As the Dallas Cowboys march towards the NFL draft in April, it might be a good time to make sense of this year’s draft.
Conversations and mock drafts have already started for the Dallas Cowboys. People are talking about what exactly the Cowboys need, who they could be looking at, where college players sit in the draft, and none of it is agreed upon 100%. But, what does this draft look like and what types of things should fans look for in this year’s draft?
Well, evaluations are still being done on players, and will most likely be mostly completed shortly after the combine. In terms of the draft, the combine will be the next big dot on the calendar. Starting on February 27th and going through March 5th, the combine will start painting a better picture of where most of the college players should be available.
The combine consists of position drills, physical prowess, and interviews. While this is not necessarily the greatest way to evaluate how a player will actually play in a game, it gives teams the ability to talk to the player and see up close how they move, look, talk, and react. What this means for the Dallas Cowboys is they will start to adjust their “Big Board” both during and after the combine.
The “Big Board” has how the Dallas Cowboys rank the players in the upcoming draft. This is important when we look at “Best Player Available” and who could be picked if there are two players available they like.
In this draft there are some stronger positions than others, which could affect how the Cowboys move their board around. This draft does not have a very deep offensive line class in the middle rounds. Conversely, this draft is pretty deep in talent at safety. This could lead to an earlier pick of an offensive lineman and a willingness to wait until middle rounds for a safety (this is an example, not necessarily how I think it will shake out).
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This draft also has a fairly deep tight end class and a solid one should be had into the fourth round. Thankfully, this is a very top heavy quarterback draft, so this could cause an early run on quarterbacks. This could help the Cowboys in the middle of the first round. So, while “Best Player Available” is how most teams draft, if the top running back falls in the draft, it would be hard to think the Dallas Cowboys would grab him in the first round. So it is all within reason.
The positions of strength in this draft is linebacker, safety, wide receiver, running back, and defensive end. The positions of weakness would be quarterback, offensive line, cornerback, and defensive tackle.
This doesn’t mean there are poor players, this means it isn’t very deep and talent, right now, isn’t going to be easy to find as the draft moves past the first few rounds. This could adjust how the Cowboys see the draft and how it could shake out early on.
RIght now, the 2018 NFL draft is one of the more interesting ones when looking into the middle of the draft. It seems there is going to be a lot answered once the combine starts. However, looking over the last few seasons, there are a fair amount of questions marks in the middle of the draft, maybe far more than the past few. So until March 6th rolls around and teams start adjusting their boards, there will be more questions than answers, more speculation than educated guessing, and a wider spread of possibilities than focused analysis.
Have fun reading and use what you read to look at players you do not know, or positions you feel the Dallas Cowboys will need. Don’t get too far into the weeds on exact specifics, but rather get an idea of how people are seeing things shaking out. It is an exciting time of the offseason, even if no answers are really given.