We now know the seven players the Cowboys took in the 2013 NFL draft. We know who they are and where they were taken.
|47||Gavin Escobar||Tight End||San Diego State|
|74||Terrance Williams||Wide Receiver||Baylor|
|80||JJ Wilcox||Safety||Ga Southern|
|114||BW Webb||Cornerback||William & Mary|
|151||Joseph Randle||Halfback||Oklahoma St|
|185||DeVonta Holloman||Holloman||South Carolina|
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Rather than simply look at them in the order taken, let’s rank the picks, shall we? But we need a criteria by which to judge. So, here is mine:
- Quality of player v. others available
- Quality of player in relation to draft position (Taken too high, about right, or a steal?)
- Positional need
- Possibility of making impact on team in 2013
Since I have four categories and I want to grade on a percentage scale, I will weigh each category equally. So, the most points a player can receive in any one category is 25. The fewest is zero. I will use increments of five points.
Travis Frederick may well prove to be the best player taken in this draft. he may be just what the Cowboys needed at center. But the Cowboys had the 18th pick and traded down to 31 to take him. No other center was taken until the third round. Chances are good that the Cowboys could have taken him in the second and gotten another quality player at 31. Plus, when grading him, you have to do so against all the picks from 18 to 30, which include DT Sharriff Floyd, thought to be a top ten talent and FS Eric Reid (a position of real need). Not to mention two offensive linemen, a guard and a tackle.
Gavin Escobar looks to have all the tools to be a good pass-catching tight end. He is another in a long line of tight ends the Cowboys have tried to find as a complement to Jason Witten. But again, the Cowboys ignored the greater need at safety, with D.J. Swearinger from South Carolina still on the board.
Terrance Williams, the wideout out of Baylor should help stretch the field and provide a deep threat for Romo and the offense. He is a hometown kid, and the first Dallas ISD product drafted by the Cowboys in 20 years. But he better be better than Keenan Allen out of California, whom the Chargers snagged two picks later. Allen grades out higher than Williams. Time will tell.
Joseph Randle, the Oklahoma Sate running back taken in the fifth round, may prove to be the steal of the draft. People are concerned about his speed. I prefer to look at his production. He was in a top tier conference, facing some of the best talent in the nation week after week, playing in a pass-happy offensive scheme, and still posting nice numbers. NFL.com says this on his player profile page:
The presence of Kendall Hunter limited Randle’s carries in 2010, but the true freshman had at least one tote in all 13 games (82 total for 452 yards and two touchdowns) and caught 37 passes for 427 yards on the year. He stepped into Hunter’s shoes admirably as a sophomore, earning second-team All-Big 12 honors with 1,216 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns in spite of Oklahoma State’s passing preference; he did not have 20 or more carries in any game after the first month of the season. His 152 yards and four touchdowns helped OSU beat Robert Griffin III and Baylor and he covered 151 yards in the team’s beat-down of the rival Oklahoma Sooners. Despite the team’s rotation at the quarterback position, Randle remained the constant figure in the Cowboys’ offense in 2012. He rushed for 1,417 yards and 14 touchdowns on 274 carries. He added 224 receiving yards on 28 receptions.
I remember another running back the Cowboys drafted that was considered a little slow of foot (Randle registered 4.63 in the 40 at the NFL Combine). His name was Emmitt Smith and he is the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. I am not saying Randle is Smith. But I believe he can play on a much higher plane than his fifth round draft spot would indicate.
All told, I think the Cowboys had a rough start to the draft, but may have saved the day with second and third-day picks. At least that is the hope.
Coach Jason Garrett thinks they did exactly what they needed to and should have done, according to his post-draft interview with Rich Eisen of the NFL Network:
I hope Garrett is right and this draft deserves an A+, rather than the C- I am tempted to saddle it with.