Sunday, May 1, 2011
Random thoughts from the draft
By Calvin Watkins
The three-day NFL Draft is over and now it's time for the lockout to continue.
We have some random thoughts from the three days.
1. One common theme from the Cowboys draft is Jason Garrett liked the four players who were team captains in college. It means a few things: The players are respected in their own locker rooms, understand the meaning of leadership and produce on the field. The last few draft classes under Wade Phillips didn't really have a bunch of players who provided leadership. Tashard Choice stepped up several times, but where were Felix Jones, Anthony Spencer among others?
2. Garrett said it best on Saturday afternoon when it was noted he wanted competition at all positions (wonder what Martellus Bennett thinks about that?). The Cowboys are adding competition at fullback, wide receiver and the tackle spots. It was good to see Marc Colombo say he will fight for his gig, but it's doubtful the team will keep him around. Sam Young now has a chance to move up and become the swing tackle unless project Jermey Parnell or seventh-round selection Bill Nagy come through.
3. Jerry Jones made a point to say there is a healthy debate in the draft rooms. Stephen Jones and Garrett are two people who also have a loud voice and that conflict is OK, as long as people get their point across without hurt feelings. This might be the first time in a while the scouts had a powerful voice and that was probably due to Garrett's ability to relate to them. His dad was a long-time scout and his brother works in the Cowboys front office.
4. Jones wouldn't say which players are on the bubble to get let go once the league year starts, but we have an idea: Colombo, Marion Barber, Roy Williams, Leonard Davis and Choice. Yes, with the drafting of Demarco Murray, Choice might be one of the final cuts before the start of the 2011 season. Davis most likely will stay but the team is building its depth along the offensive line, and that's a wakeup call for Davis.
5. New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan doesn't care who the Cowboys draft. He will work with what he's got. It's easy for him to say that because he's had lesser talent in Oakland and Cleveland. Here he's got the best pass rusher in the game in DeMarcus Ware, an undersized -- yet powerful -- nose tackle in Jay Ratliff and a young corner coming off a bad season in Mike Jenkins. Ryan believes in his 3-4 scheme much the say way Phillips did. It will be interesting to see how things go.