Recommended 2013 Draftees linked to the Cowboys...How they did

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by honyock, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. honyock

    honyock Well-Known Member

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    Sheldon Richardson, Chance Warmack, Star Lotulelei, Jonathan Cooper, etc. Here's the third annual look at the draftees from last year that either visited the Cowboys, were rumored to have interest from the team, or that were debated or lusted after here on CZ. I haven't listed anyone actually drafted by Dallas, just those that were talked about pre-draft, then went elsewhere.

    Not following every team in the league, every year I wonder about those names that were talked about and how they did or didn't pan out. Obviously the jury is still out on lots of them, one year isn't long enough to know for the most part. But here is a year one report card on some of them. I got the reports from a variety of online sources, so those of you who follow some of the teams mentioned may have a better or more accurate report than I do.

    Hopefully before the draft I'll have time to do a three year report on the 2011 class, the first class I did this with. That's the JJ Watt/Cameron Jordan/Carimi/Castonzo/Solder class. But here's year one for the 2013 class, organized by position. This list is heavy on OL, DL, and Safety. Players who visited the Cowboys pre-draft are underlined.

    Defensive Line

    Ezekial Ansah (1st) DE Detroit Was expected to be raw with a steep learning curve, but produced at a pretty high level. Very good in run defense and led all rookies with eight sacks. Obviously helped by some pretty good d-line teammates, but an impressive season anyway. Pretty high upside.

    Star Lotulelei (1st) DT Carolina Showed why he was so highly rated by draftniks for most of the draft season. Really shone as a run stuffer in the middle of the Panthers defense. Ok in pass defense but dominating against the run. Helped put the Panthers young defense on the map.

    Sheldon Richardson DT NY Jets Great rookie year for Richardson. Was named defensive rookie of the year on many lists. Already close to dominant as a run stuffer. Athletic, high motor, disruptive. SI did a post-season re-draft and Richardson was their top pick in retrospect.

    Shariff Floyd (1st) DT Minnesota Was slowed by a knee issue and then surgery in the preseason. Split time most of the season with Kevin Williams at DT. Played about every third series for most of the year. Had his best stretch in the final four games where he was much more active and aggressive. Viking coaches are at least saying they are pleased with his progression.

    Björn Werner (1st) DE Indy Missed three games with a foot injury early in the season. Didn’t make much impact when he played, mainly a rotational lineman, got three sacks but otherwise pretty weak in passrushing duties. Coaches want him to get stronger. Probably headed for another year as a rotation guy.

    Datone Jones (1st) Green Bay Suffered an ankle injury at the end of training camp, by midseason was finally playing significant snaps, then tailed off and had his snaps cut by the coaching staff pretty sharply by the end of the year. Disappointing year for Jones, expectations were high that he could step in and make an impact in year one. It sounds like the Packers still don’t really know what they’ve got in him.

    Sylvester Williams (1st) DT Denver The Broncos preached patience early with Williams. Translation: very slow start.. Inactive for a three of the first nine games, less than 20 snaps in the others in that stretch. Injuries gave him a chance late in the year and he took advantage, ended up starting late season through the playoffs. Got pretty strong praise from HC John Fox for fighting through his struggles and ending the season playing well. The second half turned his season from a disappointment into a pretty solid rookie season.

    Tank Carradine (2nd) DE SF Never saw the field for the 49’ers in 2013, was activated halfway through the season but his surgically repaired knee didn’t respond. Had a second knee surgery after the season to remove scar tissue from the knee.

    Kawaan Short (2nd) DT Carolina The concern for Short coming out of Purdue were motor issues. No signs of that in Carolina. Key rotation player in the middle of the Panther’s line, the combination of he and Lotulelei completely turned around the Panthers run defense. A better pass rusher than Lotulelei. Great second round pick. SI had him picked at #13 in their re-draft.

    Jonathan Hankins (2nd) DT Giants Had to fight for playing time behind veterans in the line rotation. Not a huge impact in limited snaps. Better as a run stuffer than a pass rusher but the team wants him to get stronger.

