March (Mock) Madness

I want to preface this whole thing with the fact that I realize this is pure fantasy. It’s something that keeps me involved in the NFL and NCAA football seasons when they aren’t playing. (Go Cowboys, Hook Em Horns!) I’ve sifted through most relevant projection sites and two stand out to me:

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/prospectrankings/TSX/2011 for player rankings and http://www.walterfootball.com/draftchart.php for draft pick value.

With that said, I moved around in the draft (Jerry style) to collect the highest impact and value players I could find, keeping the salary CAP in mind all the while.

I’ll start with the draft since there is no CBA currently in place

1 (9) *TRADE* to St.Louis who selects Julio Jones WR Alabama (rated: 9) ahead of Washington. Dallas receives St.Louis’ 1 (14,) 3 (78,) 5 (142) and 6 (173)

1(14) Gabe Carimi OT Wisconsin (rated:22)
Claims he’s the best OT in the draft. JJ requested more tape on Tyron Smith and scouts followed Anthony Costanzo’s career at Boston College closely. Doesn’t matter…Carimi is truely the best pure right tackle in this draft and Marc Colombo must be replaced…

1 (26) Dallas trades picks 2 (40) and 3 (78) to Baltimore for 1 (26)
Dallas selects either Jimmy Smith CB Colorado (rated: 26) or Brandon Harris CB Miami (rated: 27)
Terrance Newman is slowing down and increasingly injury prone…His salary far excedes his performance…The Cowboys need CAP relief and a young talented CB for the future…One of these two should be here for the Cowboys to take advantage of.

3 (65) Dallas trades picks 3 (71) and 5 (142) to Carolina for pick 3 (65)
Dallas selects Ben Ijalana G Villanova (rated: 65)
Marcus Cannon would have been nice to get here and replace Leonard Davis and his 6 mil dollar salary but he rates higher (at 53) and would put two rookies on the right side of the line…Not good…Ben Ijalana has the skill set to replace Kyle Kosier on the left side…His toughness, athleticism and strong hands (his background as a high school wrestler is apparent) should allow him to transition from LT to LG. Kosier was also responsible for calling the audibles on the line. (asually a center’s responsibility) That duty would also need to be absorbed by Ijalana or Gurode. Hopefully Ijalana.

4 (109) *TRADE* to Minnesota for 4 (136,) 6 (165) and a 2012 6th round pick. Minnesota selects Tyler Sash SS Iowa (rated: 100)
I don’t see any of these “top” safeties an upgrade over Akwasi or Sensebaugh, whom I believe will be resigned. Duenta Williams is the only safety I would consider over any of the late round players I took in this draft that I think could compete with AOA for the FS spot opposite Sensebaugh. Since I didnt take Williams, I signed Huff too. Depends on how much $ he would command and the amount of years guaranteed.

4 (127) Dallas trades picks 6 (169) and 6 (173) to Pittsburgh for pick 4 (127)
Dallas selects Ian Williams DT Notre Dame (rated: 136)
Ian had a pre-combine visit with Dallas and is a prime candidate to rotate with Josh Price-Brent at the nose position, allowing Ratliff to make his long awaited move to Igor Olshanski’s position at RDE. (freeing Igor’s $3.335 million salary) I know Rob Ryan said Ratliff is and will be a DT, but he didnt say in what packages. Ratliff could be a DE in the base 3-4 package and a DT in others. I think Ryan is smart enough to put his best players on the field and having options is nice.

5 (136) Dallas selects John Moffitt G Wisconsin (rated: 139)
Moffitt will be reunited with Gabe Carimi and in year two the Wisconsin duo will take over the right side for the next 10 years in Dallas. Moffitt will sit behind Leonard Davis for a year and improve his core strength.

