I like to think that during the deliberations in the Dallas Cowboys War Room throughout the 2016 NFL Draft that when a tough decision was on the table someone said, “Go with your gut.”
The human belly is capable of making some great decisions when under pressure. I mean, how often do you look back at a decision in retrospect and say to yourself, “I should have gone with my gut.”?
My gut is nice and full from this year’s Draft and it has fully digested everything that went on regarding the nine newest members of America’s Team. That’s what’s so cool about guts – they’re diverse. Will McClay, Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, Jason Garrett… their guts were used to decide who to take. My gut is telling me what I think about them, and it’s thinking about food at the same time.
Food is one of the greatest pleasures in this world so I figured – why not marry the two? We walked into the 2016 NFL Draft Cafe with empty stomachs and were ready to feast, so I brought perspective to the Draft in a fashion that your gut will really enjoy. That’s right, I built a meal out of these Draftees so that you can truly have a “gut reaction.”
We’re about to have some fun.
Glass Of Water: Dak Prescott, QB, 4th Round, 135th Overall
Alright so we’ve just sat down at the Draft Table – and we’re starving. The very first thing that we see here is a tall glass of water in the form of a quarterback named Dak Prescott (he’s 6’2″ to be precise).
What makes Dak the glass of water in this meal? Well think about this for a second. We’re starving, right? Water isn’t exactly what we’re craving. We’re going to be ordering a drink soon anyway (soda, tea, cocktail, whatever) so the water is really just on standby. We’re only going to drink this whenever we’re out of our primary drink (like when QB1 is down for instance).
Let’s hope that we have great health, uh I mean service, this season and that this water/backup QB isn’t ever truly necessary. It’s great to have it to lean on in the even that we get really thirsty, though!
Bread For The Table: Charles Tapper, DE, 4th Round, 101st Overall
You’ve got your glass of water, but I know that you’re looking for some actual substance to start scarfing. Here’s that beautiful basket of bread that you’ve been dreaming about the whole drive over to the restaurant.
What makes Charles Tapper the bread in this meal? The Dallas Cowboys faithful are absolutely starving for some help at the defensive end position thanks to the suspensions of Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence. Tapper is the first sign of actual food that is very sorely needed in the extreme absence of some.
Now I’m not trying to overlook Charles as a prospect here. Yes, the presence of any kind of food looks incredible considering how hungry we are, but Tapper is the real deal. According to Dane Brugler’s Draft Guide (which you can, and absolutely should, get right here) he has the fastest recorded 40-yard dash time of all the top DEs in the Draft. Slap some butter on that and let’s roll (ba-dum-psh!).
Appetizer: Maliek Collins, DT, 3rd Round, 67th Overall
This is the first component of the meal that we’re consciously ordering, and by we I mean Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli.
NFL.com’s pro comparison for Maliek is Henry Melton, which explains why Rod ordered this dish. It’s a situation where we’ve already gotten something to snack on in the bread, but Rod’s been to this restaurant before and swears that this appetizer is the bomb.
Collins gives the Cowboys even more depth at the Defensive Tackle position, and is primarily seen as a three-tech player. We’re all going to enjoy the appetizer sure, but Rod is the one who’s getting a majority of it and even saving some to eat along with his main dish.
Compliments Of The Chef: Rico Gathers, TE, 6th Round, 217th Overall
We’re at the point in the meal where we’ve started to get a little full, and we kind of forgot what we ordered. Whoops!
In the midst of our food stupor, out comes the waiter carrying a dish that we’ve never seen before. He drops it off at the table and lets us know that it’s “compliments of the chef” chock full of ingredients that we’ve never really tasted.
A dash of basketball, a pinch of insane physical traits, and a whole lot of haven’t-played-competitive-football-in-forever and we’ve got ourselves a Rico Gathers! This is the dish that we weren’t expecting at all, but we will take it and try it out. What’s the worst that could happen?
Palate Cleanser: Darius Jackson, RB, 6th Round, 216th Overall
It’s almost time for the big show so we need to ready our taste buds, that’s where Darius Jackson comes in.
Darius, a product of Eastern Michigan, is coming from a team called the Eagles that sported green and white as their colors… so he’s basically improving his life by 100% in that regard.
He’s an interesting little treat, similar to a strawberry sorbet, and a quick one at that. According to the Brugler Draft Guide only one running back clocked a faster 40-yard dash than Darius. Suddenly this boring palate cleanser is a little tasty, no?
Ultimately though, Darius is likely a practice squad guy so it makes perfect sense that his role in the meal is to ready us for the main dish.
Main Course: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, 1st Round, 4th Overall
The filet mignon!
This is what we came for: why we made the reservation ahead of time, why we sat in traffic to get to the restaurant, and why we’re paying such a big price.
Ezekiel Elliott is the real deal. Forget the fact that he’s entering a situation with the Best Offensive Line in the NFL, Top Tier Quarterback, and stud Wide Receiver… even without all of those components this would be one delicious meal.
Coupled with those outstanding side dishes Zeke makes for the perfect main course. We have high expectations, of course, but we know that it’s going to deliver. This meal has great reviews and passes all the tests. Grab your fork and let’s dig in.
Dessert: Jaylon Smith, OLB, 2nd Round, 34th Overall
Let’s be honest with ourselves here… we don’t always need dessert. BUT WE WANT IT. WE HAVE TO HAVE IT.
Jaylon Smith is that piece of, hell the whole, chocolate cake that we saw on the back of the menu right when we sat down. We knew that it was impractical to leave room for such a big piece, but the time has come where the waiter asks and we are ordering it. Oh well.
The Jaylon Smith pick is a bit indulgent. There’s no denying that. Typically players drafted in the 2nd Round are expected to come in and contribute right away. Jaylon obviously won’t fit that bill, so we’ll just have to hope that this cake doesn’t show up on the scale in the immediate future.
After Dinner Mint: Kavon Frazier, SS, 6th Round, 212th Overall
Our collective gut is approaching a point of ultimate filling by this point. It’s nearly impossible to fit any more food in there – this meal has been exquisite.
We do want something for a little later, though. When the waiter comes by with those after dinner mints… we’re grateful. That’s how we should feel about Kavon Frazier.
This is a player who could very well be a starter in 2017. We’re talking about a great run stopper and ability to contribute on special teams. Oh and he can pack quite the punch, just like that spark of mint here.
Toothpick For The Road: Anthony Brown, CB, 6th Round, 189th Overall
We have dined quite nicely, haven’t we? The food was excellent from start to finish, and it’s about time to head home.
Before we do we need to grab a toothpick, oral hygiene is very important after all! Anthony Brown is the perfect type of toothpick because we want lots of picks from him.
A cornerback isn’t totally necessary right now given that the Cowboys haven’t let any of theirs go recently, but it never hurts to have more. We want depth, depth, depth… and Anthony Brown helps us clean everything out to keep making room for more.