Bunting: Brockers a Short-List Candidate

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A team has to have options.

David DeCastro’s potential value for the Cowboys offensive line has been obivous for some time.  But what if he’s gone?  Can the Cowboys find a pass rusher who rivals DeCastro in top-end potential?   Is Melvin Ingram a suitable alternative?  Could Dallas find a blue-chip corner if the junior corners Morris Claiborne and Dre Kirkpatrick go in the top 10 to 12 slots?

What if all four of these players have disappeared by pick 14?

Dallas needs as many options at need positions as it can get.  LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers late declaration apparently increases the Cowboys’ options.  Draftniks went bonkers on Brockers, whom many expected to return to school.  ESPN’s Todd McShay called him the ”most underrated” d-line prospect:

Another draftnik played contrarian, calling Brockers the most overrated underclassman, but posted a mock later yesterday putting Brockers in his top 20.

Brockers played the draft game correctly.  This year’s defensive lineman crop rates lower than last year’s deep class.  I asked our draft guy Wes Bunting  for Brockers’ grade.  (Brockers report has not been posted yet.)  Bunting told me Brockers will get an 8.0, which puts him in the top seven on the National Football Post’s board.

Brockers gets high marks for his power, instincts, and productivity.  Bunting tweeted yesterday that Brockers could thrive as a 4-3 DT, which he played for LSU, or as a 3-4 DE.  He projects as that power left end the Cowboys hoped Marcus Spears would become.

Could Brockers add an inside rush to complement Jay Ratliff?  How does his rush game compare to some of the bigger names from 2011?  We’ll get a detailed report from Wes next week.  That 8.0 suggests Brockers has, or could develop a complete game.

It appears pick 14 just got a little bit safer.

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Rafael Vela

Rafael Vela

Started covering Dallas Cowboys @ TheBoys.com in '95 and '96. Two more stops along the way and here I am. Senior Analyst for SportsTalkLine.com
  • LT

    Does Brockers make it to pick 14? If he’s the top DT in the draft.. I have a hard time seeing him fall out of the top 10. I am a big fan of Brockers though and I’d love to see him fall to the Cowboys. He didn’t get many sacks at LSU.. but man can that guy collapse a pocket. He’s definitely a “pressure” player IMO.

    • http://www.cowboysnation.com Rafael Vela

      How many players can you cram into 13 spots?  
      Luck and RGIII are going top 10.
      Claiborne & Kirkpatrick are likely going top 10.
      Blackmon goes.
      Richardson likely goes
      Kalil goes

      That’s seven.  If Reif and Martin go, that’s nine.

      Let’s say Brockers, DeCastro and Ingram go too.  That’s 12.  That’s possible.  Anything is possible.  But everything will have to go wrong for every Cowboys target to go in the top 12-13.  Odds are at least one of them slips.    

      • cowboyny

        Heard that the Baylor WR maybe ahead of Blackmon on many scouts boards, that could mean two WR’s coming off the board in the top 10, which is all good news to us Cowboy fans.

        • Aaa

          What about QBs? Remember last year there were 4 taken in the first 13 picks, including guys considered to be 2nd and 3rd rounders.

          • Bluefin

            Ryan Tanneyhill (currently low 20s) could rise with solid pre-draft workouts and combine testing, but the QB class was greatly diminished this year with Matt Barkley, Landry Jones and Tyler Wilson all electing to return for their senior seasons.

            I’m good with those decisions because it makes it less likely the Redskins will get an immediate impact QB in the draft.

          • Nickthegrip

            My buddy, a diehard Skins devotee, has said a rumor has surfaced that puts Peyton Manning and Jeff Saturday to the Skins for Fred Davis, the Skins 2012 2nd rounder and their 2013 1st rounder.

          • Gogokroz

            Ridiculous, first if all Davis is a free agent, and any rumor about that is exactly that…. A rumor. I live in DC, and a rumor had them coming here, IF petting was released. Hack journlism, and opinions with nothing to substantiate them.

          • http://www.cowboysnation.com Rafael Vela

            Davis was in hot water over breaking a team rule.  (drugs?)  His trade value would be low even if he was an RFA.  And why would the Colts pass up the Skins’ 6th overall pick?  If I were the Colts GM I’d insist on that, not the 2013 1st.

            Nothing against your buddy but this sounds strange.

          • kameleon_o

            I don’t know about the team rules thing but he was definitely in hot water over drugs. He and Trent Williams pissed hot and got suspensions.

          • Rena

            Tanneyhill broke his foot, he won’t be working out at the combine.
            However Oregon’s QB Darron Thomas just declared.  No idea yet where he might go, but he looks good.

      • hardwater

        Konz would now be my default Cowboys pick at #14 if all you mentioned are gone. Konz would fulfill about as big a need as the Cowboys have. But would love DeCastro and now this Brockers guy seems like he would be mighty hard to pass up if he was there.

      • unionjack8

        thats 12 and if they all go in any order what do you do? I hate the idea of Konz at 14 with his medical concerns.

        • Bluefin

          If our top targets are somehow all plucked before #14, wouldn’t DE Quinton Coples have to be in play?