    Margus Hunt (2nd) DE, Cincinnati Very limited action, saw only 159 snaps, mainly later in the season. Very raw, still in project mode.

    Bennie Logan (3rd) DT Philly Started the final eight games at nose tackle. Got generally positive reviews from Eagles watchers. Showed good quickness and explosion. Team wants him heavier for 2014.

    Damontre Moore (3rd) DE NYG Missed time early with injuries, then the coaches seemed to lose confidence in his readiness for game action. Played undisciplined and was penalty prone, struggled to master the defensive schemes. The Giants are talking about seeing him as a starter this year, but needs to show more discipline and understanding of the defense.

    John Jenkins (3rd) DT New Orleans Quietly had a good rookie year. Worked through the year in a rotation at nose tackle, and started a few games as an injury fill-in. Very solid in both run defense and as a pocket collapser. May be the starting NT this year. With Jenkins, Vaccaro, receiver Kenny Stills, and a late showing by Terron Armstead, a very good draft class by the Saints.

    Jordan Hill (3rd) DT, Seattle Injuries turned 2013 into close to a redshirt year for Hill. Only played four games, wasn’t on the active roster for the playoffs.

    Brandon Williams (3rd) DT Balt Very limited playing time. Inactive for first three games, then worked his way into the rotation before being a healthy inactive for six of the final eight games. Disappointing end to the season after it was thought he’d get more playing time when Marcus Spears was released in mid-season. Coaches talk about having “a little maturing to do”.

    Offensive Line

    Brian Schwenke
    (4th) C Tennessee Broke into the starting lineup at center early in the season, got very strong reviews from word go. Suffered a high ankle sprain in week 10, missed a game and struggled with mobility the rest of the season. Ankle surgery after the season. The Titans are very high on him, see him as their long-term center.
    Khaled Holmes (4th) C Indy Ankle injury early in camp, didn’t impress in preseason, only played 12 snaps during the season. According to the team, will be competing for a starting spot with Phil Costa in 2014.
    Barrett Jones (4th) OC/OG St Louis Out recovering from his Lisfranc foot injury until late in the season, then played mainly special teams.


    Jonathan Cooper (1st) OG Arizona Injured in preseason and out for the year.

    Chance Warmack (1st) OG Tennessee Started and played every snap. Mixed reviews…Good run blocker, pretty good on the move in the run game, struggled in pass protection. Not a bad season overall, just didn't hit hte ground running like some of the pre-draft hype predicted. The Titans were pleased with his improvement over the course of the season.

    DJ Fluker (1st) OT San Diego Mainly playing RT, showed the power everyone expected in run blocking and plenty of athleticism in pass pro. Very solid rookie season, showed up on most all-rookie teams, outperformed the more highly touted tackles taken ahead of him in Round 1. Struggled a bit in a four game stint at left tackle, but looked worthy of the pick at #11.

    Justin Pugh (1st) OT NY Giants Started at right tackle for a Giants OL that was terrible. Started very slowly, by the end of the season was the teams best OL (not sure how much that says). Needs to improve in pass protection, but generally got good marks for season 1. Did make the pro football writers all-rookie team.

    Kyle Long (1st) OG Chicago Taken higher than expected by the Bears and proved worthy of the selection. Good in pass pro, run blocking, got to the second level consistently, and showed the kind of tough streak you want in a guard. Los of all-rookie recognition.

    Menelik Watson (2nd) OT Oakland Health problems most of the year. Played in five games, started two.
    Way too early to tell.

    Larry Warford (3rd) OG Detroit Stepped in as starter immediately and has Risen to good-to-dominant at RG. Didn’t surrender a sack all season, and was a Star run blocker. Made virtually every all-rookie team. A steal in the third round.

    Brian Winters (3rd) OG NY Jets Took over as starter for the Jets at left guard in week 5. The reviews were bad. Really bad. Many rumors he’d be benched late in the season. Struggled in both run blocking and pass pro. Among league leaders in sacks allowed.

