at Senior Bowl practices.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Watkins is an underrated prospect.  He is a playmaking safety with good cover skills.  Watkins can tackle (77 tackles his senior season), plays well in pass coverage (15 passes broken up over his last two seasons), and can pick off passes (7 interceptions over his l;ast two seasons).
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Stanley Louisville 6'2", 313 5.24 1.83 3.06 4.62   8.08   29" 8'10" 8
DT
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Stanley's best chance for a job in the NFL will be as a inside rusher in the nickel defense.  Stanley had 9.5 sacks his last two years in college.
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McQuistan, Pat Weber State 6'6.1", 314 5.10     4.84   7.72 25 28.5" 9'0"  
OT - NOT AT COMBINE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Not considered as good a prospect as his brother, a team may take a chance on him late since he has similar physical skills.  However, his brother's strength is in the effort he gives more than his athletic ability.
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Whitley Texas Tech 6'5", 309 5.37 1.88 3.12 4.80   7.53 16 25" 8'5"  
OT/OG
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Is more advanced in pass protection than run blocking because of the offense Texas Tech played.
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Austin Monmouth 6'2.1", 205 4.47 1.56 2.64 4.14 11.30 7.09   40.5" 10'3"  
WR
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Austin has a nice mix of size, speed, and leaping ability.  He also has decent quickness and is a good athlete. While Austin played at a small school, he has good base skills with which to work, and is a solid developmental prospect.
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Parham Virginia 6'2.7", 244 4.91 1.70 2.89 4.36   7.36 30 35" 9'9"  
ILB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Parham is the poster child for an inside linebacker made for a 3-4 defense.  He has good size, is very strong so can play off blockers, but is slow.
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Butler TCU  6'0.7", 182  4.65     4.34   6.90  14 37" 10'1"  
CB - NOT AT COMBINE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Butler showed good cover corner skills at the East West Shrine Game.  He was one of the best defensive players in the game.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Butler has very good cover corner skills but is slow.  He could stick as a special teams player and backup at safety.
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King Missouri 5'9.4", 199 4.54     4.08 11.36 6.61 13 33.5" 9'5"  
CB - NOT AT COMBINE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - King had an int in the Hula Bowl.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - King is a small corner with good quickness and cutting ability.  However, he does not have top speed and is not a great athlete. King has the look of an extra corner and special teams performer.

 

2006 TEAM NEEDS
prior to free agency

DAL
QB Bledsoe is okay for next year, and maybe one more, but Romo/Henson are backup-types long term.  A young player to groom, or a veteran with some experience to serve as Bledsoe's backup would help.
RB Jones or Barber could carry load.  They are an excellent one-two.  Thompson is a solid #3 as well. Polite is a good young fullback.
WR Glenn had a nice year, but can he do it again?  Johnson is getting costly for a possession receiver.  Depth is questionable.  A good receiver with starting potential is needed, as is another body to compete with Copper, Crayton, et all.
TE Witten is fine.  Campbell is an UFA and if he leaves, a blocking TE will be needed.
OL While the names are there, the production has not lived up to expectations.  Giving up 50 sacks, and averaging 3.6 yards per rush is not good enough.  RT Petitti was up and down as a rookie, so a tackle to compete with him would be beneficial.  At guard, Allen was voted to the Pro Bowl, but isn't consistent and has an inflated cap number.  Rivera should be better in year two.  Johnson will be a very good player at center.  Gurode has promise, hasn't lived up to his promise and is an UFA.
DL Good young talent in Spears and Canty at end, and solid vet in the middle in Ferguson.  Ellis has been relegated to pass rush specilist, Glover doesn't fit and could be let go.  Depth is needed.
LB James inside, Ware outside are set.  Shanlee and Fowler battle to replace Nguyen, I like Shanlee better, but the answer could be someone not currently on the Cowboy's roster.  Futija is a nice option at OLB, but he is an UFA.  Singleton may have played his last game as a Cowboy.
DB The Cowboys are set at corner with Newman, Henry and Glenn.  Williams is set at strong safety.  Davis is replaceable at free safety.  Beriault is a football player, but is more of a strong safety type than free safety.  The Cowboys could bring in help at free safety.
ST The Cowboys need upgrades in their kicking game (both punter and field goal kicker), although McBriar is certainly an acceptable punter.  Thompson is a good kickoff returner, Crayton is just okay as a punt returner.

