A few weeks ago I was able to get a few of the draft previews at the local stores and got me a little knowledge of what we have in the 09 draft. I was able to get a hold of four publications. They run about 7 to 8 bucks apiece but its fun to try to be an expert! I have Pro Football Weekly, Lindys', Sporting News and Pro Football 09 Draft Preview, a new guy on the block! I'm excited so lets start!
As with any fan whos team has no #1 pick, I will be hoping for 1st round picks to drop. It can happen and it has and it will. A certain guy from Tennessee somehow fell to us in the 3rd round. That being one Jason Witten. not a bad pro bowler future hall of famer. Last year Tashard Choice who looks like a 1200 yard back fell to the 4th round. You can time a player, see how he looks in shorts but you can't get a tape measure in his chest to measure his heart. "Emmitt is too small," Really!? We all know what he did. I don't even bother to look at a backs' height any more after seeing him run. In this years' draft there are a few players who might drop because of character issues. We all have different opinions on that. One could argue, Irvin was a walking mouth but he backed it up so who cares!
Ok, so we have no #1 pick but lets look at the brighter picture. We have a 6"4" receiver whos had a 1,000 yard year with a bad team. In 06, Roy Williams caught 82 balls for 1,310 yards and a 16 yard per reception average. He added 7 touchdowns. In his career Williams has averaged 14.3 per catch. With all the first round top 10 bust receivers in the last 10 years, having Williams instead is better then a young receiver picked after the top 15. Roy will be the "go to" guy in 09 and I choose to be excited. He had an outstanding college carreer and has been to one pro bowl and hes only 27. Not a bad 1st round pick! Be excited!
In the 2nd round #51, if Hakeem Nicks isn't there, we will go either safety, offensive line or dt. Nicks is the only receiver I see Dallas taking with their first pick. He will be gone along with the other top 5 or 6 receivers. This is a good year for offensive linemen. so that is what I will blog about. One would argue, you can get offensive linemen later. Well, not star players. Eric Williams was a rare exception. Dallas will address the O line early. There are a few linemen who are rated to go in the 1st and in other publications in the 3rd or 4th. Adams is getting old. its time to let him know that false starts could cost him his job. Hes been too confortable for way too long. Adams seeing Owens get cut will make him a better player this year, trust me! Its called, "I'll lose millions if I don't play better!" No mistake Adams is a "money" player. for sure.
OT. William Beatty Connecticut 6'6'' 291, good job getting out of stance, makes good initial contact, able to maintain blocks out of space. good pass blocker with good knee bend and leverage. needs to handle straight ahead power rush. equally fast in pass and run plays. lacks elite speed. will not physically dominate, run blocking not his strength, has all the tools to be a solid left tackle, he had a good Senior Bowl and is a potential 1st rounder but could slip. Expected to go in the 2nd round.
OT. Eben Britten Arizona 6'6'' 310, athletic, has quickness to get out of stance to cut off pass rushers, shows good hand punch and strength, tends to not be consistant or aggressive, fails to adjust to pass rush moves at times, has the size, strength and athleticism to be a solid left tackle, needs a little improvement in blocking technique. Slated to go in the 3rd round.
OT. Michael Oher Mississippi 6' 5'' 309, elite athlete with great quickness, blocks with leverage, good run blocker, one of the strongest linemen in draft, poor hand technique, struggles to pick up complex blocking schemes, poor foot work at times. Has all the tools to be a solid tackle, scouts feel his football intelligence might be lacking. This is a possible gem in the 5th round? Scouts say he may fall further then talent shows.
OT. T.J LANG East Michigan 6'4''312, hard worker with nasty disposition, good football intelligence, great work ethic, impressive footwork, impressive speed, needs better body strength, needs to run block without waist bending, must handle bull rushers better, Lang has the ability to play all O line positions, his solid footwork and versatility might bring him higher in the draft.
The top 3 tackles I expect to go before we pick. They are Eugene Monroe Virginia, Andre Smith Alabama and Jason Smith Baylor. If any of these guys fall, we will probably grab one. There are a few decent tackles slated to go later. Sporting News gave the O tackles in this draft an "A". So its a talented group.
