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Mocking the Night Away

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by cowboysfan31, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. cowboysfan31

    cowboysfan31 Active Member

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    1. Dont'a Hightower LB Alabama 6'4" 260lbs- Spencer, James, and Brooking will all be free agents this offseason. People are crazy about Burfict, but Hightower fits our needs perfectly. He has the size to play inside or outside, he has been the leader of an NFL-quality 3-4 defense for several years now, and he's got a nose for the football.

    2. Ben Jones C Georgia 6'3" 316lbs- The Cowboys have struggled in short-yardage and red zone situations until recently, and alot of that has to do with the play in the middle of the line. Jones has the size to anchor against bigger NTs, and he has the experience of starting 45 games at C against SEC competition.

    3. Kawann Short DL Purdue 6'3" 310lbs- Short has a good combination of size and explosiveness that should allow him to play either T or E for Rob Ryan. Kawann has been a consistent performer throughout his college career, and outside of Ratliff nobody has been able to step up on a consistent basis for us on the DL.

    4. Donnie Fletcher DB Boston College 6'1" 195lbs- No BC defensive back has been drafted higher than the 4th round since 1990. Fletcher may be worthy of a higher pick but because of that I'll slot him here. He has the size to match up against bigger receivers, and he is a ball hawk. He may not have the speed to stay at CB, but he is a solid tackler and would probably make a good FS.

    5. Matt Reynolds OL BYU 6'6" 305lbs- Currently plays LT and has started every game of his college career. He may be better suited to play G, but would add good depth to the OL.

    6. Eddie Whitley FS Virginia Tech 6'0" 190lbs- Why Whitley is rated this low, I don't know but what I do know is that he would be a steal here. He is a leader in the defensive secondary and has the ability to line up anywhere.

    6. (Possible Comp Pick) Jerry Franklin LB Arkansas 6'1" 245lbs- This guy may be a little under-sized but all he does is make big plays. We need more playmakers at LB and it is a position we are thin at, so its a natural fit.

    7. George Bryan TE NC State 6'5" 265lbs- Not as athletic as Bennett, but he may be able to develop into what we thought Bennett could be. Bryan averages 10 yards per catch and has the size to be an extra OT almost. Too much upside not to take a gamble here.



    I know there will be people who say we need CB help earlier, but when you look at good 3-4 defenses like Pittsburgh and Baltimore they are built on a strong front 7 and rather average secondaries. Newman is having a career year under Ryan, and we have a solid young tandem in Jenkins and Scandrick. The more this defense comes together and learns to communicate, the better the secondary will perform and I believe that a mid-round pick for depth will be adequate. Other than that are there any comments?
  2. supercowboy8

    supercowboy8 Well-Known Member

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    Its ok, not big on the Hightower pick due to we have Lee and Carter. If I go ILB in the 1st I want Kuechly but I don't think a LB is a first day need or even early second if Dallas resigns Spencer.
    Love the Kawann Short and Ben Jones picks.
    Also Fletcher is a good player but he is a press man CB, he plays off about 10 yards at BC and is much more of a zone CB. But he wouldnt be a bad pick in round 4 he has the size to be coached into playing press man.
    Shaun Prater and Jonathan Banks are two Cbs I also really like.
  3. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    Good mock.

    I like to over-analyze mocks. Please don't consider this ripping your mock. I like your write-up.

    1. Dont'a Hightower LB Alabama 6'4" 260lbs- Spencer, James, and Brooking will all be free agents this offseason. People are crazy about Burfict, but Hightower fits our needs perfectly. He has the size to play inside or outside, he has been the leader of an NFL-quality 3-4 defense for several years now, and he's got a nose for the football.
    I see a lot of Bradie James in him. Stout against the run but not a great coverage player. I think he will run fairly slow at the combine.

