Sunday, April 26, 2009

First Impressions After the 2009 NFL Draft

After waiting around until day 2 for the first pick by the Cowboys I was happy when the action picked up on day 2. I don't pretend to be an expert on any of these guys, but, as a fan, these are my first thoughts on each of the players drafted.

Jason Williams (OLB), Western Illinois: He looks like an athletic freak. He played in a gimmick defense so he is hard to project in a conventional defense. He sure looks fast and everyone seems to think he is a guy who goes all out every play. Guys like him find a way to make it on the field. Bobby Carpenter may have just lost his best chance at playing time because he looks like a great replacement for Kevin Burnett.

Robert Brewster (OT), Ball State: A big versatile offensive lineman. Let's just hope that he pans out better than the offensive linemen drafted over the last few years by the Cowboys. He is projected as a tackle, but supposedly could slide inside to play guard as well. I like the pick if he can actually play because the offensive line depth was terrible last year.

Stephen McGee (QB), Texas A&M: Finally a quarterback to develop behind Romo. I don't know if McGee can ever be a starter but at least we have a guy who can learn the offense and be a solid backup for many years to come. I like the pick because the Cowboys haven't picked a decent quarterback in the draft for a long time and it ended up costing them last season. Now they have another guy to step in after a year or two of Kitna as the backup.

Victor Butler (OLB), Oregon State: There was a serious lack of depth at outside linebacker going into the draft. This was the first pick to address that deficiency. He is supposed to be a great pass rusher so he should fit in just fine in the Wade Phillips 3-4 scheme.

Brandon Williams (DE), Texas Tech: He'll move to outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme. He is another speed rusher who should add depth at outside linebacker. I'm starting to wonder if Greg Ellis will be on the team by the start of training camp.

DeAngelo Smith (CB), Cincinnati: A cornerback with the ability to play safety. He doesn't have great speed but he is considered to be a ball hawk. Maybe he is actually slated to move to safety. He seems like a better fit there.

Michael Hamlin (S), Clemson: Finally a safety is drafted. The Cowboys must feel pretty good about Sensabaugh to wait this long to address the depth at safety. Hopefully Hamlin's experience against big time college programs will help him be successful in the NFL. His bio says he isn't great matching up man to man but anything is an upgrade after last season. I also read that he was a two year captain so he has some leadership qualities.

David Buehler (K), USC: This is one pick I just don't get. A kicker? Unless he is going to be a kickoff specialist I don't see how he makes the team. This could end up being a wasted pick. Joe DeCamillis, the new special teams coach, really wanted a kickoff specialist but I don't see how you keep two kickers active on game day.

Stephen Hodge (SS), TCU: So now two full time college safeties and one part time safety have been drafted. Hopefully at least one of them will pan out. Hodge is a big guy so you almost have to wonder if he will be moved to linebacker. He would make a good nickel linebacker if that turns out to be the case. At the minimum he looks like a great special teams prospect.

John Phillips (TE), Virginia: This is clearly a pick for depth. I'm hoping Phillips is a good blocker so he can contribute if he makes the team. He'll at least be in a battle for a roster spot with Rodney Hannah. He looks like a guy who needs a year in the offseason program to add some muscle to his frame.

Mike Mickens (CB), Cincinatti: More depth at cornerback. He'll have to compete to make the final roster. His scouting report says he needs time to develop. I'm not sure the Cowboys will have room to keep him around if he isn't ready this year.

Manuel Johnson (WR), Oklahoma: He looks like a developmental type of receiver. He doesn't have the top notch speed I was hoping to see the Cowboys come out of the draft with at wide receiver. And no experience in college returning punts...disappointing.

Overall, it looks like the primary concern was on the defensive side of the ball. We definitely have some options at safety. The receivers better step up this season or Jerry Jones is going to look like a fool for trading for Roy Williams. I really only have two major complaints about the draft. The wasted pick for a kicker and the fact that we didn't get a speed receiver/punt returner. I am excited about Jason Williams but I am going to have to wait and see on the rest of the players. Hopefully half of them can make the roster but it sure seems like we picked a lot of developmental players. It is hard to judge how they'll pan out before we see them in training camp.


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  2. I think this draft shows how arrogent the franchise is. Spend all of your picks on special teams players because we don't have any other needs...that's the message I get from all of this. Williams is explosive and I also like Hamlin the safety. Instead of moving up a few picks to take the player they wanted in the second, they just wait it out and end up having to trade out of the second. The kicker won't make the team because having two kickers is a disadvantage, so that pick was pointless. Not a good draft class anyways, but very concerning. Roy Williams better deliver.

  3. I know that last comment I made sounded like I'm a hater, but I am a huge Cowboys fan. I just wanted more out of this draft.

  4. Agreed...Roy Williams better prove he was worth those picks. But I do think we got some good players in the draft. Jason Williams looks like a freak of nature type of athlete.

  5. When they said Jason Williams I had no clue who he was, but then I got online and looked at highlights. He jumped out at me. Explosive at impact. I still think the Cowboys will make the postseason. If Romo wasn't hurt last year, we would've made it easy. Keep up the great blogs, I love this site.

  6. good analysis sir - thanks.

    let's hope some of these kids can make a positive contribution to the team.

  7. When Dallas traded out of the second round, they had the ammo to move anywhere they wanted in the third and take three picks. They could have gotten Gilbert, Barden AND Williams, and likely could have picked up Brewster (WHO?) in a later round. Man, when they traded down, I thought we OWNED round 3. What a disappointment.

    I'd like McGee if he had a stronger arm. Maybe they can coach him up and teach him to throw a spiral...wasted pick. Butler and B. Williams are okay, and the fifth round was solid. Get Hamlin in the weight room, and he might be a steal at 166. And Buehler was a great pick. You can pencil him in as your kick-off specialist. He'll get the ball to the goal line or beyond, and give you true eleventh man in coverage. He's also a decent FG guy if Folk goes down, and he'll likely be in on punt coverage. Mickens is a perfect 7th round pick...just had his knee scoped or he would have gone much higher.

    The Giants got better. The Eagles got better. The Skins got Orakpo. The Cowboys?...we'll see, but they sure left a lot of talent on the table in rd. 3...

  8. You know, I want to back off on McGee. "wasted pick" is too strong and given the take of the post might sound bit insulting...not my intent. I just can't see him throwing the out against pro CBs, and if you can't throw the out, you can't exploit the middle...I love his toughness and escapibility...and if he had to come in, he'd be easy on the OL because he moves around a lot like Romo...just don't think he has the arm to keep a defense honest.

  9. I think mcgee is a solid pick that will hopefully in the future be the heir to ROMO. Now i wasn't to impressed with the draft, but maybe jerry can work his magic again and find that jay ratliff, type hard working and hopefully make this team better. Any thoughts on the cowboys picking up Levi Jones out of Cincy. Looks like the bungles are goign to cut or trade him. I think he'd be a great fit to challenge Flo and show the other draft picks what a true pro does... thoughts?

  10. On Levi...Joey Porter and six of his buddies bounced him in Vegas...and he's still standing. That's mean enough for OLT. It ain't going to happen money-wise unless Flo goes. Hope you're right about McGee, because we got him. Moves around like Romo, just doesn't throw like him.

  11. I agree on Levi...he'll be too expensive to be an option given our salary cap situation.