An average draft weekend for Dallas
09:41 AM CDT on Monday, April 26, 2004
By RICK GOSSELIN / The Dallas Morning News
It's great the Cowboys got Buffalo's first-rounder in 2005, but leaving RB Kevin Jones on the board at 22 in trading out slows down the pursuit of the Eagles. The Cowboys got value with the picks they did make and addressed needs.
The News' NFL beat writer offers his draft-day assessment of each of the 16 NFC teams. Click on a team logo to get a list of its drafted players.
C: It's great the Cowboys got Buffalo's first-rounder in 2005, but leaving RB Kevin Jones on the board at 22 in trading out slows down the pursuit of the Eagles. The Cowboys got value with the picks they did make and addressed needs.
C: The Giants landed the plum of the draft in QB Manning but paid a steep price to San Diego, sending a package that included next year's No. 1. G Snee was a solid pick for a line that needs help, and WR Taylor could be a steal.
C: The Eagles got the best run blocker in the draft in OT Andrews, but it cost them their second-round pick. That slowed down the Philly bandwagon. The Eagles did have the best seventh round, though.
C: The Redskins passed up a superior player (TE Kellen Winslow) at an impact position to draft a player at a nonimpact position in the first (S Taylor). TE Cooley in the third round was a nice consolation prize for Joe Gibbs.
C: New coach Lovie Smith has a defensive background, and the Bears drafted two tackles to build his first Chicago defense around. WR Berrian and CB Vasher give the Bears two elite college return specialists in the kicking game.
A+: The Lions had the best first day in this draft, picking four walk-in starters in WR Williams, RB Jones, LB Lehman and CB Smith. MLB Lehman will know the defense and signals by the end of his first minicamp.
C: Drafting CBs Carroll and Thomas could signal the end in Green Bay for CB Mike McKenzie. But the rookie who could have the biggest impact on Green Bay's 2004 season is punter B.J. Sander, which explains the reach.
C: The Vikings grabbed sliding value in DE Udeze in the first, DT Scott in the second and OT Dorsey in the fourth. RB Moore gives Minnesota a pass-catching back the likes of which the Vikings haven't seen since Darrin Nelson.
A: Solid draft, starting with the best cornerback on the board. WR Jenkins helps take the pressure off a struggling Peerless Price on the flank, and QB Schaub is insurance against another collapse should Michael Vick go down again.
C: The Panthers addressed a pressing need at corner in the first round, and WRs Colbert and Carter should be rookie contributors. Carter brings speed, Colbert toughness. Wharton was a terrific find.
C: The Saints changed their draft-day focus, seeking out achievers and finishers – hard-workers who can bring a toughness to what in the past has been a mentally soft team. Karney was the best blocking fullback in the draft.
C: The Bucs were another team that suffered from a lack of quality picks. They had three choices in the seventh round and six in the second day. WR Jones gives the NFC's worst special teams a darting return specialist.
C+: Another solid draft throughout with big-school players who have been multi-year starters. WR Fitzgerald gives new coach Dennis Green the hope for spectacular catches in the Randy Moss mold. LB Dansby was a reach at 33.
B: The 49ers found some values in the second day, with DT Sopoaga and LB Seigler particularly strong selections. The first day wasn't bad either. WR Woods allowed the 49ers to address their most pressing need. He's now the go-to guy.
C: The slide of defensive linemen in the first allowed DT Tubbs to fall into Mike Holmgren's lap. OLB Michael Boulware will be a dynamic special teams player as he works his way into the starting lineup.
C: RB Jackson was a great value but how a Jerome Bettis-type power backs fits on a team that plays on the carpet and wants to throw the ball is a mystery. With Kurt Warner on the way out, the selection of Smoker raises an eyebrow.