The injury to our starting guard Kosier in 08 has got to have our owner concerned about guard depth. Here are the guards and centers in this years' draft. Keep in mind that Guerode can also play guard as he did at Colorado. So a center might be a possibility, a good place to start is a center Max Unger of Oregon who scouts can't seem to get a similiar opinion on as he is a 1st rounder to some, a 5th rounder to others! Unger can play guard or center. Here are the possibilities for us in the 2nd round on!....
C/OG. Max Unger 6/4'' 299 Oregon, aggressive, competitive blocker, gets out of stance fast, tough, plays high, doesn't always anchor, not a great athlete, marginal run blocker, scouts love his intangibles, some people feel he won't be drafted, others say hes a #1 pick, PFW says hes a first year starter with pro bowl potential, can play all positions on line, rated best C. in draft by PFW, publications disagree on athleticism, they all agree Unger isn't anything like Felix. This is a guy I pray Dallas can grab in the 5th because no one knows what to think about him. They love him, they hate him. Worth a late pick choice.
C. Jonathan Luigs 6'3'' 302, Arkansas , 4 yr. starter, smart, tough, durable, moves well for his size, not physicle, not that strong, struggles to anchor, lacks recovery speed, can not play guard, positional blocker, has great intelligence. Hes an Arkansas guy.
C. Alex Mack 6'4'' 312, California, tough, highly competitive, quick into blocks, pancake blocker, aggressive when he gets to backers, nasty streak, stiff in hips, poor core strength, plays out of control, marginal recovery speed, mentally tough, hardworking, coaches love him, spends alot of time on ground but is tenacious and determined. Another linemen experts have different opinions on. SN preview has Mack as their best Center. Native American.
C. Antoine Caldwell 6'3'' 307 Alabama, plays well on his feet, good size to pass block, very durable, missed 4 games in 4 seasons, plays too tall, relies on finesse too often, average football strength, doesn't adjust well to moving targets, doesn't always pick up the blitz, better enclosed area blocker, doesn't appear to be a starter type player by some, might be a better left guard. some say he can pass block well, Caldwell has played at all line positions.
Sporting News gives this years' group of centers a "C". All publications can't seem to agree on who is a 1st rounder or whos lousy at this position.
Dallas may just go after a guard rather then a versatile player like Unger who plays center and guard. Here are the available guards when Dallas has the 51st pick this year.
G. Andy Levitre 6'2'' 306 Oregon State, smart, great feel for game, quickness getting to linebackers, good balance to finish blocks, good hands moves defenders, not explosive, needs better knee bend, must use better hand punch, played tackle, projected to play left guard, has toughness and versatility, probably a day one starter. Slated to go in the 2nd round.
G. Duke Robinson 6'5'' 335 Oklahoma, big bodied, natural stength, long arms, explosive power, nasty disposition, shows ability to dominate, fast to get to linebackers, can play guard and tackle, lazy, undeciplined at times, immature, lacks ideal foot quickness, durability a question but only missed 2 games of 51 starts, natural talent, 2nd round talent, poor work habits, will overpower big linemen and struggle vs speed guys, if he will work hard, hes a player.
G. Kraig Urbik 6'5'' 323 Wisconsin, four year starter, thick lower body, strong base, played guard and tackle, explosive power and hand punch, alert to blitz and needed adjustments, very durable, has lots of intangibles, not a great athlete, must sustain blocks better, doesn't sink hips to block low enough, plays better in enclosed areas, can be beaten by quickness, excellent sized drive blocker, PFW says this guy is NFL ready.
G. Louis Vasquez 6'4'' 330 Texas Tech, great size for position, handles big bodies, jolts defenders, nasty disposition, long body, doesn't sink hips well, questionable stamina, wears down easily, spends lots of time on ground, slow to slide, big massive plodder, good in short area, excellent for Cowboys as he is a power blocker says PFW preview. Louis is durable, missing 0 games in last 3 years as a starter.
G. Greg Isdaner 6'4'' 315 West Virginia , highly competitive, gets hands on defenders quickly, good speed, doesn't block with fast hand punch, SN preview says this guy is a long time starter, sound skills and technique, needs more teaching, PFW has him rated 23rd, SN preview has him rated 2nd among guards, better pass blocker then run blocker.
There are other players that can go in the 5th, 6th rounds. I hope Dallas can get a couple solid versatile linemen so we have depth to avoid last years' problems. No, the O line isn't a glamour position but games are won and lost there. I will try to talk about the defensive linemen who might be there in round 2 soon.