    2. Ben Jones C Georgia 6'3" 316lbs- The Cowboys have struggled in short-yardage and red zone situations until recently, and alot of that has to do with the play in the middle of the line. Jones has the size to anchor against bigger NTs, and he has the experience of starting 45 games at C against SEC competition.
    I'm curious to see more expert opinions on this guy. His results are good in college but it's not pretty (pretty for OL is watching DeCastro). His body type reminds me of Costa. Wes Bunting gave him a mixed review. If they draft a Center in the 2nd, I want him to be a day one starter and a huge upgrade over Costa. If he is only a marginal upgrade, then I would prefer to use the pick on another position.

    3. Kawann Short DL Purdue 6'3" 310lbs- Short has a good combination of size and explosiveness that should allow him to play either T or E for Rob Ryan. Kawann has been a consistent performer throughout his college career, and outside of Ratliff nobody has been able to step up on a consistent basis for us on the DL.
    Sounds good. I think explosiveness is exactly what Rob Ryan is looking for in the DL.

    4. Donnie Fletcher DB Boston College 6'1" 195lbs- No BC defensive back has been drafted higher than the 4th round since 1990. Fletcher may be worthy of a higher pick but because of that I'll slot him here. He has the size to match up against bigger receivers, and he is a ball hawk. He may not have the speed to stay at CB, but he is a solid tackler and would probably make a good FS.
    I think the CB-to-FS conversion might be a good idea since the Safety position appears thin in this draft.

    5. Matt Reynolds OL BYU 6'6" 305lbs- Currently plays LT and has started every game of his college career. He may be better suited to play G, but would add good depth to the OL.
    I like him in the 5th, but not in the 2nd/3rd like some projections that I've seen.

    6. Eddie Whitley FS Virginia Tech 6'0" 190lbs- Why Whitley is rated this low, I don't know but what I do know is that he would be a steal here. He is a leader in the defensive secondary and has the ability to line up anywhere.
    Good player, but he will have to beat out your #4 pick to have a chance to make the team.

    6. (Possible Comp Pick) Jerry Franklin LB Arkansas 6'1" 245lbs- This guy may be a little under-sized but all he does is make big plays. We need more playmakers at LB and it is a position we are thin at, so its a natural fit.
    Love this pick. This is the position where a 6th round pick is most likely to make the team. They need 2 backups at ILB.

    7. George Bryan TE NC State 6'5" 265lbs- Not as athletic as Bennett, but he may be able to develop into what we thought Bennett could be. Bryan averages 10 yards per catch and has the size to be an extra OT almost. Too much upside not to take a gamble here.
    Good pick. This is another position where a 7th rounder has a very good chance to make the team.
  4. cowboysfan31

    cowboysfan31 Active Member

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    Hightower is not just an ILB. He can and has played both inside and outside in Alabama's 3-4 scheme, and he can put his hand in the dirt and rush the QB too. Kuechly makes a ton of tackles and shows relentless effort on the field, but he's not a very physical tackler and he is not faster than Hightower even though he is 2 inches and 20lbs smaller. Hightower probably doesn't have the speed to hang with backs 1-on-1, but he is a smart defender and understands zone coverage. He has been starting since he was a true freshman (started 12 of 14 games).
  5. cowboysfan31

    cowboysfan31 Active Member

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    Hightower comes from the SEC like James and is stout against the run, but he is 2 inches and 15lbs bigger than James. He is not going to hang with backs running down the field, but he is smart and understands zone coverage. With the speed of Lee and Carter, I like the flexibility Hightower could add as an underneath enforcer in the middle of the field that is capable of getting after the QB too.

    Watching DeCastro play is a thing of beauty, but he will most likely go in the top half of the 1st round because of that. Costa and Jones are listed almost identically, but Jones has a much better body IMO. Costa has been noted in the past for his short arms, and in general he just seems a little shorter/thicker where as Jones is a bit more well-balanced and athletic. Jones has now started 46 games at C for Georgia, and thats not because they can't find anybody better. He goes up against 2 potential NFL NT's everyday in practice (Kwame Geathers and Big John Jenkins) and should have no problem in an NFL offense.

    I think Short could be a very good player in the NFL. He has the frame of a NT, but has a freshman he came up with 2 INTs, and he has blocked 2 kicks each of the last 2 years. He has 15.5 TFL and 6.5 sacks from his DT spot this year.

