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By Jonathan Bales

Dallas Cowboys 2010 Draft Pick Analysis, Grades

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Round 1

Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State

Positives:  Tremendously talented (perhaps a top five talent), incredible size and balls skills

Negatives:  All issues are off-field concerns–will he be motivated to perform in the NFL?  How much does he love football?

2010 Projection:  Expect Bryant to begin the season as the #3 receiver and starting punt/kick returner.  His return ability surely increased his value in the eyes of the Cowboys.

Pick Grade:  A-

Bryant’s selection was outstanding value, even if the need wasn’t great.

Round 2

Sean Lee, ILB, Penn State

Positives:  One of the hardest workers you will ever meet, surprisingly athletic, great in coverage

Negatives:  Slightly undersized for a 3-4 defense, coming off of 2008 knee surgery, may not have a very high ceiling

2010 Projection:  Lee will likely becoming the primary backup to Bradie James and Keith Brooking.  He will compete with second-year man Jason Williams for nickel linebacker duties (we are effectively ruling out Bobby Carpenter).

Pick Grade:  C-

This grade would be lower but Cowboys had a high first round grade on him, meaning they really see him as an impact player.  We see it as a “safe” pick with the high risk/high reward J. Williams on the roster.  We also don’t understand trading up for Lee.  The team basically wasted a fourth round selection that could have been utilized to secure another impact player.

Round 4

Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, CB/FS, Indiana of Pennsylvania

Positives:  Tremendous athelete, particularly for the safety position, great play-making and return ability

Negatives:  Won’t be able to participate until training camp, inferior competition in college, didn’t play safety full-time

2010 Projection:  AOA will probably begin the season as the backup free safety and return man.  He would have an outside chance to start immediately if it wasn’t for his injury (had surgery on a torn labrum) and lack of experience at free safety.

Pick Grade:  A

We have been hyping up AOA for literally months now and couldn’t be more thrilled with his selection.  He is a second round talent at worst.

Round 6A

Sam Young, OT, Notre Dame

Positives:  Hard worker, extensive experience in a pro-style offense (started 50 games at Notre Dame)

Negatives:  Not very athletic, probably only a right tackle

2010 Projection:  Young will have to fight to make the team.  We think he will eventually will, but don’t expect him to beat out Robert Brewster for the backup tackle job.

Pick Grade:  D+

We don’t like the selection because of Young’s limited upside.  After coming out of high school as the top tackle in the nation, Young didn’t really improve much in college.

Round 6B

Jamar Wall, CB, Texas Tech

Positives:  Very athletic, 41 inch vertical, great at reading the quarterback and making a play on the ball

Negatives:  Not overly fast, gambles too much

2010 Projection:  Wall will have to fight to make the 53-man roster.  If he does, he will become a special-teamer and compete for the dime cornerback spot behind Orlando Scandrick.

Pick Grade:  D

Again, we aren’t thrilled with this selection when there were talented players left on the board at positions of need.

Round 7

Sean Lissemore, DT/DE, William & Mary

Positives:  Good athleticism and speed for his size, high motor player

Negatives:  Lack of competition, no experience in a 3-4

2010 Projection:  Lissemore is a candidate to transition to defensive end in the Cowboys’ system, although members within the organization claimed he was “Ratliff-like.”  Does this mean Lissemore will become an undersized nose tackle?  We think his potential versatility will help him make the squad as a hybrid DT/DE.

Pick Grade:  B-

We aren’t even going to pretend we had heard of Lissemore before the Cowboys selected him.  This grade is based on what we have learned about him since he was drafted–that he is very athletic and a potentially versatile player for Wade Phillips’ defensive line.

Overall Draft Grade:  B-

The selections of Bryant and Owusu-Ansah saved this draft.  We aren’t thrilled with the other picks, but the top three players should be able to come in and at least contribute marginally in their rookie seasons.


