NFC East: Brian Robiskie

A Cowboys favorite is off the board

April, 25, 2009
4/25/09
7:45
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Now we're moving. Roger Goodell just breezed by to say hello on his way to the commissioner's green room.

So far in the second round, safeties Louis Delmas and Patrick Chung are already off the board. The Cowboys were in love with Delmas, but they had plenty of company. As we told you last week, look for the Cowboys to wait until Sunday to take Texas Tech safety Darcel McBath. My gut's telling me the Cowboys will select the enormous offensive tackle out of Oklahoma, Phil Loadholt, as a potential replacement for Flozell Adams. And another player the Cowboys loved, Ohio State wide receiver Brian Robiskie, just went to the Browns.

On the Clock: Dallas Cowboys

April, 20, 2009
4/20/09
9:30
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Team needs: Wide receiver, safety, outside linebacker, offensive tackle.

 
  Icon SMI
  Ohio State receiver Brian Robiskie could be available to the Cowboys at No. 51.

Dream scenario: In Jerry Jones' dream scenario, he might be able to slide up from No. 51 to No. 35 and land a top-flight wide receiver such as North Carolina's Hakeem Nicks or Rutgers' Kenny Britt. I have a suspicion, though, that Ohio State's Brian Robiskie might still be there at No. 51. The only reason to go to No. 35 is if you simply fall in love with a player. The Cowboys have the ammunition to get it done, but it's more likely they move down a couple of slots. The name I keep hearing at No. 51 is Western Michigan safety Louis Delmas. Though I haven't seen a lot of film on the player, the Cowboys think he could immediately challenge Gerald Sensabaugh for the starting spot opposite Ken Hamlin.

Plan B: It wouldn't shock me one bit to see the Cowboys take an offensive lineman in the second round. There's a misconception that the Cowboys will feel pressured to take a safety or wide receiver with that No. 51 spot. I don't feel like Jones feels that pressure. For instance, the Cowboys could take a guard if someone starts slipping. I also think the team could use another pass rusher. DeMarcus Ware is a phenomenal talent, but right now he's lining up opposite a player (former first-round pick Anthony Spencer) whose career hasn't really taken off yet. Look for Jones to go after a receiver in the third round. It looks like you'll be able to get some pretty good value in the third on one of those receivers. That's what I'd do, but up to this point, Jones has not sought my opinion.

Scouts Inc. take: "Although Dallas does not have a first-round pick, do not be surprised if it is active in trying to move up into the first round. Two of the strengths of this team going into last season were expected to be the secondary and receiver positions. After trading cornerback Anthony Henry and waving wide receiver Terrell Owens those positions now have holes to fill.

"If Dallas sits tight and does not move up, WR and CB will still be on Dallas' mind, but safety will still potentially be a play as there could be a lot of value at No. 51. Two players to keep an eye on would be Patrick Chung from Oregon or William Moore from Missouri." -- Jeremy Green, Scouts Inc.

Who has final say? That would be Jerry Jones, although scouting director Tom Ciscowski does a really nice job and will have plenty of input.

Previous On the Clock: Carolina Panthers. The team-by-team series. 

Friday Beastlines

April, 17, 2009
4/17/09
1:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Cowboys

Eagles

Giants

Redskins

Beast exclusive audio: Texas Tech's Darcel McBath

April, 17, 2009
4/17/09
11:21
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

I always pay particularly close attention to the last few draft hopefuls to visit an NFC East team. If you hear about a player showing up on campus this week (Brian Orakpo at Redskins Park, Brian Robiskie at Valley Ranch), it's a good sign those teams have a high level of interest in signing him.

On Friday, Robiskie, North Carolina's Brandon Tate and Texas Tech's Darcel McBath were all scheduled to stop by the Cowboys' practice facility. I believe the Cowboys will attempt to draft McBath, so the Beast interviewed him Thursday on 103.3 ESPN Radio in Dallas.

If you've read about the quirky Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach (he's been featured on "60 Minutes"), you'll love the story McBath tells.

Cowboys finish up draft visits

April, 17, 2009
4/17/09
9:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

We already told you about Texas Tech safety Darcel McBath visiting Valley Ranch today, but the Cowboys have apparently added a couple of players to the list.

Wide receivers Brian Robiskie (Ohio State) and Brandon Tate (North Carolina) were the late additions. The Cowboys have always liked waiting until late in the process to host players -- and this year was no exception.

Robiskie's a player they've coveted for a long time. Scouts love his hands and his willingness to go across the middle. He's not as thick as Anquan Boldin, but I think he plays a lot like him. Tate's one of the most talented receivers in the draft, but ACL and MCL tears his senior year has driven down his stock.

If Robiskie's still hanging around at No. 51, the Cowboys will be tempted to take him. But if it comes down to Western Michigan safety Louis Delmas or Robiskie, the Cowboys will go with Delmas.