4 (140) Casey Matthews ILB Oregon (rated: 144)
He hasn’t improved his draft stock one bit since the Duck’s regular season in 2010. However, he is a Matthews and he lead the Oregon Duck’s 2010 team in tackling with 79. Dallas needs help on the inside. Could be a steal or semi-bust. Worth rolling the dice…

6 (165) Owen Marecic FB Stanford (rated:161)
Only because this is such a strong FB class do I believe it is possible to still get Marecic at 165. The emergence of Charles Clay, Stanley Havili and Henry Hynoski should let one drop to Dallas here and improve at a very weak position. Marecic is exactly the type of player I want on this roster. He puts his head down and works hard. This is the extreme value pick of this draft. To boot, anyone opposed to taking a FB should look at the undrafted player responsible for ending the seasons, because of missed blocks, for both Romo and Bryant in 2010.

7 (209) Willie Smith OT East Carolina (rated: 231)
There is a depth void at LT and it would be nice to have a tackle with a LT skill set and experience playing that side of the line…

Undrafted Free Agent Signings:

-Nick Bellore ILB Central Michigan
depth for Bradie James’ side. Leon williams was not tendered

-Bruce Miller OLB UCF
competition for Brandon Williams, who is coming to a crossroads on the weak side behind Ware

-Anthony Allen RB Georgia Tech
I don’t know how Tashard Choice will react to this. My guess is that he assumes a leadership role and takes charge of the every-down back role and Felix is used as a Reggie Bush type player. That is if JG allows this. Allen should challenge JJ’s last year favorite, Lonyae Miller,  for the 3rd RB spot.

-Lazarius Levingston DE LSU
Bowen and Hatcher seem to be locked up again with their tenders. Last year’s 6th round pick Sean Lissemore could use some competition on Ratliff’s newly aquired position at RDE.

-DeJon Gomes SS Nebraska
Barry Church needs to be pushed. He signed a modest 3 year deal in 2010 that could easily be whiped out if Gomes emerges as the better safety who can also contribute to Special Teams.

Free Agent Signings:

Doug Free LT Dallas
Michael Huff S Oakland
Gerald Sensebaugh SS Dallas
Stephen Bowen LDE Dallas
Jason Hatcher LDE Dallas
Alan Ball CB/S Dallas
Jesse Holley WR/ST Dallas

2011 Depth Chart:

QB: Romo/Kitna/McGee
RB: Choice/Jones/ L.Miller or Allen
FB: Marecic
WR: Austin/Bryant/R.Williams/Ogletree/Holley
TE: Witten/Bennett/Phillips
LT: Free/Smith
LG: Ijalana/Holland
C: Gurode/Costa
RG: Davis/Moffitt
RT: Carimi/Young

RDE: Ratliff/Lissemore or Levingston
NT: rotation of I.Willams and Price-Brent
LDE: Bowen/Hatcher
WOLB: Ware/B.Williams or B.Miller
WILB: Lee/Brooking/Matthews
SILB: James/Bellore
SOLB: Spencer/Butler
CB: Jenkins/J.Smith or Harris/Scandrick/Ball/McCann
FS: Huff/AOA/McCray
SS: Sensebaugh/Church or Gomes

P: McBriar
K: Buehler or Brown
LS: Ladouceur

Comments
  1. Derek S.

    I’d be beside myself if we had that exact draft. I’d like to have Cannon over Ijalana, but either would be a great fit to replace our guards. Also hope Marecic is still there in round six and isn’t grabbed much earlier like the Jets did with John Conner last year.

  2. Andrea from Italy

    Nate, I am very skeptical the Cowboys will take Carimi, although we both wish they did. But the overall mock scheme sounds feasible to me. What I am most concerned with however is: 1) not drafting a TOP DLineman. We’re thin, you count on re-signing Hatcher, I don’t as much, his tweet was pretty much indcative to me of what he would want to do (leave Dallas). 2) the LG position: Kosier’s duty to call adjustments has often gone overlooked and I don’t see any rookie being able to take over with that…Gurode could even less. I would re-sign Kosier and maybe select a G/C with our second pick…Pouncey at #26 in your mock…to work at center in the near future AND do the calls. Or Wisniewski later to do the same. Indeed, I don’t see this big need to draft a CB this year, unless you dump Newman right now, but there’s no one, besides Peterson, I would trust starting opposite Jenkins as a rookie. So to draft a backup only for the time being, better wait until the 3rd or 4th rounds…

    • Nate

      Wrong mock Andrea! lol…the new (final) should be posted soon…ill let ya know…