Part three of this week’s chat with the National Football Post’s Wes Bunting looks for Jason Garrett-type players.
Cowboys Nation: Last year, when Jason Garrett took over, the Cowboys emphasized, “the right kind of guy.” It may just be PR, but they are moving away from the high-risk guys they took in the early 2000s who busted out so often. They want guys who are “football players,” hard hat-types who are smart, dependable and hard working.
If you’re rating players with that template, name some some guys who fit that “football player” description. Start in the 1st round.
Wes Bunting: Brockers is a football player. He’s not a prima donna. He’s put on 70 lbs. since his freshman year to become the top defensive tackle on one of the best teams in the country.
Trent Richardson is a football player. There’s no doubt about that. DeCastro is a football player. Kalil is a football player.
CN: Can you name some more in the Cowboys range? We’ve talked about guys like Janoris Jenkins, as being a good football player, but I think the term may also refers to guys who won’t hit the police blotter at 2 am, who are going to be grinding on game tape until the early hours, or getting up early to hit the weight room.
When we got to the 2nd round, who fits that?
WB: McClellin fits that description, absolutely. He loves the game. There’s some question between him and Bruce Irvin. Irvin has some off-field questions. But staying with McClellin, he played defensive end at Boise State and he goes to the Senior Bowl andhe asked to play linebacker and he just manned up and did it. And I though he did a really good job at it.
At the beginning of the year, he was a lower-round pick on a lot of boards and now the momentum keeps building. He was a mid-round pick, and then he’s a 3rd rounder and now we’re talking 2nd.
CN: Is he a top 45 pick?
WB: I would not be surprised to see him anywhere between 25 to 40. 50 maybe if he sneaks into that back end.
CN: Let’s turn to the safety class. Mark Barron is rehabbing from hernia surgery. He wasn’t at Indy. Give your impressions of the top four guys there — George Iloka, Markelle Martin, Harrison Smith and Barron.
WB: Barron has slipped a touch. I still think he’s in the later part of round one. He’s highlighted with the Patriots, the 49ers, maybe the Jets if they move up from the 2nd. I think he’s the only first rounder. Harrison Smith ran a 4.56. About what we thought. I think he’s a 3rd rounder. Iloka may sneak into the late 2nd but I think he’s a 3rd rounder. Markelle Martin, depending on what he runs, he’s a 2nd-3rd round guy.
CN: I didn’t see him. Was Martin there? Did he run?
WB: He didn’t run. He was invited but I don’t think he worked out at all.
The guys who worked out, who are generating buzz are Brandon Taylor from LSU. He ran in the 4.5s and I think he can end up being as good as Harrison Smith.
Christian Thompson and Kelcie McCray are two other guys to watch. They’re both big guys. They ran high 4.4s, they can track the football. When the draft rolls around I would not be surprised to see them go in the 4th round.
Next: the guards.