The 2013 NFL Draft has come to a wrap. Just like that the months of anticipation seem senseless as we pretended to know what was going to happen.
The Cowboys came in with a different strategy as we anticipated but came out with a huge haul of guys with extreme upside.
The Cowboys didn’t walk away with the three starters we all thought they needed to. However, they did walk away with dynamic weapons that serve as above average depth and are now loaded up and down the depth chart.
Here is how I graded this year’s draft
Center Travis Frederick
The Cowboys are catching a lot of flack for drafting Frederick and rightfully so. They surrendered the 18th overall pick when a top prospect is on the board.
That’s all in the past now though.
The selection of Frederick will forever be known as a reach but it will not forever be known as a bad value. Offensive centers are hard to come by, especially good ones. The Cowboys got one here.
What you get with Frederick is a road-grading, mean interior lineman who is an excellent anchor in the center of the offensive line. Yes, he’s slow and might struggle at times but he has good size and eliminates defenders once he gets his hands on them.
Frederick is a good character, high IQ type player who diagnoses plays well. He can make the reads on the offensive line and take some of the pressure off of Romo’s pre-snap routine.
I expect Frederick to be a career type guy along with Tyron Smith who will make Cowboys happy for years to come.
Grade: A – Probably more of an A minus considering how much they did reach for him but he’ll be an asset to the offensive line and Tony Romo moving forward.
Tight End Gavin Escobar
Escobar is talented receiver who is really disciplined in his routes. He has extremely sure hands and will be an explosive playmaker for the Cowboys in the red-zone.
What you see with Escobar is strictly a receiving tight end but you see some glimpses of blocking ability and assume that Jason Witten will help him with technique to improve.
Overall, Escobar gives the offensive a completely different look. The Cowboys will now operate out of a base “singleback” package that will create mismatches in two tight end sets. The truth is that the Cowboys will be able to employ a two tight end set that the teams in the NFC East won’t be able to cover due to weaknesses in coverage.
Grade: B – Love the player but question the pick with some of the other guys available.
Wide Receiver Terrance Williams
What Williams offers the Cowboys is a legitimate outside receiver who an allow Miles Austin to effectively move to the slot and not worry about coverage adjustments. Williams is a weapon and one that will be utilized often in the Cowboys offense.
Another thing is that Austin isn’t exactly reliable and the Cowboys missed having a true outside receiver to fill in the void when he’s out. Williams offers an insurance policy as well as future star to keep along Dez Bryant for the foreseeable future.
Grade: A – Williams really fits what the Cowboys are looking to do moving forward.
Safety J.J. Wilcox
Wilcox is really as dynamic as they come. He is raw and slightly inexperienced but he has a tremendous skill-set.
Wilcox is an aggressive player with a mean attitude. He isn’t afraid to initiate contact and diagnoses plays well. Wilcox is always around the ball, playing with a wreckless abandon but sometimes getting overly aggressive.
Wilcox played running back and wide receiver before converting to safety. He has good speed and is really rangy. I like his instincts but he needs to hone is pure coverage skills. He’ll be fun to watch as he progresses.
Grade: A – Might take some development but he’s easily a starting caliber safety.
Cornerback B.W. Webb
I thought that this was weird pick but not a bad one. B.W. Webb is a guy who is extremely solid in pass coverage. He has exceptional ball skills and instincts when in coverage and he excels in man-press coverage.
Webb isn’t an asset in run support so it makes me wonder how he fits in the cover 2 defense. Regardless, Webb is still physical enough to make you enamored with his prospects.
Webb won’t overtake Brandon Carr or Morris Claiborne but he’ll compete with Orland Scandrick for the slot position. It’ll be fun to see what this trio of press-corners do in what appears to be a hybrid version of the Tampa 2.
Grade: B+ – Not a good overall pick in terms of scheme fit but considering value and skill-set this pick is tremendous.
Running Back Joseph Randle
This is going to be real quick. There is a ton of things that Joseph Randle does well. He is a three-down, all-around back that will eventually become a feature caliber back in the NFL.
Randle possess excellent vision and maneuverability in the open field and is explosive through holes. Additionally, Randle gives you a guy who is strong pass-protection as well as a solid receiver out of the back field.
Overall, this pick makes an incredible amount of sense. The Cowboys aren’t sure about Murray’s durability and will owe him a contract extension in two years while they also have to pay Tyron Smith and Dez Bryant.
Look for Randle to emerge as a young star for this team.
Outside Linebacker DeVonte Holloman
In the Tampa 2 defense, Holloman fits perfectly. He has good reaction times and is solid on zone coverage’s. I believe that he’ll be able to come in during sub packages to alleviate any potential mismatches out of the backfield or against tight ends.
The knock here is that Holloman is a guy who needs to improve his tackling. There is a need for depth at the linebacker position but the Cowboys seem to be happy with Justin Durant starting. This means that Holloman needs to bust it on special teams to be on the active roster.
Holloman had a DUI in 2011 and that’s worth keeping in your mind. He won’t get an automatic bid on this team, he has to want it.
Grade: B – Holloman is a decent player with one particular skill set. Would have liked a project offensive lineman or defensive lineman here.