    As supercowboy8 noted above, Fletcher is a good press corner but hasn't been asked to do that much in college. I think he has the ability to stay outside, and his size would be a big plus on the outside but if he doesn't have the foot speed to stay outside, but is smart enough and a strong enough tackler to move inside later.

    I don't pay too much attention to where players go in other people's mocks at this point. We're all just guessing and it doesn't really matter. CBS has Reynolds ranked as the 14th best OT, and 150th player overall right now. If we're taking a 3rd round G/T I'd go with Levy Adcock out of OK ST, that dude is a brawler.

    Fletcher deserves a shot to stay at CB first so his selection shouldn't affect Whitley. We have Church and McCray as developmental safeties but both are probably better suited to SS. I would like to see a young development FS that can cover and and the QB of the secondary which Whitley has been doing thus far in his college career.

    Overall thanks for your comments.
  6. BAT

    BAT Mr. Fixit

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    Of all the picks, I like Short the best. IMO he will be a first day pick.
  7. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    Good "defense" of your mock!

    1. Dont'a Hightower LB Alabama 6'4" 260lbs- Spencer, James, and Brooking will all be free agents this offseason. People are crazy about Burfict, but Hightower fits our needs perfectly. He has the size to play inside or outside, he has been the leader of an NFL-quality 3-4 defense for several years now, and he's got a nose for the football.
    I see a lot of Bradie James in him. Stout against the run but not a great coverage player. I think he will run fairly slow at the combine.
    Hightower comes from the SEC like James and is stout against the run, but he is 2 inches and 15lbs bigger than James. He is not going to hang with backs running down the field, but he is smart and understands zone coverage. With the speed of Lee and Carter, I like the flexibility Hightower could add as an underneath enforcer in the middle of the field that is capable of getting after the QB too.
    Can he play OLB full time? I'm hopeful that Carter is a 3-down ILB like Lee.

    2. Ben Jones C Georgia 6'3" 316lbs- The Cowboys have struggled in short-yardage and red zone situations until recently, and alot of that has to do with the play in the middle of the line. Jones has the size to anchor against bigger NTs, and he has the experience of starting 45 games at C against SEC competition.
    I'm curious to see more expert opinions on this guy. His results are good in college but it's not pretty (pretty for OL is watching DeCastro). His body type reminds me of Costa. Wes Bunting gave him a mixed review. If they draft a Center in the 2nd, I want him to be a day one starter and a huge upgrade over Costa. If he is only a marginal upgrade, then I would prefer to use the pick on another position.
    Watching DeCastro play is a thing of beauty, but he will most likely go in the top half of the 1st round because of that. Costa and Jones are listed almost identically, but Jones has a much better body IMO. Costa has been noted in the past for his short arms, and in general he just seems a little shorter/thicker where as Jones is a bit more well-balanced and athletic. Jones has now started 46 games at C for Georgia, and thats not because they can't find anybody better. He goes up against 2 potential NFL NT's everyday in practice (Kwame Geathers and Big John Jenkins) and should have no problem in an NFL offense.
    If at all possible, I would like them to trade up for DeCastro. He would be the best Interior OL on the team the minute he is drafted, IMO.

    3. Kawann Short DL Purdue 6'3" 310lbs- Short has a good combination of size and explosiveness that should allow him to play either T or E for Rob Ryan. Kawann has been a consistent performer throughout his college career, and outside of Ratliff nobody has been able to step up on a consistent basis for us on the DL.
    Sounds good. I think explosiveness is exactly what Rob Ryan is looking for in the DL.
    I think Short could be a very good player in the NFL. He has the frame of a NT, but has a freshman he came up with 2 INTs, and he has blocked 2 kicks each of the last 2 years. He has 15.5 TFL and 6.5 sacks from his DT spot this year.
    Good.