Five burning draft questions in The Beast

April, 16, 2009
4/16/09
4:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

By this time next Thursday (it's officially 3 p.m. ET), I'll be boarding a flight to New York for the NFL draft. Through the magic of live-blogging, my plan is to take you to Radio City Music Hall with me. With that in mind, it's time to address Five Burning Draft Questions in The Beast:

1. Will Redskins owner Dan Snyder select USC quarterback Mark Sanchez?

Sanchez
Mosley: With the 13th pick overall, the Redskins should only take Sanchez if they've truly given up on Jason Campbell. And based on their recent attempt to land Jay Cutler, some of you probably think Washington has already turned its back on Campbell. Well, I think we have a split vote on that one at Redskins Park. And unfortunately for Campbell backers (me), head coach Jim Zorn can't win a contest against the formidable duo of Snyder and Vinny Cerrato. It was Zorn who moved quickly to reassure Campbell even while desperate attempts were being made to land Cutler several doors down.

Snyder and Cerrato met with Campbell, but that was simply window dressing. The club decided to take Campbell's trade value for a spin -- and it didn't like the results. After investing all this time (and a first-round pick) in Campbell, it's looking like the Redskins are ready to start all over with Sanchez, who dazzled scouts and innocent bystanders at his recent pro day. I think Snyder-Cerrato are suffering from a condition we're calling "RyanFlacconitis," which has caused front office types around the league to mistakenly think that pretty much any rookie quarterback with a solid background (Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco) can lead them to the playoffs. The best result for Redskins fans would be for Sanchez to go off the board before No. 13. I may be in the minority (shocker), but I'd love to see what Campbell could do in his second season with Zorn. Who knows? Maybe the Redskins let Sanchez learn for a season behind Campbell. On second thought, that will never happen.

2. What will the Giants and Eagles do at wide receiver?

Boldin
Wouldn't you like to know? I thought the timing of Ken Whisenhunt's "we're all ears on Anquan Boldin" comment was pretty interesting. Did it just happen to immediately follow a report that a Braylon Edwards to the Giants trade was imminent? I think not. If the Browns truly want to move Edwards, they may have lost a little leverage. Now that the Cardinals have gone public, Giants general manager Jerry Reese could play their situation against any potential Browns' offers. As Scouts Inc. stalwart Matt Williamson pointed out Wednesday on the NFC West blog, the Eagles appear to be a better fit for Boldin than the Giants. Boldin would the perfect complement to speedsters DeSean Jackson and Kevin Curtis. In New York, he might not be quite as effective. But if Reese thinks he can get a better deal from the Cards, then more power to him. Heard Boldin do a local radio show in Dallas recently and he indicated once again that he loves his teammates, he just doesn't care for management. If the Giants end up with Edwards and the Eagles trade for Boldin, I might have to redo my NFL schedule analysis. Surely no one wants that to happen.

3. What will the Cowboys do with the No. 51 pick?

Let's be honest. Not having a first-round pick makes the draft far less interesting. It's also made talk radio in Dallas much more of a challenge. In my Dallas Morning News days, I would've had seven mock drafts by now. But with the proliferation of mock drafts -- my pastor has one -- I've decided to take a year off. But anyway, the Cowboys aren't going to feel pressured to take any specific position at No. 51. The only way they take a quarterback is if Josh Freeman ends up in a free-fall. I'm hearing the Cowboys are in love with Western Michigan safety Louis Delmas, who is one of the best free safeties in this draft. He's 5-11, 202 pounds, but scouts say he plays much bigger than that. He's a tough run defender and his athletic ability (4.5 in the 40 and 37-inch vertical) is pretty impressive. The Cowboys signed Gerald Sensabaugh in free agency, but I think Delmas would be starting by midseason -- if not before. The other safety they really like is Darcel McBath out of Texas Tech. Excellent ball skills (eight interceptions) and he grew up in nearby Gainesville, Texas. Jerry Jones loves the homegrown kids. I'm not saying McBath's going at No. 51, but he's certainly a name to remember. In terms of receivers, the Cowboys think Brian Robiskie could be an effective receiver in the league for the next 10 years. If he's there at No. 51, they'd have a hard time passing him up.

4. Don't the Redskins need a pass-rusher?

Could all this talk about Mark Sanchez be a huge smokescreen? If so, the W
ashington Post has bitten hard. That's why I think there's definitely some interest in Sanchez, but it won't happen in the end. The 'Skins desperately need a right tackle and a defensive end. I certainly respect the work of grizzled veterans such as Phillip Daniels, Andre Carter and the immortal Renaldo Wynn. That said, Redskins fans are suffering from a condition widely known as "Haynesworth fever." There's a thought that you pay the guy $41 million in guaranteed money and he suddenly makes old men young again. Folks, Phil Daniels isn't going to return from a serious knee injury and suddenly have 10 sacks. The Redskins need to surround Haynesworth with talent in order to get their money's worth. That's why Snyder has to forget about a quarterback and find a way to get his hands on Brian Orakpo. Yes, I know some scouts struggle with recommending University of Texas kids because they've been pampered so much, but Orakpo is the real deal. I've been watching him manhandle Big 12 blockers for years. Snyder and Cerrato have to find a way to move up and get him.