          Wes Bunting has said Coples can be as good as he wants to be in the NFL, the game comes that easy to him.

          The big question right now is about Coples’ motor not running all the time as a Senior, Bunting said he appeared to be playing not to get hurt at times.

          There were no such questions during Coples’ stand out junior campaign, that’s why he was so highly ranked entering last season.

          • unionjack8

            i gotta wtch Coples again, got 3 games on hard drive to watch. Talent is there, is the desire.

          • Bluefin

            That’s what NFL teams will be trying to find out.

            DT 2010: 10 sacks, 15.5 TFLs.

            DE 2011: 7.5 sacks, 15 TFLs.

            Even if Quinton Coples’ motor wasn’t running all the time in ’11, that isn’t much of a drop in production when he also switched positions.

            Was he worried about staying healthy?

            Probably.

            Coples watched Bruce Carter’s draft stock drop following a late season ACL tear and Deunta Williams’ career ended with a freak ankle injury in the Music City Bowl in 2010.

          • Timwebbsite

            We also have his DL coach in Baker.  He can give us a first-hand account of his play, and maybe knows how to motivate him.

          • SportsDrunk

            I’d rather have guys with less talent and more drive than dudes with immense talent and no desire.

            Marty B, and to some extent Dez. No more of this, please.

      • LT

        Yea I agree they’ve got a great shot to get someone on their short list. I’m just saying that if Michael Dockers is the top DT, I think he’ll be one of the guys on the short list they won’t have a shot at.

        And in the scenario you mentioned above..  I’d strongly consider Nick Perry. I’m in the minority in this thinking, but I might take him before Ingram as an OLB.

        • Milkshaker

          We’re members of the same minority!

          I think when all these DE guys are asked to do LB drills at the various workouts, Perry is going to stand out. One of my favorites for #14 pick.

          • LT

            Agreed. Perry uses his hands pretty well and can turn the corner when rushing the passer. Hes athletic, quick and has the agility needed to rush the passer as a 3-4 olb (seems to be one thing spencer doesn’t have). I have Perry on my list of players I’d like to see the Cowboys consider at 14.

            On another note.. anyone know much about the S from Kentucky – Winston Guy Jr? He’s got some good scouting reports out there and is listed as a mid round pick.

  • cowboyny

    Any player who can provide the Cowboy Team with generating more pressure up front needs to be considered, period. With lack of interior pass rushers early on in the process, Brockers could be that right selection for the team to make. Still believe, DeCastro will make it to pick #14 and be the top player left on their board, but there will be plenty of options to consider if he indeed has been taken ahead of us.

  • Michael

    There is help coming for the OL from players already on the roster. Either Nagy or Kowalski is a prime candidate to replace Costa at Center. As far as guards go there are always veterans like Dockery who can be plugged in.

    The same can be said of the DL to some extent,  with both Brent and Lissemore in the fold , and Geathers perhaps pushing for playing time at DE.

    On the other hand, the secondary has no young players with potential who can slide into starting roles. They need two DBs this year. One CB who can play outside in man coverage and one safety with range.

    The Cowboys also need at least one ILB who can run and cover even if Carter starts next season.

  • joey2zs

    Donte Whitner just knocked the s out of that poor running back.  He was clearly knocked unconscious.  This game has been really violent so far.

  • Tcpappas

    This might be a year for a trade down. I know, I know, but bear with me. If you drop a few spots and can pick up Konz the center and an extra 2nd or 3rd it might be worth it. We need a lot of quality players, and an improvement at center is needed. That leaves you with 4 young developmental guards, plus 2 who can play center as well. Not to mention the veterans Kosar, Holland, and Dockery if you keep them. The rest of your picks can be spent to improve the defense. I know we all get nervous when Jerry starts trading picks but don’t be too surprised. Just hope he does not fall in love with a skill position guy. We don’t need WOW this year, we need good!

    • Bluefin

      Moving down always seems like a possibility with “Trader Jerry.”

      But a lot of his wheeling and dealing came about in years where the team was selecting towards the end of round one. That likely meant no players with first round grades were still on the team’s draft board when their pick came up.

      There will be multiple players with first round grades on the board at #14.

      The top 2-3 targets would likely need to be gone and the team would have to project several players they liked still being available at wherever they traded down to in order to make a deal, IMO.

      And it’d need to be a very enticing offer as well.

  • Raja

    Just hope that he is not the second coming of Dorsey or Tyson Jackson. LSU tackles haven’t exactly lived up to their billing when projected as 34 ends.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RXF4PWRW5W2DUUD3QFRUTII5FA Chris

      I agree.  Too many teams have been burnt by these LSU tackles in the draft.  They’re like the new version of the old Florida WR back when Spurrier coached there.  I’m not spending 14 on this guy

  • cowboyny

    I think last night’s 49er Defensive Performance realy exposed what is wrong with the Cowboy Defense:

    -Defensive Ends who can get that consisent push that collapsed the pocket. Not many sacks, but effected the why Brees played. Forced throws to come out early with pressure in his face. 49ers were able to generate pressure without the need of the blitz, which allowed that extra man in coverage to force Brees to eiher checkdown or pass through tight windows.