 

2005 COLLEGE DRAFT

Dallas - links below go to NFL.com reports Jaybird Jaybird
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Ranking Value Board
1 11 Ware, Demarcus DE 6-4 247 Troy State # 2 Hybrid OLB/DE Round 1
1 20 Spears, Marcus DE 6-4 298 Louisiana State # 2 DE Round 1
2 42 Burnett, Kevin OLB 6-3 237 Tennessee # 3 OLB Round 2
4 109 Barber, Marion RB 5-11 221 Minnesota # 4 RB Round 2
4 132 Canty, Chris DE 6-7 286 Virginia # 12 DE Round 3
6 208 Beriault, Justin FS 6-2 199 Ball State # 9 FS Round 4
6 209 Petitti, Rob OT 6-6 347 Pittsburgh # 13 OT Round 4
7 224 Ratliff, Jeremiah 'Jay' DE 6-3 293 Auburn   > Round 4
FA   Harrell, Reggie WR 6-3 215 TCU # 26 WR Round 4
FA   Cooper, Roger OLB 6-2 239 Montana State Late Round Value > Round 4
FA   Van Hoy, Chris DT 6-4 307 La Tech Late Round Value > Round 4
FA   Rector, Jamaica WR     NW Missouri St   > Round 4
FA   Goolsby, Mike ILB     Notre Dame   > Round 4

 

The Cowboys did an excellent job in getting value at every spot in their draft.  While they had a number of "steals", my favorite was Marion Barber in round four.

The Cowboys had a great draft.  In fact, my only slightly negative comment was with their first selection.  While I like Ware, a lot, I think Merriman will be a special player.  It will be interesting to track their careers and compare them.  The selection of Ware over Merriman is the only thing holding back a top, A+, grade for the Cowboys.  Spears is a perfect fit for a 3-4 defense.  He will be the rare end in a 3-4 whop will get sacks as well as stopping the run and engaging blockers.  He should, eventually, be in the class of Aaron Smith with the Steelers.  Burnett is NFL-ready.  He can play outside in either a 3-4, or a 4-3 defense.   Burnett has speed and athleticism and can rush the passer, and drop into pass coverage.  Remember, he started his college football career as a free safety.  Marion Barber was my fourth rated running back in this draft.  After the big-three (Brown-Williams-Benson), Barber is the back I would have drafted to be my feature back.  Unfortunately, playing behind Julius Jones, it will be a while before we see how good Barber can be. He will have to wait awhile (like LaMont Jordon who sat behind Curtis Martin) before he finds a team to call his own.  In the meantime, the Cowboys have an excellent insurance policy for Jones.  Canty is a good fit for a 3-4 end.  He has the required size, toughness, and ability to stop the run.  He has to stay healthy.  Beriault was another great get by the 'Boys.  I had a fourth round grade on this quick, athletic, heady safety.  He could be the Cowboys long term answer at free safety.  Petitti is another player Dallas drafted in the sixth round whom I had a fourth round grade on.  Petitti is a hit or miss prospect.  However, you can't coach 6'6, 347!  Ratliff is a player who only had value for a team playing a 3-4.  He could develop into a reliable backup end.

The Cowboys didn't stop on draft day.  They signed some interesting college street free agents as well.  Wide receiver Reggie Harrell could steal a roster spot.  He is a 6'3" possession receiver with good hands, and the ability to make circus catches.  What he lacks is speed.  Roger Cooper was a dominate small college outside linebacker.  While he won't be able to come close to his dominate play in the NFL, he could move inside, and, in time, be part of a rotation. Chris Van Hoy is a late free agent signing by Dallas, but one who could pay dividends.  He has the size and skills to play the nose.  He is a very strong young man who gets penetration and eats up space.  Jamaica Rector is a small college speedster, who doesn't quite have the speed of the fast receivers in the major programs.  However, the Cowboys are looking for speed at receiver so he has a chance.  He also is a good return-man.  Goolsby's only shot in the NFL was as an 3-4 inside linebacker because he lacks speed.  He is a "football player", so he will battle Cooper to stick as a backup inside linebacker.

RED NUMBERS BELOW - among best at position   
Long shuttle numbers (where available) in blue, top performers to be determined later

