- Reaction score
Some well earned likes… I appreciate it R.To give you a better feel for why the Cowboys picked the eight players they did, here are some of Will McClay’s thoughts on each one.
First round, No. 26: Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan
A behind-the-scenes look at the Cowboys discussing their first-round pick while they were on the clock last Thursday night was included in a video on the team’s website. The final decision came down to Smith and an offensive guard. TCU’s Steve Avila and Syracuse’s Matthew Bergeron were the next two guards drafted. Avila went 36th overall to the Rams. Bergeron went 38th to the Falcons. When Cowboys owner Jerry Jones asked McClay for his opinion, McClay said that he would go with Smith, an interior defensive lineman who the team hadn’t had ranked that high “in quite some time.”
“When (head coach Mike McCarthy) came in here he talked about building a bigger, stronger, faster football team,” McClay said. “We have continued to do that, and when you look at Mazi, teams run the football now and you see things change. You look at our division, he’s a guy that can stop that, a guy that adds value to our defense as well. I think there is an ability to rush the passer. You watch the Michigan tape, he is playing in a flat stance, doesn’t get after the passer. Well, you change things up, you put him with (defensive coordinator Dan Quinn) and (defensive line coach Aden Durde) within our defense, not only can he stop the run, but we feel like there is upside in rushing the passer as well, and being a disruptive force.”
Second round, No. 58 overall: Luke Schoonmaker, TE, Michigan
This pick was questioned because Florida offensive guard O’Cyrus Torrence was still available. The Cowboys went with the tight end who most mock drafts projected as a third-round pick. Torrence went with the next pick to the Bills. What was most intriguing about Schoonmaker?
“The fact that he played at Michigan,” McClay said. “The No. 1 thing at Michigan is they’re going to run the football. If you’re a tight end with a team that’s going to run the football, and you’re a point-of-attack guy, then you know the requirements and how to physically make the conscious decision to put your body on somebody else and block them. It’s a lost art in this day and age with people playing with all these space players, the undersized tight end and doing those things. Well, in the NFL, we’re looking for a guy that can do some (Y tight end) responsibilities. We know that he can do that because it’s on tape."
“But then you also look at his size, speed, athleticism and what we think he can add to the passing game as well, that was a very attractive thing in picking him. We know what we’re going to get in the run game. We know he knows how to do that. He will get better with coaching from (tight ends coach Lunda Wells). Looking for that ceiling to be really, really high, but also very excited to see what he can bring to us in the passing game.”
Third round, No. 90 overall: DeMarvion Overshown, LB, Texas
The Cowboys think he’ll immediately be able to help on special teams and become a valuable piece they can move around on defense.
“When you talk about looking for a player, you talk about the linebacker position and what it takes to play linebacker in our defense,” McClay said. “In the NFL, you have to cover running backs and you have to cover tight ends. You have to be able to blitz, and you have to play all over the field. You play with two linebackers mostly a lot now with the sub-defenses, and so you have to do a number of different things and then also have to contribute on fourth down and love to play the game. You watch this dude play, you turn on the tape, and it shows he loves to play the game of football.”