Grading the Dallas Cowboys' Draft; Wandering Thoughts

Martin LongCorrespondent IApril 27, 2010

NEW YORK - APRIL 22:  Trent Williams from the Oklahoma Sooners (who was drafted #4 overall by the Washington Redskins) sits with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (R) during the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 22, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Dez Bryant should have been a top-10 draft choice. But because of concerns about habitual tardiness and an NCAA suspension, Bryant fell to Dallas and was selected with the 24th overall pick.

One word sticks out when reflecting upon the Cowboys first-round draft choice, and no, it isn’t risk; it’s value .

In fact, the first three draft choices for the Cowboys, could all be considered as value picks.

In 2007/2008, Sean Lee was heading towards being drafted in the first round -- that was until he tore his ACL at the start of the 2008 collegiate season.

Lee bounced back nicely in ’09, and while there are still lingering concerns about his long-term health; his talent level still remains the same. Thus, by selecting Lee 55th overall, the Cowboys garnered themselves another value pick.

Akwasi Owusu-Ansah was a fast rising prospect from a Div. II school, on the fringe of being selected in the second round. Things were quickly falling into place for Owusu-Ansah, but unfortunately, after dislocating his shoulder during the college season and continuing to play on, instead of rehabbing, Owusu-Ansah caused further damage to his shoulder, and was required to have surgery to repair a torn labrum in March. Once scouts and NFL GMs caught wind of this, Owusu-Ansah’s stock started to slide, and is why he fell right into the lap of the value hungry Cowboys, at 126th overall. (Owusu-Ansah is expected to be fully recovered and ready by training camp).



As for the overall draft grade for the Cowboys, I will give them a straight ‘B’.

While they did find value with their draft choices and moved up in the first- and second-rounds without dipping into next year’s draft picks, they failed to acquire any extra picks – bar a sixth. And also didn’t do much in the way of adding depth to the offensive line. 

Who’s the winner of the 2010 draft?

Tied between the Seahawks and 49ers.

(Of course, it’s always easier to have a good draft when a team possesses to first-round draft choices)

Seattle had by far the best first round of the 32 teams. Drafting a bookend offensive lineman and a ball-hawking safety were at the top of their needs list. And they filled both those needs with arguably the best player from each position; Earl Thomas (FS) and Russell Okung (OT)

While the 49ers, added four players that at one stage or another had a first round grade attached to their name; Anthony Davis (OT), Mike Iupati (OG), Taylor Mays (FS/SS) and Navorro Bowman (LB)

Who’s the loser of the 2010 draft?

The Washington Redskins.

No matter what NFL draft analysts say, about how Trent Williams fits the Washington Redskins zone-blocking scheme better. The fact of the matter is, Trent Williams was plagued by inconsistent performances last season, and mightn’t even be ready to play left tackle in the NFL. Not to mention his apparent work ethic – or lack there of. Yes, he’s a phenomenal athlete, with a load of potential. The key phrase being: ‘potential’. Williams hasn’t even come close to fulfilling that potential yet.

Russell Okung was and still is the most polished and pro-ready tackle to declare for the draft, so why do the Redskins pass on Okung and take a chance with the fourth overall pick, when they’re apparently in a win now mode?

It’s beyond me.

But that isn’t the only reason the Redskins are the losers of the 2010 draft. It had more to do with the fact that between their first and second pick, 99 players were selected. In what was one of the most talent-rich drafts in many year’s . . . maybe it wasn’t the wisest idea for the Redskins gang to trade away second- and third-round draft choices.

Martin Long

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