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Ware OLB/DE 4.61 1.62 4.07   6.85 27 38.5" 10'2" 20
ay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Ware is a tremendous athlete for his size and should make the tranisiton to outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense very easily.  I liked that he added a solid Senior Bowl game performance to his eye-popping workout.
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports:
Demarcus Ware, who worked out at LB this week, also impressed, running in the 4.65 range.  As a natural DE, Ware still needs to work on his lateral movement and backpeddle.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Ware showed good pass rush ability during the Senior Bowl game, which was good considering he added weight.  Scouts also indicated he has the ability to play outside linebacker in the NFL.
Carlos "Big C" Holmes of www.daytondailynews.com reports:
On Day 1, I talked about how one Texans scout had some concerns whether Ware could dominate at the next level. Well, all questions were answered over the past couple days when Ware just flat-out misused some of the offensive linemen during one-on-one drills. He beat Alabama OT Wesley Britt, who played too high at times, so bad on Tuesday that at one point I thought he might be arrested for assault. There was no doubt Ware proved he could dominate and be a disruptive force at the end position. He was very quick at the point of attack.
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports: 
Another player who could create a bit of a buzz for himself is Troy State DE DeMarcus Ware. Ware came to Mobile as a true tweener listed at 232 ponds; however, Ware, who is 6-4, weighed in at 247 on Monday and actually looked bigger than that. Ware struggled a bit during Monday afternoon's practice; he is twitch quick coming off the snap, but tended to get envelopped when the bigger OTs were able to get their hands into his body. This afternoon, though, Ware looked much more confident, twice beating Alabama OT Wesley Britt. On the first, Ware made a quick cut back off a hard initial outside step; on the second, he simply blew by Britt before he could get set. Ware, though, is still undersized for an everyday NFL DE; he still has to prove that he can hold the point of attack defending the run, however, it is likely more teams are starting to look at him as a viable option at DE, at least as a situational player.
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Spears DE 5.10   4.48   7.75 23 31"   15
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Would be a great, and I mean great, pick for a team that plays a 3-4 defense.  He is a 300 pound end who has surprising pass rush skills.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports:
In an earlier combine notebook, it was suggested that LSU defensive end Marcus Spears might require arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to repair some minor damage that he suffered in his combine preparations. Turns out that Spears had the surgery two weeks ago, is well on his way to recovery, and that the procedure elicited no medical "red flags" from team doctors here. Spears, who checked in at 6-feet-4 and 307 pounds, perfect for the strongside end spot in a conventional 4-3 defense or for either end position in a 3-4 front, should be fully rehabilitated in time for his campus workout next month. Spears is not noted as a great pass-rusher, but can anchor against the run, and gets a little more push on the pocket that some people think.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports:
Defensive end Marcus Spears of LSU, whose stock rose dramatically because of his strong practices preceding the Senior Bowl all-star game, suffered a minor knee injury during his preparations for the combine. As a result, Spears will not work out, and some teams feel he might need minor arthroscopic surgery. Spears still insisted Saturday that he will be ready for his on-campus workout next month.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Spears looked good at the Senior Bowl game.
Carlos "Big C" Holmes of www.daytondailynews.com reports:
Spears has been one tough customer (at Senior Bowl practice), overpowering his opponents with sheer strength, speed and overall technique. He showed off his agility by batting down a pass at the line of scrimmage and making the interception. His eye-hand coordination on the play was impeccable.
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports:
LSU DE Marcus Spears was the best player on the field at this morning's South practice (Wednesday at the Senior Bowl).  And here's a scary sight: the 302-pound Spears working as the up-blocker on KO returns
MiamiDolphins.com reports
: Dolphins'  head coach Nick Saban said he was "impressed" with LSU DL Marcus Spears during Senior Bowl practice Monday, Jan. 24, reports 
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Burnett OLB 4.55         21 36" 10'10" 30
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: A solid player who can step in quickly and produce.  Could be a steal in round two.  Burnett has good speed and is a good athlete.
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Barber OLB 4.48   4.18 11.56 7.12 21 40" 10'7" 16

JAYBIRD PLAYER WHO WILL HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN MANY DRAFTED HIGHER THAN HIM

While names like Morency, Fason, Arrington, and now Moats and Gore have gotten the pub as the next best option after the big-three, I say it is Barber who is the fourth best back in the draft. He has enough speed (4.48 forty) and quickness (4.18 short shuttle) to be dangerous, and is one of the better athletes amongst the running backs in the draft. Oh yeah, and at 5'11", 228 pounds, he also has better size and strength than many of the others mentioned earlier.

NFLFans.com reports: Barber has a nice combination of power and speed. Marion's running style is cross between Curtis Martin and Shaun Alexander.  In college, Barber had carries taken from him by a very productive teammate that stole a little of Marion's thunder. He does needs to work on his receiving skills.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Another player with the potential to be a very good every-down back in the NFL.  Barber is strong, has moves, and enough speed.  He has good hands, but didn't catch the ball much in college.  

