Wes Bunting Reviews the Cowboys’ Draft, Part One


In part one of Cowboys Nation’s weekly draft chat with the National Football Post’s Wes Bunting, he looks at the surprise picks of the first round and begins a bottom to top review of the Cowboys selections:

Cowboys Nation:  Welcome back, Wes.  Let’s begin at the beginning of this draft.  Which of Thursday’s first-round picks were the biggest ”wow” picks in your book?

Wes Bunting:  Jake Locker going 8th to Tennessee.  I thought that was high.  The Christian Ponder pick by Minnesota at 12, though I heard that day that he was moving up.  I figured he might go somewhere in the middle of the round,  but not that high.

The Nick Fairley to Detroit pick, that’s the one that blew the top of my head off.  The idea of him playing next to Suh is devastating.  You can only double-team one of them.  Which one is it going to be?  I think he’s in a very good place.  Suh will take him under his wing.

CN:  Let’s talk about that a little bit.  When the rumors of Fairley dropping started to circulate, you said his talent was too good for him to slide far, but at the same time that his odds for success would depend on where he wound up.  Is Ndamukong Suh the type of person who can lead a Nick Fairley?  They’re not that far apart in age.

WB:  Without a doubt.  Suh is from a good family.  He’s well grounded.  He was a leader on the field.  When you looked at him last year, there were no question marks about his character.  I’m becoming a bit of a closet Lions fan.  I met Jim Schwartz.  Michael Lombardi introduced me to him when he was at the NFP and I really like what he’s doing there.

CN:  On the subject of Fairley, let’s follow up on a similar player.  When you talked about talented players who could rise or fall depending on their locker rooms, you also brought up Jimmy Smith.  You mentioned Baltimore as an ideal place for him.  As chance would have it, Jimmy Smith was in fact picked by the Ravens.

WB:  That’s a nice place for him.  Baltimore needs him.  They need a quality corner, plus they have size concerns on the outside.  That’s a small bunch of corners.  Smith gives them somebody who can match up against the Calvin Johnsons and the A.J. Greens and the bigger wideouts they’re going to face.  Plus, he’ll have Ray Lewis and Ed Reed barking in his face.

CN:  Let’s turn to Dallas.  They had an offer from Jacksonville to move down but they stayed at 9 and took Tyron Smith.  Is there anything about this pick that you can reveal, now that the draft is over?

WB:  Not really.  I had heard about a month before the draft, after his pro day, that he was a guy the Cowboys really liked.  Then, the murmuring went quiet, and it seemed that teams came to believe he was the Cowboys’ guy.  I think all the late chatter about Aldon Smith and J.J. Watt was just to keep other teams from going after him.

Plus, as as offensive tackles go, he’s the sexy pick.  Jerry Jones wants flashier selections, and this year it seemed he felt he needed an offensive tackle.  If you’re going to pick one, Smith is the sexier selection, not Anthony Castonzo.