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  #21  
Old 13.02.2015, 06:58 PM
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Slowly starting to get a better grasp of some of the players in this years draft. One guy I'm warming to for the Cowboys in April is Preston Smith, DE, Mississippi State.

6'5, 270. Appears to have a good level of functional strength, especially when you consider his long arms. He fits that LDE spot pretty well imo. He doesn't jump off the film with his speed, but he impacts the game regardless, especially when he slides inside against guards and centers. He finds ways to get to the QB/RB. Against some of the top tier college OT's (La'el Collins, LSU) he didn't have as much of an impact, but still flashed potential on occasion. As stated, he's versatile, he lined up all along the line for the Bulldogs and found ways to win. That versatility means he could rotate with Tyrone Crawford at the 3 technique, as well as help the pass rush from the LDE spot. He doesn't look to be carrying any 'bad' weight, but I wonder if he dropped 10 lbs would he gain some extra explosion and speed to take his game to the next level.

Not sure he is a 1st round guy, unless the board gets wiped out, but I don't think he'd be out of place in the 2nd round. One to keep an eye on at the combine anyway.
Dane Brugler just mocked Smith to the Cowboys at #27.

Not saying Brugler is an oracle, but he's well respected (by me too). Annoyingly second guessed myself on Smith. Moral of the story.......trust your instincts.
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  #22  
Old 31.03.2015, 10:53 AM
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Would appear that the Cowboys have/had 5 RB's lined up for pre-draft visits: Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon, Tevin Coleman, Jay Ajayi, Ameer Abdullah.

Obviously having a pre-draft visit doesn't mean they are locked in as targets, but they obviously have some interest.

Todd Gurley: Clearly the number 1 RB. The worries about the ACL injury are slowly subsiding as the draft draws closer. He has a medical check due a few weeks from now, so given a clean bill of health I can't see him lasting beyond the middle of the 1st round. He's a top 10 talent. I don't see a sensible scenario in which the Cowboys draft him (he'll be long gone).

Melvin Gordon: A different type of back to Gurley in some ways, he lacks the power to break tackles consistently imo. He can make people miss though, and he does have the burst and top end speed that the Cowboys might be looking for. He's more of a 'see the gap and go' runner' as opposed to Gurley's all round ability. There is a chance he is around at 27, but it will depend on how other teams view Gurley.

Tevin Coleman: I have Coleman and Gordon rated very similarly. Coleman has the same (possibly better) breakaway speed as Gordon, but I think he is a better 'one cut and go' back. He isn't as elusive, but his 'slashing' running style may well suit the Cowboys zone blocking scheme. Unless there is a run on RB's in round 1, then Coleman will be a viable option at 27.

Jay Ajayi: A big back who is a 'jack of all trades'. He doesn't have the speed of the first 3, but he has enough explosion, size, and pass catching ability to do a job out of the backfield. The first round would possibly be too high, but will he last until pick 60 in the 2nd round? Perhaps he's a '1st round trade back' option, or they hang on and hope he is there at 60.

Ameer Abdullah: Abdullah isn't a feature back at the next level imo. He is however extremely explosive, and tested well at the combine. At 5'8, 205lbs, his size is a worry. As is the fact he had 813 carries in college, that's a lot of wear and tear on a 200lb RB. He had fumble issues too (small hands) so that's another concern. All that said, if he is there in the 3rd round at pick 91 then he's a viable option to add some 'juice' to the running game. I expect you'd have to take him at 60 if you wan him though.
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  #23  
Old 02.04.2015, 11:08 AM
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Starting to wonder if any move for Adrian Peterson, IF it is indeed on the horizon, might come in draft week itself.

Opinion on the cost of acquiring Peterson seems to range from the 27th pick in the draft, to multiple picks in 2015 and 2016. If Todd Gurley's knee checks out his stock is only going go up, so there is no way he lasts until the end of the 1st round.

So perhaps the Cowboys approach it like this. Find out what it would cost to move up in the draft to no.10 (St Louis). That's going to be expensive, I'm guessing this years 1st, plus next years 1st. Then speak to the Vikings and see what it's going to take to get Peterson. As above, I'm guessing at least pick 27.