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Canty DE                 34
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Canty will be hurt by his inability to workout because of injury.  However, he has excellent size, good skills, and tremendous potential.  He needs to show he can stay healthy.
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Beriault FS/SS 4.57 1.56 3.84   6.93 14 39.5" 11'0" 20
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Beriault is one of the quickest players in this draft.  He also is a superb athlete, and a heady, instinctive player. He is also a sure tackler.  Beriault could be a pleasant surprise in the NFL, most likely, as a free safety.
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Petitti OT                 28
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Pettiti is a smash-mouth player who has excellent size and strength, but lacks the base skills to be effective, at least immediately, in the NFL.  He is tough kid who works hard, so he has a chance to develop.
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Ratliff DE 4.91   4.52   7.19 24 33.5" 9'9"  
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Ratliff has good size and could be effective as a backup for a team that plays a 3-4 defense.  He is better against the run than he is rushing the passer.
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Harrell WR 4.63 1.60 4.13   7.23   37" 9'8" 13
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Harrell is a tall possession receiver who has good hands and can make the tough catch.  He lacks top-end speed.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
The commentators indicated that Harrell had a good week of practice at the Hula Bowl, where the scouts liked him more than they thought they would (whatever that means).  During the game Harrell looked okay.
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Cooper OLB 4.74 1.66 4.41   7.29 19 35.5" 9'10" 24
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Cooper over-powered his competition at Montana State.  He won't be able to that in the NFL, but his on-field production is worth noting, and worth a team taking a shot with him late on day two. 
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Van Hoy OLB 5.33   4.80   8.08 30 31" 8'3"  
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Van Hoy is a very strong young man with good athleticism.  He could develop into a useful NFL player, one capable of holding up the line against the run, and pushing the pocket against the pass.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Van Hoy got good penetration against the pass at the Gridiron Classic game.
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Rector WR 4.47 1.54 4.14   6.80   36.5" 10'2" 12
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Rector looks like his best chance to make an NFL roster is as a punt returner.  While he also caught a ball or two at the Hula Bowl, there are better receiving options in the draft.
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Goolsby ILB 4.86 1.83 4.35   7.33 19 33" 9'11" 26
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Goolsby is a better football player than athlete.  However, his limited speed and athletic ability may catch up to him in the NFL.  His only fit could be as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, where his range would be limited.

2005 TEAM NEEDS PRIOR TO FREE AGENCY AND THE DRAFT

Jay Goldberg of 90FootballLinks.NET reports: 
major need         need position         possible need, depth needed    no real need
Key UFA:  Testeverde QB, Dixon S, Scott S, Williams CB, Lehr OG/C, George RB
Key RFA: Walter C, Hunter CB, Cundiff K
NOTE - RFA COMPENSATION AT MINIMUM TENDER

QB: I'm not a Testerverde fan.  He is an UFA, but the Cowboy's can get him if they want him.  I'm also not sold on Henson or Romo.  The Cowboys need to find a quarterback for next season, and for the future.
RB:
Julius Jones looks great.  The Cowboys' need at this position is for a quality backup.  The draft is deep at running back, so the 'Boys could grab one early on day two of the draft.
WR:
Johnson is a good number two.   Morgan could be a good two or three.  When healthy, Glenn is also a solid two.  Notice the pattern.  A big-time go-to receiver is needed.  If added, the Cowboys will have a very strong receiving corps.  Copper is a young player who also looks like he could be a useful receiver, but not a true number one.
TE:
Witten is a stud.  Ryan can block, and Robinson is a good long snapper.  Adding another body who can compete for a roster position is all that is needed this offseason..
OL:
With Lehr and Walter potentially leaving in free agency, and with the up and down Parcells/Allen relationship, bodies that can compete and backup should be added.
DL:
An end to start opposite Ellis, and a run-stuffing defensive tackle are needed.
LB:
In terms of on-the-field talent, the Cowboys are fine, but Parcells may be ready to scrap the small quick linebackers for players with size.  Before Dallas, that was always his preference.  Look for the Cowboys to pursue a big body linebacker to play in the middle of their defense.
DB:
The Cowboys have a need at corner, and at safety.  Newman will be fine in time, but a starter is needed to play opposite him.  In addition, with Hunter potentially leaving as a RFA, the Cowboys could use a second corner for depth.  At safety, Williams is a star, but Woodson is retiring and Dixon and Scott are UFAs.  Besides, it's time to move Roy Williams to strong safety full time, and bring in a ballhawking free safety.
ST: Cundiff is a RFA, so the Cowboys will have to resign him, or look for another kicker.  Their return game was okay, but had no star and is in the hands of players than may or may not be back (Lee, Frazier).  Copper is a good all around player to have, one  who can return kicks in a pinch and is a good cover guy.  The Cowboys should draft a nickel or dime corner with top-notch return skills, or one of the undersized running backs (Dorsey, Sproles) who would give Parcells another Dave Meggett.