    Terron Armstead (3rd) OT Finally moved to starting LT in week 16, very shaky game against Carolina, then followed it up with very solid starts to finish the season. The Saints are happy with his progression, very athletic, moves well in space, just needs to get stronger in the offseason. Should step in and be a longterm starter.

    Dallas Thomas (3rd) OT Miami After a poor preseason, Thomas logged two plays during the regular season. Couldn’t find the field for a team that had a starting tackle and guard missing for long stretches due to, well, you know, the Incognito story. The good news is that Thomas seems to be safely ahead of David Arkin on the projected 2014 depth chart. Disappointing season for a guard who many thought to be pretty quickly NFL-ready.

    David Bakhatiari (4th) GB Bakhatiari Forced to start at LT when Brian Bulaga went down in the preseason. Did pretty well – graded high in pass pro but struggled in the run game. Needs to get stronger, was vulnerable to bull rushes in addition to his run blocking issues. But a good and promising season for a rookie that wasn’t highly touted and wasn't expected to see the field much.

    David Quessenberry (6th) OG, Houston Broken foot just before game 1, out for the season.


    Tyrann Mathieu (3rd) CB Arizona Arizona has used Mathieu in a variety of roles single deep safety, up in run support, as a slot corner, occasionally as an outside corner, and he was very good, both in coverage and in some aggressive run support. And has shown maturity and good work ethic to boot. On lots of all-rookie lists. So far, looks like a 3rd round steal by the Cards.


    Kenny Vacarro (1st) FS New Orleans Very good reviews for Vacarro from the Saints. Rob Ryan used him in a lot of roles - blitzing, run support, slot corner, both safety positions, and at linebacker at times. He blew some coverages but also made big plays, and was a key part of the resurgence in the Saints defense. His injury late in the year was a blow to them. Showed good instincts in coverage and lots and lots of aggressiveness.

    Eric Reid (1st) FS San Fran Starter right away for SF. Physical and aggressive, showed good awareness and smarts. Very good pick, the only worry was concussion issues…he had two during the season, a possibly ominous health-related start for a rookie.

    Matt Elam (1st) FS Baltimore Starter since game 2 at free safety, really struggled in coverage during stretches. , Plenty of Ravens watchers believe he was out of position there and more of a natural SS. Somewhere between and okay and slightly disappointing rookie season.

    Jonathan Cyprien (2nd) SS Jacksonville The Jaguars put him at strong safety…struggled early (slight to gigantic struggles, depending on who close to the Jags you listen to). Showed improvement (slight to huge, again who you listen to) the second half of the season. Still on the learning curve.

    DJ Swearinger (2nd) SS Houston After an injury to their starting SS, the Texans decided to start Swearinger and live with the rookie growing pains. Got generally pretty good reviews, played with aggressiveness and confidence and attitude. Growing pains but decent rookie season.

    TJ McDonald (3rd) FS St Louis Missed the first 11 games with a broken leg. Not much to go on, too early to tell.

    Sharmako Thomas (3rd) SS Pitt Used mainly in sub packaes by the Steelers. Got pretty good reviews, expected to push for a starting job in 2014.

    Phillip Thomas (3rd) SS Washington Out for the season with a Lisfranc injury.

    Bacarri Rambo (6th) SS Wash Pressed into a starting role to start the season due to injuries. Got terrible grades, couldn’t cover or tackle. Lost his starting job quickly. Over his head, poor tackler, couldn’t contribute much on special teams. His upside may be be as a backup.

    Running Back

    Giovani Bernard (2nd) Cincy Had a good rookie season, effective in both the run game and passing game. Didn't start any games but worked in a tandem with BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Nice hands as a receiver, showed both good power and elusiveness.

    Eddie Lacy (2nd) Green Bay Excellent pick, named offensive rookie of the year in several lists. Helped keep the Packers competitive after Aaron Rogers went down. Good pick by the Packers.