If the Vikings are ready to move on from Peterson, then I'd guess they would target Gurley at no.11. If the Cowboys don't move up ahead of them, and they do in fact take Gurley, Peterson's cost should fall as they've clearly decided Gurley is their future. The Cowboys would be in a much healthier position to negotiate the price of acquiring Peterson if this plays out.

As the round progresses the Cowboys would still have fall back options at RB, so if they didn't like the cost they could just stay at 27 and adapt their draft plans accordingly.

I suppose it comes down to what you prefer? - A 21 year old Gurley and no 1st round draft pick in 2016 (a QB?). Or a 30 year old Adrian Peterson and a 2016 1st round pick.
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  #24  
Old 09.04.2015, 08:26 PM
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Just finished participating in the NFLUK Forum Mock Draft. Thought I'd put my picks and a few thoughts on here if anyone was interested in how it went, and what came from it. I moved around a little bit with trades, but not too much.

(round.pick.)

1.27 Preston Smith, DE, Miss. St. - Melvin Gordon was on the board when I made this pick. I had some trade interest, but nothing spectacular. I'm not a big fan of the Hardy move, so decided to pair Preston Smith with Demarcus Lawrence for the long term. Smith is a good fit for LDE, doesn't have elite explosion, but he wins in other ways.

*I traded back from 2.28 after the Jags took Tevin Coleman in the middle of round 2. Could see it coming, but didn't want to give away picks to move up at that stage. Picked up 3.9 + 4.8 + 6.9 for 2.28 + 4.28.

3.9 Mike Davis, RB, S.Carolina - Mike Davis was my fall back option if I didn't get Gurley, Coleman or Gordon. I wanted a home run hitter, which Davis isn't, but he has size (217lbs) and the ability to hit the hole hard. As a 3rd round pick if he doesn't pan out then we can target a RB again in 2016.

3.27 Steven Nelson, CB, Oregon State - We need CB depth. Nelson is a feisty corner who can line up inside or out. At the 91st pick in the draft Nelson was good value, someone I had an eye on before the draft.

*Traded back from 4.8 for 4.21 + 5.25. More picks to add to the pot.

4.21 Adrian Amos, DB, Penn State - I wanted a defensive back with an ability to be a safety or corner. Amos can do that, and he tested really well at the combine. We aren't desperate for a safety, but we aren't set either. Eric Rowe went in the 3rd round 2 picks before I picked Nelson.

*Traded 5.29 + 6.9 to Baltimore for 4.26.

4.26 Tyeler Davison, DT, Fresno State - Traded up for a guy I've liked for a while. Someone who can add an extra dimension to that 'devalued' 1 technique spot. A former wrestler, he has the measurable to be disruptive against the run and the pass.

5.25 Bryce Hager, LB, Baylor - More of a depth guy, and a pick made before McClain was resigned. Again he tested well and loves the game, so he should make for a good addition to Special Teams early on.

7.19 Laurence Gibson, OT, Virginia Tech - Yet another 'numbers guy'. We need a replacement for Jeremy Parnell. Gibson is raw, but he has the athleticism to play both sides and be our developmental swing tackle.

7.26 Justin Coleman, CB, Tennessee. - A guy I liked from the Senior Bowl. Was tempted by 'higher rated' guys, but adding another defensive back should mean we solve our secondary issues through numbers alone. Throw them all into camp, winner takes all.

Overall - Apart from missing out on Tevin Coleman I was happy with that haul. I was interested in Bryce Petty in the 4th round, but the Eagles took him at 4.14.

I think missing out on one of the 'top' RB's highlighted how precarious the Cowboys draft position is. Jay Ajayi went 1.17 to the Chargers in round 1. Then there was a run on RB's late in the 2nd round, Duke Johnson, Ameer Abdullah, etc, all gone before 2.28.