 

2004 COLLEGE DRAFT

Dallas
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
2 43 Jones, Julius RB 5-9 217 Notre Dame
2 52 Rogers, Jacob OT 6-5 305 Southern California
3 83 Peterman, Stephen G 6-3 312 Louisiana State
4 121 Thornton, Bruce CB 5-10 192 Georgia
5 144 Ryan, Sean TE 6-4 264 Boston College
7 205 Jones, Nathan CB 5-9 187 Rutgers
7 216 Crayton, Patrick WR 6-0 207 Northwestern Oklahoma State
7 223 Reeves, Jacques CB 5-11 188 Purdue

 

Many draft "experts" questioned the Cowboys for passing on Steven Jackson in round one.  I think the Cowboys' move was an excellent move.  There were no sure things at running back in this draft.  While Jackson was the only back who I had with a first round grade, he isn't overly fast, has just good quickness, and is not a pass-receiving demon (although he can catch).  He is a good, solid, strong back, who will give you the occasional big play.  I can't argue moving down.  Julius Jones is more of a question-mark than Jackson.  He may top-out as a third down, and change-of-pace back.  However, if he shows the strength run up the middle and get the tough yards, he can be an every down back; and then, he will be a better weapon than Jackson.  Personally, I think Jones has what it takes.  He was a lower on my board because of the risk factor, not his talent. Rogers was an excellent pick in round two.  If not for his injuries he could have been the second tackle taken in the draft behind Gallery.  Again, he was downgraded on draft boards because of his injury, not because of his talent or potential.  Peterman had a late second round grade from me.  He is better on the field than in workouts.  He should eventually be a solid pro.  Thornton went around where I had him graded.  He has the athletic ability to succeed, but will need some developing.  He could also be a contributor down the road.  Ryan is a one dimensional tight end.  He is an excellent blocker.  However, he is limited in the passing game because he is slow.  He will play in short yardage, goal line situations, and when the Cowboys are running out the clock.  Witten has nothing to worry about regarding his role in the offense with the selection of Ryan.  Nathan Jones could win a job as a return specialist; and a legitimate shot to make the team is all one can hope for from a seventh round pick.  Crayton and Reeeves will have their work cut out for them to make the Boys final roster.  As far as college street free agent signings go, WR Newsome (big, excellent hands, but slow) and WR Copper (fast) may have better shots to make the team than Crayton; DE Thornton (coming off injury) or DE Emanuel could emerge as a pass rush specialist; DT Hilliard could become a Parcell's favorite; LB Fowler is a strong man who could carve a role on special teams; and Polite may be the best pure fullback in the draft class.

PLAYER/ TEAM NEWS PRIOR TO DRAFT

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J Jones 5-9 7/8, 214 4.37 1.53 2.64 4.12 6.97 - 37½" 10-1
J Jones
Notre Dame

#5 ranked RB  by Jaybird

D. J. Boyer of Football.com reports: Julius Jones would be declared the overall winner  (Senior Bowl practices), but Mewelde Moore came on strong at the end of the week with his receiving ability. 
Nolan Nawrocki and Mike Wilkening of ProFootballWeekly.com report: Notre Dame RB Julius Jones dropped several passes in practice Thursday (at the Senior Bowl)  and has struggled catching the ball this week.  Jones’ right ankle was wrapped with tape but there was no noticeable difference in his movement.
Drew Boylhart of www.thehuddlereport.com reports: Julius Jones - Notre Dame - Gets better every time I see him solid player with good running back skills. Reminds me a bit of Brian Westbrook (Eagles).
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: Jones and ran the 40 in the high 4.3s and low 4.4s (at the combine).
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: Observations from two college scouts, one from each conference, on Saturday "The group of tailbacks today wasn't great. Kind of homogenous, you know, with most of the guys sort of blending together. But our scouts felt like Julius Jones (Notre Dame) flashed some pretty nice skills. He did a lot of little things well. His change of direction is better than we thought. He seems to catch the ball OK. You certainly wish he was a little taller but, hey, you can't have everything. He scored some points with our staff today."
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: RB Julius Jones (Notre Dame): Doesn't have the size most teams want but he really surprised scouts with his overall performance. Might not have done everything great but did everything better than average. A better receiver than people felt he would be and also flashed more quickness than most teams thought he possessed. Might have gotten himself a slot in the second round.
Allen Trieu of nfldraft.fasthost.tv reports: JULIUS JONES ran a 4.37 fastest and averaged out at 4.40 after measuring in at 5’9, 217 (at the combine).
Vic Ketchman, of jaguars.com reports: Notre Dame's Julius Jones, 5-10, 217, could be one of those second-round “steals.” Jones is effective running inside and outside and had a big year last season after having been academically ineligible in 2002. His career has also been hampered by minor injuries, but if his problems are behind him, he has the skills to be a big-time back in the NFL.  “He's rounding into a complete back,” Pauline (jaguars.com draft expert) said of Jones, the brother of former first-round pick Thomas Jones.
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Rogers T 6-6, 307 5.30 1.79 4.88 8.10 34 32" 8-3
Rogers
USC

