It’s almost time. We aren’t quite down to single digits yet but the 2017 NFL Draft is finally, almost here! Mock drafts, player rankings and team needs and all the rage across the blog-o-sphere in an attempt to predict draft selections. But there are many ways to predict what may happen in the NFL Draft. Some mocks try and predict a specific rounds while others focus on a teams entire draft. One micro-method I’ve found to be pretty much “easy-money” over recent seasons is giving a lash at identifying which injured player(s) Jerry Jones will focus on in the second round in his never-ending quest for “draft value.”
So after seasons of Cowboys Nation watching their GM take flyers on redshirt players who will sit on the training table most likely a full year (though the fan base will be teased they could play “any moment”) it’s time to take a fun look at the Jerry Jones 2nd Round Hot List. And keep in mind none of these players are likely to end up in Big D in 2017. After all, Jerry made it clear using high picks on injured players is off the menu this year! He wouldn’t do it again now would he?
MLB Reuben Foster – Alabama – Surgery torn right rotator cuff. Unanimous All-American, 2016 Butkus Award winner and football stud Foster is a football player from head-to-toe. Much like last seasons Jaylon Smith Foster was considered a top ten talent on draft day …. IF he wasn’t injured. Foster “should” be ready in time for the 2017 season. However he will (probably) miss significant time in training camp and preseason. There is no denying the talent. There is also no denying his first year in the NFL will be a rough ride. Foster will drop, but probably not into the second round. If he does I have no doubt Jones will be working the phones trying to trade up and get him.
CB Sidney Jones – Washington – Torn left achilles during his pro day. OUCH. Time heals all wounds. A couple of week’s isn’t enough time. A consensus top 15 pick the uber-talented Washington DB will have a severe drop on draft day. If he makes it to the Cowboys in the second round I honestly don’t know how Jones would be able to stop himself.
FS Malik Hooker – Ohio State – Torn labrum, core muscle. Hooker is a stud on the football field. A high football IQ combined with incredible athletic ability is NFL gold. However there is a reason he’s referred to as a “glass cannon.” Hooker has issues staying on the field and whereas the labrum is a “standard” procedure nowdays the injury to his core muscle is quite troubling. Talent is off the charts. So is the risk. Hooker won’t make it to the second round even with the injuries. However if draft day magic happens and Hooker is hanging around when the second day bell opens ……
CB Fabian Moreau – UCLA – Torn pectoral muscle during his pro day. Are you kidding me? DB’s are dropping like flies here. The injury itself is not catastrophic. The impact of it may be. Unlike college a DB better be able to get a jam on a WR in the NFL. Having a blown pec takes that tool out of the box and can greatly impact the developmental curve of a young DB. The Cowboys know first hand how repeated injuries rob a talented player (Morris Claiborne) of the ability to compete on game day. Question is, have they learned anything from it?
DE Takkarist McKinley – UCLA – Torn Labrum, broken glenoid. Surgery after combine. 5-6 month recovery period. Yes, I am going to repeat myself. There is NO doubting the talent. There is also no way you can put aside the surgery and the impact it will have on the players first year and (perhaps) beyond. It’s a tough break for a great kid but he will still probably go mid first round. If he makes it to the bottom of the first Jerry may break with tradition and go red-shirt selection in round one.
TE Jake Butt – Michigan – Torn ACL in bowl game. Injured AND a tight end? Jerry must be salivating. The only thing Jones loves more than an injured player in the second round is a tight end he can sit on the bench for four years. It’s so ironically obvious it’s almost unfair to list Butt here. With future Hall of Fame TE Witten just signing an extension and TE of the future Rico Gathers on the roster along with two blocking TE’s under contract and a HUGE need on the defensive side of the ball it would seem to preclude such a risky selection. Yep. However if September rolls around and Jake Butt is exchanging insight with Jaylon Smith on which rehab bands work the best at the Star I wouldn’t be a bit surprised.
What say you Sports Nation?
Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over