The first three rounds are now complete of this years NFL Draft and it’s been a crazy one. What we believed to be a draft that the Cowboys would strictly target trench play had turned out to be a skill-players bonanza.
Regardless, the picks are made and the Cowboys have made it very clear that they intend to be a very potent and dangerous offense this year. The acquisition of a few offense weapons has Cowboys Nation excited and we still have three rounds left.
I’ve taken some time to grade the picks that were made so far. Enjoy.
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
Williams is a height-weight-speed guy. He is a 6’2 blazer who is really ideal for an outside receiver for any team.
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.