This draft does have good depth from the 2nd through 4th rounds though, so I hope if the guys we want aren't there at the end of the first or 2nd round in April, then we trade back and get as many top 125 picks as possible.

Last edited by RichardCunliffe; 09.04.2015 at 08:36 PM.
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  #25  
Old 15.04.2015, 10:31 PM
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I've seen a few mock drafts giving Marcus Peters to us at #27. The reasoning is often down to need, fair enough, but it's also down to us giving guys a 'second chance'. Peters off the field red flags have been talked about all off season, but for me that's exactly why I'm not too fond of the idea.

How many 'bad eggs' can you have on a roster? Peters may have turned his life around, I don't know. Same for Hardy. For me though you need other high character players to surround them and keep them on the straight and narrow.

Sean Lee might do just that, but what if he can't stay healthy? Who is the next leader on defence? Scandrick? He can be abrasive at times. Barry Church maybe? Can he demand respect? Brandon Carr? Will he still be here We have veteran presence on that side of the ball, and Marinelli won't take any nonsense, but we also have a young guys like Lawence and Hitchens.

There comes a tipping point with the balance of 'character guys' on the roster. We aren't loaded with them, but we've just added Hardy, so I think we've done enough for the 'second chance' cause.
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  #26  
Old 26.04.2015, 01:13 PM
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So 4 days.........just 4 more days!

Anyone got any new thoughts on what we should do?

Some guys will obviously not be there for us at 27, but I think we'll have some guys to consider, and hopefully some options to trade back too. Here are the guys i think we have to consider at our pick if they are still on the board:

(This isn't in order of preference)

Malcolm Brown, DT. Texas
La'el Collins, OT, LSU
TJ Clemmings, OT, Pitt
Landon Collins, S , Alabama
Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana
Preston Smith,, DE, Mississippi State
Eli Harold, DE, Virginia
Ronald Darby, CB, FSU
Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon

Obviously there are other prospects, but at least a couple of those names should make it to 27, and they cover a few positions.

I think if we take an OT in the 1st as the BPA, it would be helpful if they could play guard. That way it gives them 2 career paths to follow, eventually replacing either Leary or Free. Collins could, Clemmings might, and Fisher could if he had to. In terms of the future Fisher might be the best OT, but all 3 could develop into a starter for the Cowboys.

A RB at 27 needs to be a home run hitter. If they aren't available then you look for something in later rounds. Both Coleman and Gordon suit our scheme, so they'll be hard to pass up on if we get the chance.

Brown is the only DT I see in rd1 that could be of interest. He can play the 1 or the 3, and with him on board T.Crawford could always play the end in the rotation. He offers versatility, and whilst Marinelli isn't a fan of spending picks on 1 tech's, Brown isn't JUST a 1 tech.

Harold and Smith are different types of end (Speed and Power). Smith can slide inside, Harold might be able to stand up. I think they both find a way to the QB, so they'd definitely help the pass rush.

It looks like most of the 'big' corners will be gone before we're OTC, but a speedster like Darby might still be there. We definitely need someone, but there is also depth in rounds 2 and 3.

Landon Collins is the best safety in the class and I think his value is in the 25 - 35 range. I'm not convinced he's the true FS we need, but he'd offer an upgrade at one safety spot at least, plus he'd finally give us something for the future in the defensive backfield.

I think the depth of this draft lends itself to DL or RB (if Gurley, Coleman or Gordon are there) @ 27. Then DB @ 60. If the board is wiped out then I'm more than happy to take OL in the 1st, as long as they are versatile, and the BPA.

(WR is a need, but far from a priority early on)
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  #27  
Old 27.04.2015, 07:43 PM
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As corner is a need and Peters has all these red flags perhaps Byron jones. His stock seems to have risen.
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  #28  
Old 27.04.2015, 08:24 PM
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As corner is a need and Peters has all these red flags perhaps Byron jones. His stock seems to have risen.
Jones has definitely been a late riser. Back in February (I think) Daniel Jeremiah was one of the first to mention him. People seem divided on him, although he seems to be popular choice for us at 27. The combine helped in a big way.