    Le’Veon Bell (2nd) Missed some time early due to injury. Finished strong in his last five games, his ypc increased late in the year. Fits the mold of workhorse Steelers running backs.
  2. Gaede

    Gaede Well-Known Member

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    Great job! Always interesting to go back and look at how they played year 1.

    One guy I liked was Kawaan Short. Good to see he ended up doing well. See Will Sutton as a similiar player this year.
  3. honyock

    honyock Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, getting Lotulelei and Short in the first two rounds really was a big coup for Carolina. It did what we keep hoping will happen here...taking a major step to revamping their defensive line in one good draft. I don't know much about Sutton but if he makes the impact Short did, I'm all for it.
    Ntegrase96 and theSHOW like this.
  4. cds99

    cds99 Well-Known Member

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    One of the best posts and useful info i have read in a long time on here. Very good job and thanks for your time doing it.
  5. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    Excellent analysis.

    There were a shocking number of injuries involved.

    I think Kawaan Short would have been a 1st round pick if he had been in the 2014 draft class.

    I watched some Green Bay games and I was surprised how good Bakhatiari was in Pass Pro for a rookie 4th round pick.
  6. speedkilz88

    speedkilz88 Well-Known Member

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    Broaddus said this past week that the Cowboys had Short as a 3 tech that they liked last year. He also said they like the Arizona St. DTs.
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  7. theSHOW

    theSHOW Benched

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    This draft analysis is very interesting. And I agree with much of it. Very informative info. Any opinion on our selections?
  8. BigStar

    BigStar Stop chasing

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    Fluker was a shaky prospect that turned out great (looked stiff and not terribly athletic). Reid (who I wanted initially) would have a great career if his concussion issues aren't a problem (how could they not be as a S, good pass). Sly Williams was another pet that bombed and is too old to see as a great prospect @ this point. We really lucked out in a way ( on top of the great Fred/TW coup). WHY did you have to mention Warford :D? Great post!

    On a side note: are teams going to be ready to trade their 2nd rounders to move up more? Looking back, I wouldn't have minded it as much considering how much cheaper it is now with the rookie contract cap? It feels like we were a bit ahead of the curve with Claiborne but somewhat missed on the pick. I would think with the cost being lowered so substantially, that it wouldn't be an unwise move for some teams with specific needs (QB mostly). Maybe the new way of doing things draft wise?
    theSHOW likes this.
  9. skinsscalper

    skinsscalper Well-Known Member

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    Good stuff. Thanks for the analysis and effort.
  10. honyock

    honyock Well-Known Member

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    You're right, I was surprised by the number of season ending injuries I kept encountering in making the list.

    The other thing that was striking - and the thing that has struck me every year so far in doing this - is how a fans expectations of how soon a draftee should contribute is often so out of touch with what really happens. Looking at the first round defensive linemen in 2013: out of eight first round d-linemen drafted, five of them were generally seen as underperformers or minimal contributors in year one: Dion Jordan, Floyd, Werner, Datone Jones, and Sly Williams. Three were widely seen as meeting or exceeding expectations: Ansah, Richardson, and Lotulelei. Those first five may turn out just fine. But it's nowhere near a given that a first rounder gives significant production the first year. That's why it stands out so much when Carolina pulls off their Lotulelei/Short haul in round 1 and 2. There is some luck and randomness to which rookies come out of the gate fast.

    That's why I'm skeptical when I hear people say things like "there are guards in rounds 2-3 who can come in and start day one". Looking at round three guards in 2013 (Warford's round): Warford, Brian Winters, Dallas Thomas, and Hugh Thornton. It's true that every one of them started games at some point of the season. But Winters, Thomas and Thornton all got terrible reviews for their play. All three were pretty much seen as awful as starters. Again, they may tall turn out to be solid pros. But for every Warford, there are plenty of misses.
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  11. honyock

    honyock Well-Known Member

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    I stayed away from our selections because they've all been dissected here for a year solid. But it was interesting to read the year end reviews that included the Dallas rookies.

