Cowboys' 2009 Draft Priorities—Offensive Line
This will be the first in a series of position analyses looking at specific players at specific positions the Boys might be targeting. We start with the offensive line because, in my opinion, that's where the Boys should be focusing—in both trenches.
I thought I'd take a little different approach to analyzing the upcoming draft, a position-by-position look at which players might be available to the Boys, in which rounds. I figured that first, I'd look at the offensive linemen, since I consider that to be a top priority in this draft. In particular, I think they need quality depth at center and guard, though I wouldn't turn up my nose at a quality tackle too. Players with an asterisk are my "pet cats."
Max Unger, C/OG/OT, Oregon: 6'5", 310 pounds, 5.25 second 40. Might be off the board by pick 51.
*Eric Wood, C/OG/OT, Louisville: 6'4", 310 pounds, 5.2 second 40. Might also be off the board by pick 51.
*Duke Robinson, OG, Oklahoma: 6'5", 330 pounds, 5.3 second 40. Projects to go in the low 50s on a lot of draft boards.
Realistically, Robinson is the only one of this group likely to slip to pick 51, but he's one of my favorites in this draft. I'd be happy to draft him in the second round. And as I think the 'Boys badly need a quality backup center, if either Unger or Wood (or even Alex Mack, which is highly unlikely) fell to pick 51, I'd have to take a long look at them, too.
Phil Loadholt, OT, Oklahoma: 6'8", 330 pounds, 5.45 second 40.
Kraig Urbik, OG, Wisconsin: 6'5", 330 pounds, 5.25 second 40.
Andy Levitre, OG/C, Oregon State: 6'3", 306 pounds, 5.3 second 40.
Honestly, none of these three really excites me, I'd look elsewhere in the third round. At the same time, the 'Boys have shown some interest in Loadholt and Levitre.
Troy Kropog, OT, Tulane: 6'6", 310 pounds, 5.3 second 40.
*Antoine Caldwell, C/OG, Alabama: 6'3", 310 pounds, 5.25 second 40.
Tupou Fenuki, OT/OG, Oregon: 6'5", 316 pounds, 5.2 second 40.
*TJ Lang, OG/C, Eastern Michigan: 6'4", 316 pounds, 5.1 second 40.
If the 'Boys weren't able to grab one of the blue-chip centers early in the draft, Caldwell or Lang would offer terrific value here; they've shown some interest lately in Lang.
Jaimie Thomas, OG, Maryland: 6'4", 325 pounds, 5.3 second 40.
Joel Bell, OT, Furman: 6'7", 316 pounds, 5.1 second 40.
*Louis Vasquez, OG, Texas Tech: 6'5", 335 pounds, 5.25 second 40.
*Cornelius Lewis, OG, Tennessee State: 6'4", 330 pounds, 5.2 second 40.
There are a few nice guards likely to still be on the board this late, Vasquez and Lewis are my favorites. The 'Boys apparently like Lewis.
SIXTH & SEVENTH ROUNDS:
*Roger Allen, OG, Missouri Western: 6'3", 325 pounds, 5.45 second 40.
*Robert Brewster, OG, Ball State: 6'4", 325 pounds, 5.3 second 40.
Travis Bright, OG, BYU: 6'4", 320 pounds, 5.25 second 40.
*Dallas Reynolds, OG/C/OT, BYU: 6'5", 310 pounds, 5.3 second 40.
Matt Slauson, OG/OT, Nebraska: 6'6", 315 pounds, 5.25 second 40.
*Ryan Delrosal, OT, Dixie State: 6'5", 316 pounds, 4.95 second 40.
Dallas Reynolds would be an excellent choice late in this draft, he can back up every line position. Ryan Delrosal's computer numbers are quite intriguing, in spite of his low level of competition.
PRIORITY UNDRAFTED ROOKIE FREE AGENTS:
Every year at the end of the draft, there are still a number of intriguing offensive line prospects who go undrafted, and this year will be no exception. The following are some of the line prospects who, in my opinion, will not be drafted, but will be in some team's training camp.
*Jose Valdez, OT, Arkansas: 6'5", 316 pounds, 5.2 second 40.
Juan Garcia, C/OG, Washington: 6'2", 306 pounds, 5.3 second 40 (injuries hurt his draft stock, he could be a steal).
Robby Felix, C, UTEP: 6'2", 306 pounds, 5.2 second 40. I went to UTEP, allow me my bias. Felix is a little smaller than I generally like my linemen, but he's very hardnosed.
*Cedric Dockery, OG, Texas: 6'3", 316 pounds, 5.35 second 40. Another player coming back from injury, his big brother Derrick is a well-regarded guard in the league.
*Tim Henderson, OG, Northwestern State (La.): 6'3", 325 pounds, 5.3 second 40.
Antonio Dixon, OL/DT (conversion project), Miami: 6'3", 325 pounds, 5.2 second 40. I think he's too slow to be successful as a NT, but might be quick enough to play OG.
Calvin Dority, OG/C, North Carolina:6"3", 310 pounds, 5.2 second 40.
David Washington, OG/C, Oklahoma State: 6'3", 310 pounds, 5.25 second 40.
Ben Person, OG, Ohio State: 6'3", 325 pounds, 5.3 second 40.
Jonathan St. Pierre, OG/C, Illinois State: 6'3", 310 pounds, 5.3 second 40.
Terrell Nemons, OL/DT, Tulsa: 6'2", 330 pounds, 5.35 second 40. Another NT conversion project, some scouts project him to OG.
Matt Eichelberger, OL/DT, Washington State: 6'4", 316 pounds, 5.25 second 40. One final NT conversion project.
OK, there's over 30 offensive linemen that I'd be targeting in this draft. I could justify going with an offensive lineman at pick 51, but I could also make a case for waiting until the fourth round before drafting a blocker, then taking two before the draft concludes (say Caldwell or Lang in the fourth, then either Vasquez or Lewis in the fifth, or alternatively, Reynolds or Delrosal in the seventh).
And then once the draft concluded, I'd want to try to sign two or three of the priority UDFAs mentioned above, say two from among Dockery, Vasquez and Henderson, then one of the other centers (Garcia, Felix, Washington, St. Pierre or Dority).
(SilverBear is a CP Writer/Contributor. To read more of his draft analogies, join us hereCowboyspride.net)
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