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Dallas Cowboys Draft: Players Worth a Trade Up

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We have previously discussed some of the pros and cons of trading up in the NFL draft. Overall, the NFL’s Trade Value Chart is weighted so much toward higher picks that trading up is generally a poor idea.

For example, the Cowboys 27th pick has a value of 680 points. The 16th overall pick, belonging to the Titans, is worth 1,000 points. For Dallas to move up those 11 spots, they would have to yield their first and second-rounders.

There are situations when paying that hefty price is worth the risk. For the Cowboys, 2010 may just be the time to make a move for a stud, perhaps a dominant left tackle. There are an extremely limited number of roster spots available on the team, meaning Dallas would be well-suited to emphasize quality over quantity this year.

A trade up is only smart, of course, if a player of great value drops unusually far. For which players might the Cowboys consider making a move up? Our list is below.

If Bryan Bulaga somehow falls into the late teens, Jerry Jones will seriously consider moving up.

Note: These are players that would hold great value for Dallas is they drop near or into the 20’s. Obvious selections who have no realistic chance of dropping that far, such as Tennessee safety Eric Berry, are not provided.

The List

  • Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa

Bulaga is a stud left tackle who is projected to go in the top five of some mock drafts. With all of the top-tier tackles (Russell Okung, Trent Williams, Bruce Campbell, Anthony Davis), though, there is a decent chance that an impact left tackle like Bulaga drops further than expected.

Like Bulaga, Williams is a potential top five selection. There have even been recent reports that the Lions could be interested in selecting him with the second overall pick. If Williams makes it out of the top 10, however, he could slide passed teams selecting in the teens that have more glaring needs or value a different offensive tackle more.

Williams is the sort of player for which Dallas might even consider moving up higher than the 20th pick.

McClain is a stud linebacker who probably has the best shot of any of these players to drop. He has the potential to be an every-down linebacker for Dallas, eventually replacing Keith Brooking to create a formidable duo inside with Bradie James.

If the Cowboys value a second round prospect such as Florida LB Brandon Spikes, they may bypass a trade up for McClain to obtain better value later.

That’s all?

Yup! Noticeably absent from our list are Texas safety Earl Thomas, Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant, and Idaho guard Mike Iupati. We feel each of those players has a realistic chance (although not probable) to drop to pick #27.

Bulaga, Williams, and McClain, however, have no true opportunity to fall to the Cowboys’ selection, and thus, assuming they are very high on Dallas’ draft board, a move up might make sense.

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6 Responses to Dallas Cowboys Draft: Players Worth a Trade Up

  1. Edward Wigglesworth says:

    Trent Williams is a guard or right tackle in the NFL. Pray Dallas doesn’t draft him

  2. jongb35 says:

    I respectfully disagree. I have heard that criticism of Williams as well, but I just don’t see it. I think he has the skill set to play LT.

    At worst, you have a guy who is incredibly versatile. At best, a perennial All-Pro.

  3. john coleman says:

    I believe that Bulaga is the one who will eventually be a right tackle. I think his short arms will show up against NFL rushers. I don’t want him. I agree with you on Williams. IMO he has the skill set to play LT. I hope we don’t move up. At least not more than 2-5 places. I don’t want to give up picks for anybody. BTW Campbell is still my guy. I know he is raw, but his athleticism is off the charts. 36 inch arms with ability, he has huge upside. Motor is the only question. Brown is next to me. Those two I like better than ant of the others. Okung seems awkward to me. Also Washington later(2nd-3rd) seems to have great potential. I can live with Flo, for a half season to a year. We can find a LB later than the 1st.

  4. jongb35 says:

    Surprising to hear you say you like Brown and Campbell the most. I also like Brown, whose athleticism reminds me of Free. I know everyone thinks Free will smoothly transition to LT but I just don’t see it. He is a great swing tackle, but a possible starter only at RT IMO.

    As far as Campbell, we disagree. He reminds me too much of Vernon Gholston–athletic freak but a lot of film where he disappears. I spoke with former Browns and Ravens scout Daniel Jeremiah who said multiple teams have a 4th round grade on Campbell.

    Why do you think he will excel at the next level? If by some miracle Bulaga, Campbell, Brown, and Davis all fell to 27 (obviously a hypothetical), you would take Campbell?

  5. john coleman says:

    I knew this response would draw some fire. If Campbell falls out of the 1st round, I’m surprised. 4th round grade seems impossible to me. His footwork looked pretty good to me at the combine. He looks extremely quick. What I’m driving at is Campbell has the most upside of any of the top 5 or 6. Brown also has room for improvement. Dominant in college often means nothing. Okung is already close to the ceiling. Bulaga is maxed out. I don’t know a lot about Davis. I just think I wouldn’t want to play against Campbell or Brown in 3 or 4 years. Most of the modern greats weren’t highly touted. We must find the cream. BTW I would not be surprised to see all of them off the board by 27th. Remember Brown played in a pro system. So did Mays, with poor results. How much coachem up is left?

  6. jongb35 says:

    You make some good points. I enjoy our exchanges because your back your points up nicely. I would agree Campbell has the highest ceiling….but I also think he has the lowest floor.

    I also think the top OT will be off the board by 27, which is one of the reasons I really don’t see Dallas selecting one in the 1st unless they move up. I hope they don’t get desperate and overdraft a guy like Roger Saffold (who I have seen in the first round of numerous mocks but I believe is a definite notch below the guys we have mentioned).

    Overall, I think Dallas’ selection will be determined by if they are looking for an “immediate impact” player, or just the best overall player for the future.

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