    With Frederick, there was a whole lot of crow eating by the national writers and analysts, who (mostly) conceded that Dallas had the last laugh with Frederick's solid year.

    There wasn't anywhere near the criticism of the Escobar pick nationally at years end that there was locally in the media and fanbase. The national analysts just regarded him as a 'too early to tell' pick. I remember some critiques nationally as well as locally after the draft, but there wasn't so much after the season.

    Williams got a lot of love in the post-season reviews. He was seen as a good pick who made an impact.

    Beyond those three, the rest of the Dallas picks were generally seen as To Be Determined. There were a few off the wall comments - one writer thought BW Webb had a solid rookie season and should push for a starting job this year. One praised Randle for his fine work in Murray's absence. It was enough to make you realize some of the national folks must be relying on team assistant coaches as their sources, or each team's version of Spagnola. But Frederick's and William's performances had the national folks much softer in any critiques of the Cowboys draft class by years end.
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  12. theSHOW

    theSHOW Benched

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    I hate to bring this up. And also hate hearing how nice a season Warford had but when Jerry phoned in that 2nd round pick... if the cameras zoomed in on me they would have broadcast two eyes, excited eyes that is, that had twin photos of Larry Warford gleaming so bright. He had his Cowboys hat on with a Blue Star in each eye. When Gavin Escabar was the choice I had to quick look up who he was (funny) Now we are past that (almost - another funny) and Dallas even had some nice guard play in 13'. Still the top offensive need should be an interior lineman. I'm all about BPA so I never get too appalled when the Jones Gang makes the pick. Shock hits first then I study and try to see the light. Dallas is young and guys like Leary fit exactly what you are saying. If another guard is taken I have no problem watching him be a depth player for a year or two. I am surprised that many of the defensive line dudes that came in for 2013 started so slow. That is a position that most easily translates to immediate impact.

    I also wanted Barrett Jones for Center.
  13. Dodger12

    Dodger12 Well-Known Member

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    Great thread and nice write-up. Someone just spit up their coffee.......
    1LoyalCowboyFan, honyock and Fredd like this.
  14. OhSnap

    OhSnap Well-Known Member

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    Seems like the Packers got something they've been missing for a long time with Lacy, if they stiffen up the defense they could be in for a big year.
  15. Fredd

    Fredd Well-Known Member

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    nice work honeyock...but, now I expect to see this next year with the likes of Manziel, Martin, Pryor, et al :D
    honyock likes this.
  16. skinsscalper

    skinsscalper Well-Known Member

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    Lacey was a GREAT pick for the Packers last season. I've been watching football for over 30 years and I don't ever remember the Packers having a guy that played with such ferocity at that position That doesn't mean they didn't have one. I just don't remember him. They've had a few guys that were decent West Coast backs (made a lot of plays out of short passing patterns) but not a guy that actually pounds the rock like Lacey. Lacey reminds me of some of the old NFC East backs. The kid is fun to watch (as long as he's not playing the Cowboys).
    OhSnap likes this.
  17. honyock

    honyock Well-Known Member

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    You win the prize. :D
  18. honyock

    honyock Well-Known Member

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    Don't raise the bar too high on me. I wilt under expectations like a bad draft pick. :confused:
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  19. Fredd

    Fredd Well-Known Member

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    haha...well, you have 12 more months to think about it :D
    honyock likes this.
  20. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    I attribute the fact that Warford was not on the Cowboys board to the OL coaches. Those coaches did a terrific job in 2013, so I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt that Warford was not a good fit in their Zone Blocking Scheme.

    The best coaching job on the entire team in 2013 was on the OLine, IMO. They put together a quality unit with a rookie (Fred), a near rookie (Leary) and 2 guys that were previously a mess in Bern and Free. The implemented a scheme tweak to hide Free's deficiencies which was brilliant. It was obvious that all of them were really well coached and that the scheme was really effective.

    It's odd that so many fans hate Escobar because his style of play is remarkably similar to Witten's.

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