Monday, April 28, 2008

Drafting the Boys

While my journey into the spirit world took me away this weekend for most sports, I still made it a point to listen to the first two rounds of the NFL draft on the radio. It's funny, we got the ticket during the day, and ESPN radio at night. So I got to hear Norm climax when Dallas picked Jenkins, and then the Shutebag and John Clayton explain the second round.

We are going to start what might a be the first of several draft post with the boys. Here is who we got.

1 22(22) Felix Jones RB ARKANSAS
1 25(25) Mike Jenkins CB SOUTH FLORIDA
2 30(61) Martellus Bennett TE TEXAS A&M
4 23(122) Tashard Choice RB GEORGIA TECH
5 8(143) Orlando Sandrick CB BOISE STATE

6 players, and we picked up a third next year for trading out of the top of the 4th round. So lets go one by one and tell you a little bit about how these picks are.

Felix Jones RB Arkansas - When the draft started really shaking up around pick 15 or so, I really thought that we would have a shot at drafting Jeff Otah, a big tackle, Mendenhall, a fantastic RB, or Jenkins, the corner we got at 25. To me, Jones was an afterthought that I thought would be there at 28, but Otah went off the board, and here we were at 22, and the boys picked Jones.

At first I was a little pissed, with Mendenhall on the board, i thought you had to go there. After a few days later I am much more OK with this pick. Jones is the perfect complement to MB3. He is a fast, slasher, who likes to catch balls out of the back field and run around the edge, and he has the speed to do both of those things. The thing is that Barber is a much better pass blocker than Jones is so you can't really use him on third downs as a RB, but he gives you the option to flex him out wide and use him a WR. Kinda like how New Orleans trys to use Reggie Bush. I expect this guy to get about 15 touches a game to start out with, 8-11 carries, 3-5 passes, and 3-4 returns on punts.

Mike Jenkins CB South Florida - I can't believe we got this kid at 25. I would have been perfectly OK with taking him at 22, and then get what ever RB we could at 28, but when he fell all the way to 25, and we traded up to get him, that's some good moves. Jenkins could be the best corner in the draft. He isn't as physical as say Henry is, but he can cover man to man with his quickness and should be able to play this season against the slot. He is an extremely versatile player as well, and can jump into the safety slot if need be, and like a trend in this years off season, he can return kicks.

This gives the Cowboys, what might have been the biggest weakness last year, one of the best secondaries in the league. Newman is one of the best in the league, Henry is big and physical with bigger WR's, Jenkins can play the slot and help cover safety, Roy Williams is one of the better run stuffing safety's, and Ken Hamlen has the talent of a pro bowler. All these things and you add what Adam "Pac Man" Jones could bring to the table? Good lord we could have great pass defense this year.

Martellus Bennett TE TEXAS A&M - This is the pick that most people are saying "What the fuck man," about this draft, but I love it. Its not because I've followed the Aggies since I was a kid(dad's alma mater), but because this guys gives something we didn't have last year, receiving options. Last season it was TO, and Witten. Sure a few good games here and there from Crayton, or Fasano, but it really was a 2 man show. HOWEVER, now with the pick up of Bennettt, and Felix Jones, we have some threats in the passing game other than our big boys.

At first it was strange to me too when we traded a TE that we picked in the second round for a 4th rounder, and then took TE in the second. Seams kinda strange. But just like the Felix Jones pick, I really started thinking about it and it made more and more since to me. While Bennett is not a good blocker, at all, He was the second most athletic player on the Aggie team last year. He can use his body (6'5'') to box out smaller defenders and make the catch with his good hands. You know who that sounds like? Antiono Gates. You know where that is useful? The Red Zone.

So with the first day picks the Boys can break huddle on offense with TO, Witten, Bennet, Barber, and Jones, then line up in the gun with TO out wide left, Bennett and Witten on the right side, Jones and Barber in the backfield with Romo. Then Jones can flex out to the left with TO. Who does the LB's and slot corner's guard? If you put the LB on Jones, he can fly right by you, if you put the slot corner on Bennett he can box him out for an easy 8 yard gain. Tony Romo must have been so excited from all this that gave Jessica the ol' Alabama Juice Box sat night.

Tashard Choice RB GEORGIA TECH - Day 2's first pick is a depth pick. Choice is an inside runner that can spell MB3 if he gets hurt this year. Very much a "north-south" guy, who doesn't have breakaway speed, but is much more reliable than Tyson Thompson.

Orlando Scandrick CB BOISE STATE - This was a fantastic pick. Scandrick could have gone as early as the 2nd round, but he fell all the way to the 5th. He is raw and needs work, but he won't be asked to do much other than special teams duty next year.

Erik Walden DE MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE - Whats up Sunbelt! People say this is a reach, but hell its the 6th round. I don't know much about this guy except he played well against my Mean Green the past 2 years. Don't know if he is big enough for the 3-4 DE or fast enough for the 3-4 OLB. But again, he's a 6th rounder.

All and all this draft was much better 2-3 days later than it was when when I was listening to it. They defiantly filled 3 weaknesses of the team, RB, Secondary, Return guys. So that's a good thing. People are saying they didn't feel the WR need, and while they didn't really get a true WR, Jones and Bennett gives us a fantastic option to let Jason Garrett get all creative with his play calling. The only other thing they didn't really do was use a late pick or two to get some d-tackle depth.

Well now don't I sound like a cowboy homer?

I like the draft, and I liked how they moved. Well done.


gerry dorsey said...

i say they end up regretting not taking mendenhall in the first as well as manningham on day 2...but that's just me.

i also agree with people who say just keep fasano instead of drafting 'tellus.

tioga said...

we didn't get a WR because jerry is in love with trading and moving around. In the third we were looking at Manningham and Caldwell; after those two everyone else is a project. Why we did not take either of those two is beyond me.

Big said...

Manningham was too slow for his size, and Caldwell had problems with his hands/rout running. We didn't get a WR because there was no value of one where we were drafting. Bennett will basicly play a WR role when he comes in, and Jones can work some from the slot so with those two guys they did pick up another WR.

As for Mendenhall, I wanted them to take him as well, but if Jones can become that all purpose back, he fits the scheme better.

tioga said...

Yeah but I felt a 3rd to develop Caldwell was worth it; it's hard to find guys with speed and decent size that have good attitudes, play hard and produce. All that said, he's still a florida reciever.
Also, is the "Alabama juice box" anything similar to the "Alabama hot pocket"?

gerry dorsey said...

obviously those receivers had down sides, that's why they weren't first round picks, but they provide value in later rounds. what happens if t.o. owens gets hurt or succeeds at committing suicide?? you have to go out and sign some talentless douche that probably can't carry manningham's (or someone like him) jock.