No I havent been awake all night (for a change). Just got up and realized the first round of the NFL draft happened and I only needed to watch 20 minutes of it to be shocked by what happened: The Cowboys made a great choice. Think about those words. The COWBOYS, with Jerry and Junior Jones running the dog and pony show, made a great and the right choice by trading away their second round pick along with #14 in round 1 for the #6 pick and turned that pick into Morris Claiborne. The best corner in the draft and one of the best corner prospects of the last half decade is coming to Dallas. I was near speechless when the pick happened. These are the Cowboys and our secondary is almost mandated to be retreads, converts, convicts, or the mentally challenged. Worse yet is having Newman as your senior leader of the secondary!
So now, out of the blue, surprising even Jerrah, comes Morris Claiborne. Oh he who is the Valedictorian of the bottom 10% of Wunderlicktorians. 5’11.5″ (Let’s just call him 6’0″ in cleats), 188 pounds, 4.39 40, 9’10″ broad jump, 4.12 shuttle, six INT’s in 2011, 11 career INT’s, 28.8 yard KO return average last year including 99 yard KORT, and Louisiana HS state 110 m sprint champ in 4A with 10.76 sec time. In other words, a real cornerback with no real deficiencies. Maybe his 34.5 inch vertical could be better, but even I can tell from his highlights that how he jumps in real game situations versus standing and jumping at the combine are totally different situations.
So I have to give, reluctantly and painfully, an A to the Cowboys for this move and even for the first three rounds of the draft no matter what they do in round 3. The best defensive player in the draft and the #3 player overall was available at #6 and more importantly, the Cowboys only had to give up a single pick, albeit a second rounder to get the best athlete, best defensive player, and #3 overall player overall into a Cowboy uni, and to boot address a very questionable position on the team that now suddenly has Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne added to Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick. Carr and Jenkins will start especially as Claiborne rehabs from wrist surgery, but Claiborne takes Jenkins job by the middle of the season. Scandrick fills the nickel role and with adequate safeties on the roster, including Poole, the secondary seems fairly set. Barring catastrophic injury, the Cowboys could field one of the better secondaries of the coming year and allow the DC to be like Manny Diaz and focus on creating front seven mismatches. Once again, I can’t believe that I am actually happy with a Jerrah Jones draft choice.
Had the Cowboys remained at 14, Jerrah was very emphatically clear that he would draft whatever defense was available and at the top of the board. That meant we would have picked a front seven talent or a safety, then focused on more defense at #45. What we should have done is secured the OL for the next decade by drafting DeCastro at 14, Konz or another young pounder at 45 and then you have the OL set for a decade, similar to Aikman led OL’s. We would have ended up, however, with a hodgepodge of defenders and likely a player like Dontari Poe who has great athleticism but not the production to match. Hate those kinds of players. So now in the third round, I see the Cowboys going line but secretly hope that Keenan Robinson sneaks into a Cowboys uni. At some point in the draft, I do hope they pick Baylor’s Terrance Ganaway for the backfield and sign Fozzy Whitaker to a FA contract for the future.
I think the Texans’ fans have to be shocked that Mercilus (who came up with that very appropriate name) Wiley was available and was picked. His production (16 sacks, 9 forced fumbles, 22.5 TFL’s, surprisingly no INT’s) won him the Ted Hendricks award as the top DE in the nation and this despite losing the tip of his index finger to a crushing weightlifting accident prior to the start of the season. Tough kid with tough mind set that admittedly benefitted from the Illini scheming that moved him around the line to give him the best match ups against the O. Doesn’t matter IMO because he produced and took advantage of the advantages given to him instead of half-assing his effort and going for the average play. Can he control one position and one side of the field if the Texans don’t continue the pattern of moving him around the D to maximize HIS talent. No one can be sure, but his effort level has never been questioned so I will bet he will succeed.
This is the first time in years that I can give both the Cowboys and Texans an A for their first round draft efforts. Well done boys and now put out the product on the field and let’s bring the championship of pro football back to the greatest state in the union!