my nfldb draft review:
Draftmas is over but Bill Parcells delivered plenty of presents to Cowboy fans.
The Dallas draft headed by new Player Personnel honcho Jeff Ireland and of course Bill Parcells was universally lauded as a top 5 draft and given A grades by even grouchy purveyors of talent like Goose Gosselin and Mel Kiper. Considering they were right about all those D drafts of the 90ís good bet they were right here as well.
Round 1a: Demarcus Ware: Best pure pass rusher will play a lot of 3-4 OLB or 4-3 DE. 3rd down terror who reminds many of Dwight Freeney was top target for team that needed to up pressure on opponents.
Round 1b: Marcus Sprears: The choice at 11 was Ware or Spears. Well the LSU manchild fell to 20 and Dallas rejoiced. Kinda like going to Best Buy to get a new tv or a stereo and finding you can afford both. Spears is a 300 pound DE who is a superb athlete and reminds mnay of Richard Seymour. Was top ranked TE prospect in country coming out of high school.
Round 2: Kevin Burnett: This Vol played with the toughness scouts missed in Derrick Johnson. He isnít blazing fast nor extremely big but he is physical and an emotional leader. First 2 time team captain at Tennessee in a couple of generations. Should start immediately and can play the 4-3 OLB or the 3-4 ILB spots.
Round 4: Marion Barber III: Versatile back with ability to contribute right away. Played in tandem at Minnesota and will do so here behind Julius Jones. Huge upgrade over current roster options. Will get carries right away in limited doses.
Round 4b: Chris Canty: Monster DE from Virginia was only available because he got clocked with a beer bottle and had his retina detached. Late 1st round talent who used long arms and size to anchor Virginiaís 3-4 Defense. Most proven 3-4 DE available but may not be up to 100% by training camp, Canty has as much upside potential as any guy taken after round 2. Jerry Jones and BP were as excited about this guy anyone.
Round 6a: Justin Beriault: Big fish in small pond at Ball State who roamed the field making tackle after tackle. Should help immediately on special teams but may not be good enough on coverage to do much more that that.
Round 6b: Rob Petitti: Rob is extremely big. He needs to stay around 330 pounds to even make the practice squad but has potential to be a starting Right Tackle. Reminds me a great deal of Charron Dorsey. Will need to be pushed as BP does not like big, soft OTís. Good bet for practice squad in my opinion.
Round 7: Jay Ratliff: Auburn 3-4 DE is a perfect fit as a backup. Has the right blend of size and experience going 6í3Ē, 295 pounds and playing for the national champions. Has a military school background and is known as a hard nosed run stuffer in the mold of a Jason Ferguson.
Why the ĎAí grades?
Dallas was able to transform a small, speed defense that reacted to offenses into an attacking hybrid defense that will be real big against the run and attack on passing downs. The scheme used in Boston will be in play here as well now. Adding Barber gave the offense the piece it needed to rely on running the ball and playing a ball control style. That will open up deep passing attempts for Bledsoe. In short it looks like the front office has a plan and executed it thus far very well. Itís what you expect with experienced guys running a squad.
Dallas like Ryan Moats but the Eagles recognized the value of the Westbrook clone and snatched him up. Dallas did not add a WR as value was simply better at other positions. They have added undrafted free agent Reggie Harrell who was a draftable guy but lacks speed. Beriault is not the starting Free Safety Dallas fans wanted to see but free safeties are a lot easier to find than defensive linemen and Jerry Jones has indicated a veteran free safety may now be sought.
Top 4 drafts: Minny, Dallas, Arizona, Philly
Those first 3 teams not only had good drafts but had great off-seasons all around and should rise to the next level. Philly added 3 or 4 contributors to a Super Bowl level team which is extremely difficult to do and should be noted. The ugly green birds are going to remain a formidable foe.
Bottom 3 drafts: Washington, Houston, Denver
These 3 reached at almost every position. Washington did the least with the most and really needs a GM brought in, for their fans it was another draft day lump of coal in the stocking.
But I still don't know what any team saw Thursday night that would have made them comfortable with waiting a round or two for the offensive lineman they wanted. ---Todd McShay
We just converted half our LB to DL. We have a 30m starting DL, it better be pretty friggin good.