The Steelers will have an interest in one of the 'big' corners. I think the further into the 1st round we can get without a CB being taken the better. Ideally if Waynes or Johnson can last until the middle of the round then we might have a shot at one of our preferred Corners (whoever that might be).

The trend in the NFL seem to be towards bigger corners, especially in light of the Seahawks success.

We should have a shot at a good player though at 27, I don't think we need to panic, just let the draft come to us. I think we need to just take the approach that a good CB, DE or RB will fall to us. We don't want to start think we NEED a CB, we NEED a DE.
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  #29  
Old 27.04.2015, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by RichardCunliffe View Post
So 4 days.........just 4 more days!

Anyone got any new thoughts on what we should do?

Some guys will obviously not be there for us at 27, but I think we'll have some guys to consider, and hopefully some options to trade back too. Here are the guys i think we have to consider at our pick if they are still on the board:

(This isn't in order of preference)

Malcolm Brown, DT. Texas
La'el Collins, OT, LSU
TJ Clemmings, OT, Pitt
Landon Collins, S , Alabama
Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana
Preston Smith,, DE, Mississippi State
Eli Harold, DE, Virginia
Ronald Darby, CB, FSU
Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon

Obviously there are other prospects, but at least a couple of those names should make it to 27, and they cover a few positions.

I think if we take an OT in the 1st as the BPA, it would be helpful if they could play guard. That way it gives them 2 career paths to follow, eventually replacing either Leary or Free. Collins could, Clemmings might, and Fisher could if he had to. In terms of the future Fisher might be the best OT, but all 3 could develop into a starter for the Cowboys.

A RB at 27 needs to be a home run hitter. If they aren't available then you look for something in later rounds. Both Coleman and Gordon suit our scheme, so they'll be hard to pass up on if we get the chance.

Brown is the only DT I see in rd1 that could be of interest. He can play the 1 or the 3, and with him on board T.Crawford could always play the end in the rotation. He offers versatility, and whilst Marinelli isn't a fan of spending picks on 1 tech's, Brown isn't JUST a 1 tech.

Harold and Smith are different types of end (Speed and Power). Smith can slide inside, Harold might be able to stand up. I think they both find a way to the QB, so they'd definitely help the pass rush.

It looks like most of the 'big' corners will be gone before we're OTC, but a speedster like Darby might still be there. We definitely need someone, but there is also depth in rounds 2 and 3.

Landon Collins is the best safety in the class and I think his value is in the 25 - 35 range. I'm not convinced he's the true FS we need, but he'd offer an upgrade at one safety spot at least, plus he'd finally give us something for the future in the defensive backfield.

I think the depth of this draft lends itself to DL or RB (if Gurley, Coleman or Gordon are there) @ 27. Then DB @ 60. If the board is wiped out then I'm more than happy to take OL in the 1st, as long as they are versatile, and the BPA.

(WR is a need, but far from a priority early on)
i see 3 OLs? surely thats not a need, pass rusher is a must, it will be interesting how the RBs get on this season whoever they are, with that O Line-was Murray the reason or the O Line?... mmm we shall see
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  #30  
Old 27.04.2015, 09:42 PM
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i see 3 OLs? surely thats not a need, pass rusher is a must, it will be interesting how the RBs get on this season whoever they are, with that O Line-was Murray the reason or the O Line?... mmm we shall see
The list was based on who might be available. Didn't see a point in listing the 9th best DE, or the 7th best CB. It was more a list of who the best player available might be.

DE is a need, as is RB and CB, but if the best player available is an offensive lineman and he's 18th on your board, yet the next DE, CB or RB is 34th, I'd be hoping we take the O lineman. Free is here for another 3 years, but coming off ankle surgery for bone spurs. Ronald Leary has a degenerative knee condition, so who knows how that will look in 3 years time too. I think someone like La'el Collins would be an upgrade on Leary in time.

Remember, we tried to trade back into rd3 last year for Trai Turner, even offered a future 2nd round pick. So just because the O line did so well last year, don't think that we won't add to it if the right player is available.
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