#5 ranked OT  by Jaybird

NFLFans.com reports: If a GM and scout of a team could be sure that OT Rogers would be durable enough to stay on the field in the Pros he would be a Blue Chip prospect that would be drafted in the first round. However, even though he has never loss much time do to injury, his medical file is very scary and will drop him into the late 2nd or early 3rd round in my opinion.
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Peterman G 6-4, 312 5.28 1.89 4.75 7.83 23 24½" 8-0
Peterman
LSU

#4 ranked OG  by Jaybird

 

Nolan Nawrocki and Mike Wilkening of ProFootballWeekly.com report: Some scouts said LSU  Stephen Peterman (OG) is underrated.
Jamie Moore of gbnreport.com (Great Blue North Report) reports:  OG Steven Peterman, Louisiana State... Big, mauling interior offensive lineman who also demonstrated very good lateral movement at the Senior Bowl.
Drew Boylhart of www.thehuddlereport.com reports: G Stephen Peterman - LSU - Much stronger than I thought.  Good balance. RG only.
NFLFans.com reports: A throwback, blue-collar, hard working, nasty and fiery competitor who gives you 100% on every play every game. Plays through injuries, you will have a hard time getting him off the field. His attitude is infectious and his teammates love his playing style, and thus he is a true field general and leader for an OL. I suspect the GMs and scouts will love this guy. Why not? He has proven to be an excellent player in a great program for 3 years at his position and should have a very good career. I can see him easily going in the 2nd round of the draft.
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Thornton CB 5-10 3/8, 197 4.45 4.14 11.12 6.89 13 37½" -
B. Thornton
Georgia

#16 ranked CB  by Jaybird

www.thehuddlereport.com reports: CB - Bruce Thornton – Georgia - I like this kid; he has good long range potential.
NFLFans.com reports: Fast CB with decent cover skills that needs to add some muscle and consistency to make it in the NFL.
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Ryan 6-04.4, 266 5.00 - 4.47 12.47 - 21 32" 9-10
Ryan
Boston College

Jaybird: below 4th round

Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Ryan is one of the better blocking tight ends in this draft class, but he has limited upside as a receiver.
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Jones CB 5-9, 187 - - - - - - -
N. Jones
Rutgers

Jaybird: below 4th round

NFLFans.com reports:  Assuming Nathan Jones gets a workout with the scouts, and has some impressive numbers to show the scouts, he should be drafted no later than the 6th just on the strength of what he can bring to a team’s special teams as a return specialist.
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Reeves CB 5-10 7/8, 186 4.45 4.46 11.24 6.64 14 31¼" 9-5
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Newsome 6-0¾, 213 4.84 - - - - - - -
Newsome
Oregon State

Jaybird: below 4th round

Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: After running a 4.82 forty at the Combine, needed to show improvement, but ran a little slower.  Disappointing  result because he has skills.
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Copper 5-11.1, 204 4.40 - 4.59 12.28 7.06 14 38½" 9-11
Copper
East Carolina

Jaybird: below 4th round

GBNReport reports: East Carolina WR Terrance Copper, who ran close to 4.40 at the Pirates' pro day, is attracting some attention.
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Middleton (WR) 5-10 1/8, 190 4.54 - 4.14 11.37 6.95 - 37" -
PLAYER POS HGT-WGHT FORTY 10 DASH SHORT
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
Hilliard DT 6-01.4, 307 5.12 - - - 26 - -
Hilliard
Notre Dame

Jaybird: below 4th round

NFLFans.com reports:  Cedric Hilliard has a handicap with limited size, but makes up for it with a great work ethic and attitude. I love mean and nasty, tough and physical play along the DL. At times, he is just plain out unblockable. Does he have question marks, sure. Does he need to refine techniques, every player does, including many pros. However, I feel confident any team drafting this guy will have a very good player and leader.
PLAYER POS HGT-WGHT FORTY 10 DASH SHORT
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
Emanuel DE 6-3 7/8, 259 4.89 - 4.59 7.98 23 33½" 9-2
Emanuel
Florida State

Jaybird: below 4th round

NFLFans.com reports: I feel Emanuel would possibly be a better 3-4 LB than DE and  that if looked at as a DE will be a very late pick or go undrafted.
 