    -Team tackling as a whole was outstanding. When a player like Sproles would get the ball in space, they swarmed him, gang taclked him. Yes, this is far easier with more men in coverage, but they took away the big yards after the catch for the first three quarters.

    -Defense set the tone with their physicality and sent a message early in the game, you can get some yards on them, but there will be a price to be paid everytime you have the ball in you’re hands. Saw Henderson take a reverse and run so fast to the sidelines to avoid the contact. The great Guard tandem of the Saints wore down and struggled with their matchups all game long. Shocked to see the Saints shed their run game, especially hen they spread up their LB’s in coverage

    How does this relat to the Cowboy Personeel:

    -Smith and McDonald were outstanding in getting that consisent push in collasing the pocket, this was against Nicks and Evans in the interior. Hatcher/Coleman, others spots need to be upgraded with better pressure, type bulldozers. Brockers should would make sense in this area of need.

    -We have seen the issues of the years with the poor team tackling, especially with the CB position. Too many mistackles that has led to big plays after the catch. The Saints losted last night’s night due to Roman Harper looking for the big hit, then making the sure tackle that led to the final go ahead score. Kirpatrick excels in this aspect, a guy like Tracy Porter doesn’t. Need to target those Winfield types, physical CB’s who do not shy away from contact. Brent Grimes would be a nice fit.

    I will be rooting for Wade Phillips today to pull the upset as I hate the Ravens, but that is a tall order with a rookie QB. As for the Packer/Giant game, bing from NY, I hope the Packers beat them by 50 pts! Will be a good game, but all the talk recently has been praising the Giant Defense, kind of like the Cowboys before the Viking playoff game, which woke up a sleeping Giant, be very careful you mouthy Giants!

  • cowboyny

    I think last night’s 49er Defensive Performance realy exposed what is wrong with the Cowboy Defense:

    -Defensive Ends who can get that consisent push that collapsed the pocket. Not many sacks, but effected the why Brees played. Forced throws to come out early with pressure in his face. 49ers were able to generate pressure without the need of the blitz, which allowed that extra man in coverage to force Brees to eiher checkdown or pass through tight windows.

    -Team tackling as a whole was outstanding. When a player like Sproles would get the ball in space, they swarmed him, gang taclked him. Yes, this is far easier with more men in coverage, but they took away the big yards after the catch for the first three quarters.

    -Defense set the tone with their physicality and sent a message early in the game, you can get some yards on them, but there will be a price to be paid everytime you have the ball in you’re hands. Saw Henderson take a reverse and run so fast to the sidelines to avoid the contact. The great Guard tandem of the Saints wore down and struggled with their matchups all game long. Shocked to see the Saints shed their run game, especially hen they spread up their LB’s in coverage

    How does this relat to the Cowboy Personeel:

    -Smith and McDonald were outstanding in getting that consisent push in collasing the pocket, this was against Nicks and Evans in the interior. Hatcher/Coleman, others spots need to be upgraded with better pressure, type bulldozers. Brockers should would make sense in this area of need.

    -We have seen the issues of the years with the poor team tackling, especially with the CB position. Too many mistackles that has led to big plays after the catch. The Saints losted last night’s night due to Roman Harper looking for the big hit, then making the sure tackle that led to the final go ahead score. Kirpatrick excels in this aspect, a guy like Tracy Porter doesn’t. Need to target those Winfield types, physical CB’s who do not shy away from contact. Brent Grimes would be a nice fit.

    I will be rooting for Wade Phillips today to pull the upset as I hate the Ravens, but that is a tall order with a rookie QB. As for the Packer/Giant game, bing from NY, I hope the Packers beat them by 50 pts! Will be a good game, but all the talk recently has been praising the Giant Defense, kind of like the Cowboys before the Viking playoff game, which woke up a sleeping Giant, be very careful you mouthy Giants!

  • Hatetheiggles

    Off the subject,but can Mario Williams play DE in a 3-4 if we were to sign him? He seems too big to play OLB and cover backs and TE’s. It seems as though he will definitely be a FA,but will he fit here?  

    • dacolan

      FWIW, Super Mario was tied for the lead in the AFC with 5 sacks thru 4
      1/2 games prior to his injury (torn pectoral muscle) in his 1st year as a
      3-4 OLB under Wade.

  • fiverings37

    NFC Armageddon next week gents with NY vs SF … about the last matchup that we wanted to see…..I will root against NY ….Niners( as I puke in my mouth)  vs Pats for the Super Bowl.

  • ym

    Hats off the Giants, but it seems the like the stupid gene turned for the teams that played the Giants in their run.  The stupid gene for the Cowboys is always on, but Falcons made some pretty stupid moves, such as going for it instead of taking the points.  Of course the Packers don’t need explaining.

  • iowacowboy

    Re the trade for Payton, I doubt any thoughts here.  Why trade for Payton and be on the hook for that 28 million lump sum due soon?  The Colts will not want to pay this.  Payton will be a free agent.  Think if Dallas signed him and then traded Romo for mucho bounty – say to the Dolphins.