5. So what do the Eagles do with those two first-round picks?

Well, you could always send that No. 28 pick over to the Cardinals for Anquan Boldin. I don't think the Cardinals will come close to getting a Roy Williams deal, which is to say they won't get a first- and third-round pick for Boldin. And I think Boldin is much better receiver than Williams. Of course, there's always the chance the Eagles actually make those first-round picks. If Ole Miss offensive tackle Michael Oher is there at No. 21, that's the direction Andy Reid will go. At No. 28, drafting Oklahoma State tight end Brandon Pettigrew wouldn't surprise me at all. So what about running back, you ask? Well, I don't think the Eagles have to take someone in the first round -- especially when there are guys like Rashad Jennings out there in the second or third rounds. You can find productive backs in later rounds. Ask the Cowboys and Giants about that. And I seem to recall a man by the name of Westbrook who wasn't taken in the first round. This flies in the face of what Philly writers are saying, but you have to go out on a limb every now and then -- or every day for that matter.

If you have questions regarding this column, please feel free to utilize the Mailbag. I'm planning to spend a lot more time reading your mail in the coming days. Thanks for your continued support of The Beast.

Which route will Beast take at receiver?

April, 9, 2009
4/09/09
2:45
PM ET
 
  US Presswire
  With Plaxico Burress, left, and Terrell Owens gone, the Giants and Cowboys have huge voids to fill at wide receiver.

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Now that the New York Giants have been praised far and wide for releasing troubled wide receiver Plaxico Burress, it's time for the following reality check: The Giants don't have anyone who resembles a No. 1 wide receiver on the roster.

Sure, the eternal optimists among Giants fandom (like my buddy Dan F. from South Orange) look at Mario Manningham and see a budding No. 1, but that's just because he has the team Web site bookmarked. The truth of the matter is the Giants appear to be set at every position except wide receiver, and there are no guarantees when it comes to the draft -- especially when holding the No. 29 overall pick.

The Giants, though, can take solace knowing that the other three teams in the NFC East could also enter the '09 season with questions at receiver. Say what you will about Terrell Owens and Burress, but they remain two of the most feared players in the game. The Giants and Cowboys are selling the tried and true "addition by subtraction" line to their fan bases, but that campaign only seems to work in the offseason.

With that in mind, let's attempt to figure out what each team in the Beast is thinking as we sprint toward the draft, which by the way, can be viewed on ESPN:

(Read full post)

What's in Mosley's Mailbag?

March, 6, 2009
3/06/09
2:02
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

As of today, I've decided to resume/start fielding your mailbag questions on a daily basis. You've been incredibly generous with your feedback (over 3,800 questions at last glance), and I want to honor that with some consistent interaction. Now, let's see what's in The Bag. Something tells me T.O.'s name might come up today.

Bryan B. from (of all places) Dallas, you have the first word: Matt, I haven't heard anyone address the Cowboys' situation at wide receiver now heading into next year. I am hopeful that they will not enter next season with Roy Williams, Patrick Crayton and Sam Hurd as their starters. Is there any news or rumors about what, if any, moves they will make?

Mosley: Bryan, we've been addressing this topic on ESPN.com from the moment T.O. was released Wednesday evening. Matt Williamson from Scouts Inc. was kind enough to cover this topic on the Beast. There's no question that this offense loses a major contributor with T.O.'s departure, but the Cowboys should be able to make up for it in different areas. Tim Cowlishaw had an excellent column Friday in the Dallas Morning News about how the Cowboys should convert to a run-based offense since they appear to have three excellent backs.

I think that you may have to live with the Cowboys beginning the season with Williams and Miles Austin as the starters. Austin has a huge upside, but it's a stretch to consider him a legit No. 2 guy in the NFL at this point. As some of you know, I've fallen hard for Ohio State receiver Brian Robiskie. Great pedigree, great route runner and big-time hands. Doesn't have elite speed, but then, neither did Anquan Boldin. The only other solution is to wait for Torry Holt to get cut and then go sign him to a short-term deal for $2 million or so a year.

(Read full post)

What are the Giants' options at receiver?

March, 6, 2009
3/06/09
12:43
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

The New York Giants are proceeding as if they won't have Plaxico Burress in 2009, although it's sounding more and more like they'd welcome him back to the lineup. Ralph Vacchiano, author of The Blue Screen Blog, has an entry on some of the team's options -- namely Braylon Edwards, Torry Holt and Anquan Boldin.

If the Browns could get a similar deal (fleecing) that the Lions received in the Roy Williams trade, something tells me they'd be happy to part ways with the butter-fingered Edwards. But as Vacchiano points out, Holt would come at a much lower price point.

The more likely scenario is the Giants taking someone like Kenny Britt or Brian Robiskie on Day 1 of the draft. A lot of you want the Giants to draft a receiver in the first round. For some reason, I don't think that's going to happen.

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