PLAYER POS HGT-WGHT FORTY 10 DASH SHORT
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
Thornton DE 6-2½, 245 4.82 - 4.30 7.25 - 34" 9-9
K. Thornton
Texas

Jaybird: below 4th round

NFLFans.com reports: DE Thornton had reconstructive knee surgery prior to the 2002 season and then has been plagued with a variety of ankle problems as well. If he can convince, upon examination by the medical staffs, that durability is not a major concern, his stock will improve dramatically
PLAYER POS HGT-WGHT FORTY SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
Fowler M 6-03.1 220 4.77 - - - 35 - -
Fowler
Duke
NFLFans.com reports: It will come down to what times MLB Fowler turns in at his workouts for the scouts. If he shows better than expected 40 and agility results, he could rise up the charts, if not, drop. He also will have to show that he will be able to pick up at least average coverage skills.
PLAYER HGT-WGHT FORTY 10 DASH 20 DASH SHORT
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
Polite 5-11½, 246  4.63 1.63 2.72 4.18 7.45 28 32" 9-3
Polite
Pittsburgh

#2 ranked FB  by Jaybird

D. J. Boyer of Football.com reports: At fullback just look at Thomas Tapeh of Minnesota and Lousaka Polite of Pitt, they were both fantastic. I think teams seemed to prefer Polite although I was a little partial to Tapeh.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: Observation from a  NFL scout at the combine: "OK, we all know that fullbacks don't get taken until the second day (of the draft), so don't make too big a thing of this. But the (Lousaka) Polite kid from Pitt might be the best fullback in this draft. He has size, can run the one-back (formation), is an excellent pass protector and has very good hands. Don't brag on him too much because we like him and are hoping he's around for us in the fifth or sixth round."
InsideTheLeague.com reports: Pittsburgh FB Lousaka Polite was the star amongst the fullbacks at the NFL Combine over the weekend, showing smooth acceleration. He did drop some catchable over-the-shoulder passes and his hips are slightly tight, but he looked very athletic.
Vic Ketchman, of jaguars.com reports: Pitt's Lousaka Polite, 5-11, 246, is an intense player who developed the reputation for doing the dirty work. Polite is a strong short-yardage and goal-line runner, but his blocking is only adequate and he's no factor in the passing game.

 

2003 COLLEGE DRAFT

Dallas
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 5 Newman, Terence CB 5-10 189 Kansas State
2 38 Johnson, Al C 6-3 305 Wisconsin
3 69 Witten, Jason TE 6-6 264 Tennessee
4 103 James, Bradie ILB 6-2 242 Louisiana State
6 178 Tucker, B.J. CB 5-11 188 Wisconsin
6 186 Smith, Zuriel WR 5-11 166 Hampton
7 219 Bates, Justin G 6-4 300 Colorado