Free Agent Signing Notes

Matt Nichols, QB, Eastern Washington

We have heard of multiple scouts raving about Nichols lately.  Unfortunately, there is probably no room on the roster for him and he is unlikely to sneak onto the practice squad.  He may just be an arm for upcoming mini-camps.

Phil Costa, C, Maryland

Costa played center and guard, meaning he could potentially take Procter’s spot.

Barry Church, S, Toledo

We are pretty surprised Church went undrafted.  He is a tremendous size/speed guy, but won’t help out the ‘Boys much at free safety.

Chris Gronkowski, FB/TE, Arizona

Gronkowski version 2.0 will have a difficult time making the team.  His future will be tied to Deon Anderson’s.

Lonyae Miller, RB, Fresno State

Miller is a supremely talented running back who was Ryan Mathews’ backup at Fresno State.  We doubt the team will be able to sneak him on the practice squad.

Terrell Hudgins, WR, Elon

We don’t know much about Hudgins, other than he is absolutely enormous–6’1”, 237 pounds.  Will Dallas attempt to convert him to an H-Back type player?

Chet Teofilo, G, California

At 329 pounds, Teofilo fits the Cowboys’ profile for an offensive lineman.

Will Barker, RT, Virgina Tech

A poor man’s Sam Young.  Editor’s note:  Isn’t Sam Young a poor man’s Sam Young?

Rashaun Greer, WR, Colorado State

Poor senior season, won’t make the final roster

Bryan McCann, CB, SMU

I personally had McCann listed as a potential seventh-rounder for the Cowboys.  He will compete with Jamar Wall.

Overall Free Agent Grade:  B



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9 Responses to Dallas Cowboys 2010 Draft Pick Analysis, Grades

  1. Yeah we talked about that a few weeks ago….every NFL team knew about it and I am assuming it was the reason he was undrafted. I obviously in no way condone what he did, but I still thought he was worth a shot.

  2. john coleman says:

    I’m still in a fog about some of this. Probably, Wall at this point is my biggest question with the draft picks. Also not with who we picked but who we didn’t. I’m going to chew on this a day or two before I grade. I knew about Lissemore, but was surprised, he was targeted. At 1st blush, JJ is going as cheap as possible. Are we done with UDFAs? I was looking for 6 or 8 more. We could have as many as 8 new guys on this team.

  3. Jonny Danger says:

    Im not upset we got Lee I love his attitude and play. Im upset we moved up to get him and the fact that Ricky Sapp fell so far we could of had him yet we gave away are 4th pick and the Eagles drafted him… I dont like the tackle nor the CB we drafted at all but I like the rest of the picks especially Bryant and AOA

  4. No…we signed 17 thus far to my knowledge…the rest are on dallascowboys.com.

  5. Yeah I really would have loved to have either Ricky Sapp or Eric Norwood. …I think there is a general consensus that Bryant and AOA were the best picks of this draft.

  6. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    We draft actually – compared to some others. Linos had a good draft (did a good job trading) but I think the Seahaws had the best. They have 4 potential starters out of the draft.

    Everyone beyond our 1st 3 pics will probably not even make the team (practice squad or off). And, I really think moving up to take Lee was a mistakes. Had the Boys stayed put and he was picked up by another team, Vladimr Ducasse was available. If he was gone, Morgan Burnett and Major Wright were avail. I know AOA will probably be moved to S but that may take some time – Burnett and Wright possibly could’ve competed for a starting position. In the later rounds, ,we could have taken Selvish Capers in the 6th (who went in the 7th (to the Redskins of all teams).

    Overall, I give the Boys a C as compared to many other teams.

  7. Martin says:

    I gave out a flat ‘B’ in my piece about the draft. I was more impressed with the Lee pick than you, but they didn’t do much in the way of shoring up depth at the C/G positions. They also didn’t gain any extra draft picks — bar a sixth.

  8. I obtained a picture of the Cowboys draft board which I will put up a little later…you will be surprised how low they had some guys rated. Ducasse had a 4th round grade, so he really was never going to be an option for them.

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