Saturday, April 30, 2011

Guess Who's Back! and NFL Draft Analysis Part 1

"But no matter how many fish in the sea, it'll be so empty without me." - Eminem

I'm Baaaaaaack! I would like to sincerely apologize to my readers for my sabbatical. As soon as the mandatory blog posts for my English class were fulfilled, things got incredibly busy with school and I simply did not find the time to service your daily dose of Clinton literature. But not to worry friends, because now I have some free time again and am writing (typing) for fun!!! *shudder* never thought I'd say that. Anyway, I won't be writing everyday, but I have a bunch of cool ideas for posts coming up that I hope you'll enjoy! And the first will be my three part breakdown of the NFL Draft!!!! I will first analyze my beloved Dallas Cowboys, then my adopted New York Jets, followed by all of the TCU players that were selected, and finally I will post and breakdown the team which I believe came away with the single best draft class this year (excluding Dallas and NY of course). 

I feel like I've kept you waiting long enough! So without further Ado, let's get things started with my breakdown of..... THE DALLAS COWBOYS' 2011 Draft Class!!!!!!!!!!!

Allow me to open by saying that for the first time in a LONG time, I was overall very pleased with the Cowboys' draft this year. Usually watching Jerry makes picks leads to me to eventually beating my head against a concrete wall until my ears begin to bleed and I have put my self at severe risk for Lou Gehrig's disease. But this year wasn't that bad. Yes, I know, the Cowboys didn't grab any safeties this year, and I'm just as upset as you are about that. But clearly, when the 'Boys got to a point on their board where they felt comfortable taking a DB, all of the great safeties were already taken, and there was no sense wasting a pick on a clearly sub-par player. Dallas did grab two solid O-linemen, a good RB who will help the offense and special teams, and a great LB who will help a pass rush that was largely responsible for the poor play of last year's secondary. I am fully confident that Mike Jenkins will be back to his old self this year. And as for those safeties, well... there's always free agency if this lockout ever gets solved.

Round 1
Pick 9 (9 overall): Tyron Smith, OT, USC
This is the guy that everyone knew the Cowboys were eyeing for that #9 pick, and for good reason. The Cowboys o-line has been in desperate need of updates for some time and is now in need of a total makeover. The word you will always hear with Tyron is potential. He's got a huge frame and has not stopped putting on weight since his junior year. Besides being big, he has great feet (a common theme amongst Dallas' o-line picks this year, the days of Leonard Davis' lead feet are coming to an end). Don't be the least bit surprised when Smith starts the first regular season game at RT, opposite of Doug Free. 

Round 2
Pick 8 (40 overall): Bruce Carter, OLB, UNC
It wouldn't be a Cowboys draft without an OLB taken in one of the early rounds, but (although I would have preferred a DB) I actually like this pick. Dallas' lackluster pass rush last year was a big reason in the defensive drop-off. Carter is just the sort of player that can help remedy such a deficiency. He is the type of LB I love, he isn't necessarily a boulder, but he plays sideline to sideline, has great speed, and is great at shedding blocks. A guy with his kind of speed at LB is also an asset in coverage situations... So you're starting to understand why they picked him. Sean Lee is supposed to be Keith Brooking's heir apparent, but now with Carter in the mix, things get interesting. There will be great competition for the position and the best possible players will be on the field. 

Round 3
Pick 7 (71 overall): Demarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma
Disappointment was the theme of Dallas' 2010 season, and the RBs, though talented were no exception. Marion Barber should be out the door soon, Felix Jones still hasn't lived up to potential, and neither has Tashard Choice (plus Jerry hates him for some reason because he can't play special teams). This is what I call a "step it up" pick. Murray is a VERY versatile and talented back who can contribute in special teams (gotcha covered Jerry) and will make Felix and Tashard earn every carry they get. Demarco is no Adrian Peterson or Ladainian Tomlinson, but he can play anywhere you put him on the field. So Coach Garrett should have some fun working him in at slot and as a third down back. As with the previous two picks, I really like this one. It gives a nice new upgrade to a backfield that grossly underachieved last year.

Round 4
Pick 13 (110): David Arkin, OG, Missouri State
I love great under-the radar picks like this! Many of the greatest players in NFL history came from schools that make you say, "wait, they have a football team??" Yes, Missouri State DOES have a football team and Arkin here was arguably their best player last year. This guy is a bruiser. You watch his tape and he is just embarrassing D-linemen left and right. And again, the first thing you see with this kid is his FEET! Told you there was a pattern! If this guy doesn't step up and become a starter this year, at the very least he will provide solid depth to a position group that has none. 

Round 5
Pick 12 (143): Joshua Thomas, CB, Buffalo
I know what you're thinking, the Cowboys should've taken a DB before the 5th round, and I would agree with you. But given that I really like all four picks before this one, and they had to get a DB eventually, this pick isn't half bad. The biggest issue I see with this pick, is that Thomas has had a lot of trouble with injuries during college, so durability could be an issue, and we already have Terrence Newman. Having said that, this guy has nice speed and should do well in man coverage. Clearly he was not drafted to be a starter; he will add depth at corner and spell guys like Mcann, Jenkins, and Scandrick. For me this is a whatever pick, I don't love it, but I don't hate it either.

Round 6
Pick 11 (176): Dwayne Harris, WR, ECU
Good pick. I've actually watched this guy in a couple games and I've liked what I've seen. The guy plays tough, which I love to see in a WR, and he's got great speed and good hands. I don't recall ever seeing him return, but when he's at wideout he reminds me a little of Corey Rodgers when he played at TCU. He doesn't have the raw talent of Dez Bryant, but the guy's a competitor and if he can work his way into the Cowboys' rotation, he has the ability to succeed.

Round 7
Pick 17 (220): Shaun Chapas, FB, Georgia
This pick made me chuckle. If you will recall, when Tony Romo got reduced to a pile of flesh in last year's Giants game, thus ending the Cowboy's hopes for a charmed season, the poor young fellow who initiated the "lookout block" that got Romo killed was none other than FB, Chris Gronkowski. You think he slunk down in his chair whenever he heard this pick was made? Whether or not Chapas has the ability to take Gronkowski's job remains to be seen, but he does have a history as a consistent lead blocker at UGA. I like the pick simply because it made me laugh, but I don't know that it was entirely necessary. Would have preferred a backup safety in this round.

Pick 49 (252): Bill Nagy, Center, Wisconsin
I'm a little pissed that since the Cowboys were going to use a 7th round pick on a center, they didn't use it on TCU's Jake Kirkpatrick, but oh well. There's not much particularly impressive about Nagy, but he's a big farm boy and Wisconsin is known for their power running game. This was a waste pick, but they might has well  have used it on another lineman.

Thus concludes my analysis of the Dallas Cowboys 2011 Draft class! Tune in next time when I'll be breaking down the new New York Jets!