A-

2003 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

Newman is both a need and value pick.  If healthy, he should be a solid cover corner for a long time.  Johnson was one of my 12-to-watch.  He is a solid player who should anchor the Cowboys' line for years.  A good choice.  Witten was a steal at the top of the third round.  He has more potential than Dallas Clark, selected by the Colts in round one.  Bradie James is the type of player that gets over-looked.  He doesn't excite, but he gets the job done.  He also has the size Parcells likes in his linebackers.  Tucker is raw but very fast.  He should be a terror on special teams at worst, and a future stud as a nickel corner covering slot receivers at best.  If the Cowboys give Smith five milk shakes a day they may have something.  The kid has good hands and can jump over the moon.  Bates is a project but so are most seventh round picks.  If he doesn't make it he can always open up a chain of motels.  The Cowboys also added an interesting player in quarterback Tony Romo as an undrafted free agent.  He is a perfect developmental QB.
Newman AllProScouting.com reports in pre-combine workouts, Kansas State CB Terence Newman is running consistently in the 4.2 range.
Len Pasqaurelli of ESPN.com reports Kansas State CB Terence Newman impressed NFL scouts with his NFL Combine workout Monday. Newman clocked 4.32-4.34 on the watches of most scouts and one AFC GM had him in 4.30. His vertical jump of 41 inches is NBA caliber and he also had an 11-feet, 4-inch long jump. "There were (players) here saying to me, 'Why are you even bothering to do the workouts? You're the top guy already,' " said Newman. "But I wanted to prove I was the best. Words are cheap. It's actions that count. The way I see it, I had nothing to hide, and nothing to lose."
AllProScouting.com reports CB Terence Newman ran a  4.36 forty at the combine.
Draft203.com reports, Terence Newman, Kansas State -- Ran 4.34 in the 40... was shooting for 4.2's... also did 41" vertical... was one of the best all-around athletes in attendance... Top-5 pick after workout...
WORKOUT NUMBERS
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Newman worked out again, running 4.38 and 4.39. He had a short shuttle of 3.84 and did the three-cone drill in 6.58 and 6.64.
Jay Glazer of Sportsline.com reports, several teams have revealed that nerve damage in Kansas State CB Terence Newman's (shoulder) left shoulder hasn't improved significantly in recent months and the injury is affecting his position on some boards. In fact, one top-ten team has taken him off their board because of it. One AFC executive said that they saw the never in the shoulder was dead and the deltoid muscle has atrophied. However, not all teams are as concerned. "He does have nerve damage in that shoulder and there are concerns about the strength in the shoulder," said Texans general manager Charley Casserly. "We have not taken him off of our board. Other people have played with the injury and if he was available at No. 3 we could take him. We are not as concerned as other teams may be."
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the agent for Kansas State CB Terence Newman (shoulder) said his client is fine, and there should be no injury concerns entering the NFL Draft. “I’ve talked to every team in the top 10 (of the draft), and they all said his shoulder is fine,” said Newman’s agent, David Ware. “He also benched 225 (pounds) 12 times at the combine. You can’t do that with a bad shoulder.”  HOWEVER .... the Forth Worth Star-Telegram reports the Dallas  Cowboys will host Kansas State CB Terence Newman (shoulder) for a pre-draft visit at the end of the week, according to his agent David Ware. A Cowboys source said the team is aware of Newman’s shoulder injury, but have not made a decision regarding it yet.
The Dallas Morning News reports the Cowboys are not worried enough about Kansas State CB Terence Newman’s shoulder enough to downgrade him on their draft board, according to two club sources.
A Johnson Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: Wisconsin center Al Johnson could emerge as the top snapper in the draft. He's a little tall for the position (6-feet-4) but plays with nice leverage and is smart enough to make the calls on the blocking adjustments.
WORKOUT NUMBERS   Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Al Johnson ran 4.99 and 5.01, had a 32-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot long jump. Lifted 18 times and ran a 4.38 in the short shuttle.
Witten The Great Blue North report (gbnreport.com) reports TE Jason Witten measured 6-5½, 262 pounds and did 27 reps at the combine.
WORKOUT NUMBERS  Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Jason Whitten measured 6-5 ¼, 256 pounds. In the 40, he ran 4.69 twice, had a 32 1/2-inch vertical jump, 9-foot-5 long jump, and benched 28 times. He had a very good field workout and caught the ball well. (GBNReport.com had Witten at 4.62).
James Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports,  Observations from one veteran NFC scout:  "Look for (LSU linebacker Bradie) James to be a 'riser' in the two months left before the draft. Yeah, I wish he was a little bit taller (6-feet-1 5/8), but he looks the part. You can tell from interviewing him he loves the game and he has real good football awareness. Plus he's lined up and played at every linebacker position. He really stands up the runner in the hole and knocks him back. Most teams have him (as a middle linebacker prospect), but we think he can play strongside. And we feel like he's got some pass rush skills that they didn't take enough advantage of in college."
WORKOUT NUMBERS
Matt Gambill of AllProScouting.com reports, Bradie James-LB pro day numbers: 6025, 238, 4.75, 4.65, 4.65 forty, 9-5" broad jump, 16 reps, 4.38 short shuttle, 7.30 3 cone
Tucker WORKOUT NUMBERS Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, CB B. J. Tucker ran really fast again. At the Combine: 4.38; 4.32 at Pro Day. Vertical-jumped 34 inches, 3.98 short shuttle, 10-7 in the long jump. (Note some other sources had Tucker's forty time as low as 4.29)
Tucker WORKOUT NUMBERS Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, CB B. J. Tucker ran really fast again. At the Combine: 4.38; 4.32 at Pro Day. Vertical-jumped 34 inches, 3.98 short shuttle, 10-7 in the long jump. (Note some other sources had Tucker's forty time as low as 4.29)
Bates WORKOUT NUMBERS   Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Bates, who weighed in at 302 pounds, ran the 40 in 5.5.
Matt Gambill of AllProScouting.com reports, Justin Bates-OG, 6036, 302, looked bad. Stiff, slow feet.

 

 2002 COLLEGE DRAFT

GRADE : A


SS Roy Williams should develop into another Rodney Harrison.  Great pick.  OG Gurode had a first round grade.  At one time Bryant was considered the second best WR in the draft.  A slow forty time and questionable character caused his slide.  But he has excellent skills and is the perfect compliment to Galloway and the Rocket.  Oh, by the way, in case he does not pan out; the 'Boys drafted Deveren Johnson a tall WR from a small school who ran a 4.5 in private workouts.  CB Ross was a steal in round three and Martin may be the best blocking FB in the draft.


Links below take you to NFL.com's report on player, position or college team.

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 8 Williams, Roy SS 6-0 219 Oklahoma
2 37 Gurode, Andre G 6-4 316 Colorado
2 63 Bryant, Antonio WR 6-1 188 Pittsburgh
3 75 Ross, Derek CB 5-10 197 Ohio State
4 129 Martin, Jamar FB 5-11 245 Ohio State
5 168 Hunter, Ralph CB 6-2 193 Virginia Union
6 179 Walter, Tyson OT 6-5 303 Ohio State
6 208 Johnson, Deveren WR 6-6 223 Sacred Heart
6 211 Slowikowski, Bob TE 6-5 255 Virginia Tech

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