    4. Donnie Fletcher DB Boston College 6'1" 195lbs- No BC defensive back has been drafted higher than the 4th round since 1990. Fletcher may be worthy of a higher pick but because of that I'll slot him here. He has the size to match up against bigger receivers, and he is a ball hawk. He may not have the speed to stay at CB, but he is a solid tackler and would probably make a good FS.
    I think the CB-to-FS conversion might be a good idea since the Safety position appears thin in this draft.
    As supercowboy8 noted above, Fletcher is a good press corner but hasn't been asked to do that much in college. I think he has the ability to stay outside, and his size would be a big plus on the outside but if he doesn't have the foot speed to stay outside, but is smart enough and a strong enough tackler to move inside later.
    If he has the physical abililty to play press, then it should be mentally easier to go from zone to press than the other way around.

    5. Matt Reynolds OL BYU 6'6" 305lbs- Currently plays LT and has started every game of his college career. He may be better suited to play G, but would add good depth to the OL.
    I like him in the 5th, but not in the 2nd/3rd like some projections that I've seen.
    I don't pay too much attention to where players go in other people's mocks at this point. We're all just guessing and it doesn't really matter. CBS has Reynolds ranked as the 14th best OT, and 150th player overall right now. If we're taking a 3rd round G/T I'd go with Levy Adcock out of OK ST, that dude is a brawler.
    Levy Adcock would be an excellent Guard/backup-Tackle, IMO. I would prefer him to a guy like Zeitler.

    6. Eddie Whitley FS Virginia Tech 6'0" 190lbs- Why Whitley is rated this low, I don't know but what I do know is that he would be a steal here. He is a leader in the defensive secondary and has the ability to line up anywhere.
    Good player, but he will have to beat out your #4 pick to have a chance to make the team.
    Fletcher deserves a shot to stay at CB first so his selection shouldn't affect Whitley. We have Church and McCray as developmental safeties but both are probably better suited to SS. I would like to see a young development FS that can cover and and the QB of the secondary which Whitley has been doing thus far in his college career.
    Safety is hard to project for the Cowboys because Church and McCray appear to be near-locks with the Coaching staff despite not really projecting to play Safety full time, IMO. They could carry a 5th safety if they don't carry 2 kickers.

    6. (Possible Comp Pick) Jerry Franklin LB Arkansas 6'1" 245lbs- This guy may be a little under-sized but all he does is make big plays. We need more playmakers at LB and it is a position we are thin at, so its a natural fit.
    Love this pick. This is the position where a 6th round pick is most likely to make the team. They need 2 backups at ILB.
    I watched this guy yesterday. He would be an excellent 6th round pick.

    7. George Bryan TE NC State 6'5" 265lbs- Not as athletic as Bennett, but he may be able to develop into what we thought Bennett could be. Bryan averages 10 yards per catch and has the size to be an extra OT almost. Too much upside not to take a gamble here.
    Good pick. This is another position where a 7th rounder has a very good chance to make the team.
  8. cowboysfan31

    cowboysfan31 Active Member

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    Thank you, xwalker. I appreciate your criticism/commentary. Hightower probably could play OLB I think. He moves around alot in Saban's defense, but he is the playcaller for them so he is in the middle of the field most of the time on first and second down. On third down, he can put his hand in the dirt and rush the passer so he has versatility. The way I think he would be best utilized in our defense would be to have Carter and Ware outside with Hightower and Lee inside on first and 2nd downs. That gives you strength up the middle with speed and coverage ability out in the flats. On third down Carter and Hightower could switch. Our LBs already move around quite a bit, so having someone that can play anywhere seems like a Rob Ryan plus to me.

    As for the OL, DeCastro is talented but I wouldn't trade up for him. If he lasts to us I take him, but I don't think he's worth giving up too much for. I think that once Nagy and Arkin get a full offseason they will help solidify the guard spot. I really think we need an upgrade in the middle of the line, I'm just not sold on Costa. I want somebody in the middle capable of making all of the calls/adjustments and strong enough to anchor against the bull rush yet able to move too. Maybe thats asking too much, but I'd rather shoot for the moon. Konz's medical issues are a no-go for me until he's cleared at the combine if he enters, and Jones/ Brewster seems to be splitting hairs at this point. Brewster may be a little quicker, but Jones seems stronger to me.
  9. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Brewster had a bad game saturday; saw some highlights that worry me about him. Jones has got the size; does he have the quickness? That is Costa's huge minus; no lateral mobility.
  10. realtick

    realtick Benched

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    Not to mention he shows really poor technique/balance at times too. Yesterday, early in the 1st QTR, Barry Coefield did a simple club move that knocked Costa to the ground.

