The ’10 season has Cowboys fans in pain. Here are some top draft prospects who could ease the suffering.
Some teams have all the luck. The last time the Cowboys bottomed out, back in 1988, they got a Hall of Fame QB named Aikman as their reward. Compare that to the Browns, who got Tim Couch in the ’99 “Year of the Quarterback,” the Raiders, who paid a mint for top overall bust Jamarcus Russell, or the 49ers, who are still waiting for dividends from top overall pick Alex Smith.
We have miles of 2010 highway to travel before the final draft order is set, but in a year where the Cowboys have seen their playoff hopes crushed before Halloween they may, again, get some Luck. They’re rolling in the top-5 today and thus find themselves in the early running for Andrew Luck, a QB many draft experts, including the National Football Post’s Wes Bunting, rate the best in years. Today, Wes and I discuss the quarterback crop, and some top offensive tackle prospects:
Cowboys Nation: I got an excellent question from a reader last week about Wisconsin’s left tackle Gabe Carimi. He noted that some draftniks rate him in the late-1st, early-2nd and others rank him in the top 12-15 overall. There doesn’t seem to be a consensus on him. We all got a quality match-up on Saturday when he went head-to-head with Iowa’s Adrian Clayborn, who’s a solid top-10 guy. What did Carimi show you?
Wes Bunting: I have him as my third-best senior offensive tackle, after Mississippi State’s Derek Sherrod and Boston College’s Anthony Castonzo. I think he’s a good enough athlete to play left tackle in the NFL, but I don’t think he’ll ever be a dominant pass blocker because he is a bit limited from an athletic standpoint. He’s going to be a heck of a run-blocker for you. I think he could end up being a very average pass blocker. With that being said, I think you could start the guy at right tackle and if he does a nice job and establishes himself there, just leave him there.
He’s going to win for you at the point of attack. He’s going to drive people off the football and I think he’s good enough to take on the left ends he’ll face in the NFL. That’s where I think he fits, to be honest.
Cowboys Nation: That’s the impression I got. Wisconsin doesn’t have any trouble running to his side. He was dominant when they beat Ohio State but when he was going against Clayborn, he looked good when Wisconsin ran the ball but when they passed, he looked to be hanging on some downs when Clayborn rushed the edge hard.
Wes Bunting: Clayborn’s not a real explosive, flatten-down around the end speed rusher. He’s a guy who wants to get into your body, use his hands and his violence and suddenness. With a guy like Carimi, that’s where his game is at so Clayborn, it appears, just said, I’m a better athlete than you. I’m going to beat you around the edge. Carimi sometimes had trouble reaching him, and if he’s having trouble with a Clayborn, imagine him against a Dwight Freeney.
That’s how you have to think about it. We’re not evaluating these guys as college players, we’re projecting them against the Freeneys, the Mario Williams, the Demarcus Wares of the world.