In our first attempt at a Big Board, Joey Ickes and I focused the majority of the rankings in how we saw each of the draft prospects and their fits into Dallas' schemes and needs. For this edition, we are shifting our attention to how we think Dallas could be ranking these players.
This changes the focus a bit, as it incorporates our exclusive information that has been gleaned and gathered on players the Cowboys like more than others, and players previously thought to be targets whom the club might not be as interested in as assumed. The core of the rankings still deal with individual evaluations, but leave behind preferences for players whom the club doesn't agree warrant as high of a selection as we might see fit. (Also worth acknowledging: Those pre-draft visitors and private workouts. That Cowboys list is here.)
In fact, after our initial rankings, we went back through the 100 names and challenged ourselves on whether or not Dallas would take Player A or B if both were on the board when on the clock. That was the best way to walk away from personal preferences and be as objective as possible. There were several players we liked, but based on skill sets and other insights, we felt Dallas differed on.
This is the best part of draftnik'ing; comparing your evals to the teams and seeing if you might hit on a prospect the professional teams might have missed. More often than not, the pros will be right but this dance is the reason so many have flocked to the draft season over recent years. Without further ado, here is Cowboys HQ's Final Big Board.
The first round grades are as distributed as we can remember in recent years. Two QBs, two RBs, 3 WRs, 2 DTs, 3 Edge rushers, two offensive linemen, two corners and a linebacker. Several of our favorites were pushed out of this group, including CB Byron Jones from UConn.
The "fat" part of the 2015 draft. With 46 names rated as second rounders, it would appear the Cowboys would be well-served if they could find a trade partner to all them to move back from 27 and have multiple selections over the second and third rounds. The likelihood is that staying at 27 means Dallas would be selecting someone they see as a second rounder, which isn't anywhere near the end of the wall. For value sake though, if their board is reflective of this attempt, they would only be able to maximize by moving around.
We struggled with our assessment of which running backs fit Dallas' needs as opposed to how the team would view things, thus the drop of Tevin Coleman from a first-round grade. Also, the belief the team would want more than four years from a second-round running back dropped Jay Ajayi after the release of the degenerative knee concerns. Word has Demarious Randall as the top safety on Dallas' board, ahead of box-type Landon Collins.
The biggest faller is found here. We can't look past the fact that Marcus Peters' baggage is going to be an issue for the club. This offseason, Dallas has admitted to loosening the restraints on "bad apples" because the RKG culture is so ingrained in the franchise now. We saw that in the signing of Greg Hardy and we believe this could be a factor in them liking guys like Randy Gregory and Frank Clark. Peters, though, seems to be in a different ballpark. How can a guy that talented, with no arrest, be dismissed from a team? We think Dallas will pass here.
The gang will assemble at 6:30 Thursday at The Maverick Bar (1616 Hebron) for our CHQ Draft Watch Party sponsored by Jim Ross & Associates, Attorneys at Law... ... Jordan Ross and Mark Lane will be your hosts ... Special guests include Tyrone Crawford ... goodies include autographed goodies from guys like Tony Romo ... and Fish and Jeff Cavanaugh will swing in late, too. Come join us!
Fish reports on 105.3 The Fan that the Cowboys' position on Adrian Peterson is unchanged from months ago. No movement -- not even phone calls between the parties. Jerry's lieutenants continue to rule here ... Our Cowboys Crunchtime Podcast series is here, featuring Fish, KD Drummond, Bob Sturm and more ... Catch Fish and Dez playing Twitter footsie with the "official'' news of the non-existence of the Unicorn Video ... We have the inside story on Hardy vs. Coleman during conditioning drills. ... Want more Cowboys Draft Profiles? Click here!