    I'm going to wait until the end of the season to make a judgement with the hopes that he improves as the season progresses.

    Costa seems to really struggle when his man doesn't want to engage him straight on in a bullrush. I've watched him too many times get shed as the lineman moves laterally across him.
  11. Manwiththeplan

    Manwiththeplan Well-Known Member

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    Costa is a good back-up center, and that's about it. It's amazing we have been as productive on offense with him out there.
  12. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    I agree that OC is the biggest question mark on the team. I just don't see any clear cut answer to the problem.

    Draft:
    Konz - Medical scares me for the 1st, although it could drop him to the Boys 2nd round pick.

    Brewster - Too small.

    Jones - Limited athlete.

    Project - Move a Guard or Tackle to OC. This would not solve the 2012 problem.

    FA:
    Nick Hardwick - Better than Costa but nothing special IMO.

    On the roster:
    Costa - Can he get any better? He would probably look better if he had dominant Guards on both sides.

    Kowalski - Can he get bigger/stronger in the offseason? He appears to have good quickness and knows how to play the position.

    Arkin - During training camp, the local media guys said the Coaching staff discussed moving Arkin to Center.

    Nagy - Same as Arkin. During training camp, the local media guys said the Coaching staff discussed moving Nagy to Center.
  13. supercowboy8

    supercowboy8 Well-Known Member

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    yep I have been saying this since preseason.

    Konz is the best C int he draft, but ow with that injury I doubt he comes out or if he does it might push him to round 2, in which I would trade up in the 2nd to get him.

    Ben Jones is #2 Center for me right now after I saw how bad Brewster played vs Still.

    if we don't get a OL in the 1st I hope we walk out his draft with Ben Jones and Zeitler. If Barett Jones comes out this year then give me the Jones's. Ben Jones and Barrett Jones.
  14. Manwiththeplan

    Manwiththeplan Well-Known Member

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    Are you talking about the ankle injury? We've seen Sam Bradford go #1 after suffering 2 shoulder injuries months before the draft. We've seen Willis McGahee go #25 after tearing his ACL, MCL and PCL in a national championship game and we've Michael Crabtree go #10 overall after not being able to work out at all due to injuries.

    An ankle injury will not effect anyone's draft status. It's just not serious enough unless we're talking amputation. Not to mention he'll be plenty healed once the draft process begins.

    If he's available, I wouldn't mind Devone Still in round 1 and Brewster in round 2. I'd still take Brewster over Jones because he can and will get bigger and stronger. But he's a great athlete at the center position and Jones just isn't.
  15. supercowboy8

    supercowboy8 Well-Known Member

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    just depends on how he comes back and performs with that ankle, a dislocation is never the same and can easily happen again, and for OL thats not something you want. Konz was a fringe mid 1st rounder already, I think he is a early 2nd rounder or late first for sure now.

    I like Still but it just depends on what Dallas does in FA. If we let Spencer walk then OLB will be a day one need. I like SPencer but if his demands are to high then I would let him walk.

    I would much rather use big money and sign Campbell and draft a 3-4 OLB early than resign Spencer to big money.
  16. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    Konz also has a medical condition (possible blood clots in the lungs).
  17. Manwiththeplan

    Manwiththeplan Well-Known Member

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    the same condition he's played with the last 2 years......
  18. supercowboy8

    supercowboy8 Well-Known Member

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    yeah thats been known and he has been fine. If it was an issue then he wouldn't be playing.
  19. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    The speculation is that if it happens again, he would have to go on blood thinner permanently and could not play football.

    If that is not true, then he would be my pick in the 1st.

    If DeCastro falls to the Cowboys pick and Konz medical is a non-issue, then it would be a difficult decision. I think DeCastro is a better player, but a quality Center is harder to find than a Guard, IMO.

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