In this week’s Wednesday edition of Wes’ Weekly Draft Tips (WWDTs) I ask him to put some draft skin in the game. Based on his yet-to-be-released player ratings and on my five-position, weighted Cowboys grocery list (see yesterday’s story for it) we get a look at the players the Cowboys scouts are tracking the hardest:
Cowboys Nation: The readers have a solid base of information so I don’t want to take them through the same positions. I want to focus on ratings. Do you have a list?
Wes Bunting: No. What I do is look at all the players from D-I and Division II and I assign numerical grades to them. But I don’t make a list because I don’t want my opinions swayed. I just grade them as I see them and let the list make itself.
CN: Let’s play a game then. I’m Bill Parcells and I’m giving you the grocery list. I’m sending you to the supermarket to shop for rookies. I’m calling the game 5-10-15. The Cowboys are 2-7. Those losses are in the bank and the schedule is still hard. Even if they got hot under Jason Garrett, I think 8-8 is still optimistic. But assuming they do and finish 7-9 or 8-8, that puts them around 15. If they split the games, they’re picking around 10. If they struggle some more, maybe 4-12, 5-11 and they get a shot at the top 5.
Picking at 5, 10 and 15, I want you to prioritize by these positions: offensive tackle, free safety, cornerback, defensive end, though I think those last two are interchangeable, and finally, guard.
Say for starters, they’re picking at 5. Say Jon Kitna gets hurt and they’re still in the top 5. Looking at the players you know, looking at pick five, start at OT. If there’s an OT there, let’s hear about him. If there isn’t an OT worthy of that pick, move down to FS. If there’s nobody there, move to the next position and so on.
WB: You’re going to make me work today. At five, I don’t think there’s a tackle who’s worth your time. There’s no free safety that makes sense that high. There’s no guard who makes sense this high. This is where defensive line and cornerback fit.
I could see Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara. I’d probably go Amukamara here. I think he’s the safer pick. If we’re looking DEs in the top five, Marcell Dareus makes a lot of sense.
CN: That Amukamara pick might surprise some people. We have some Peterson partisans in our threads. Why would you take Prince over Peterson, if both happened to be available?
WB: He’s just the better, more seasoned cornerback at this stage. Does he have Patrick Peterson’s God-given physical abilities? No. But he’s not too far off and he finds the football a little better. He’s a little cleaner in and out of his breaks. He’s a little bit smaller. Peterson does have phenomenal fluidity for his size and has more upside. At the same time, he’s gonna struggle to get out of his breaks as opposed to a guy who’s a little shorter.
I just like Amukamara a little better in that respect. He’s a physical guy. He’ll tackle, though Peterson will too. I think Peterson’s more a man-guy who needs to play in press. I think Amukamara can do that as well but he can play in zone, he can play off-man better. [Amukamara] is just a bit more savvy, has better ball skills when its in the air. Now, we’re splitting hairs here, they’re both excellent players, but I like Prince a little more.