Unfortunately, the Dallas Cowboys once again left the majority of their fan base throwing up their hands in disbelief after selecting former Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch 19th overall in the first-round of the 2018 NFL Draft. This marks the second year in a row the majority of Cowboys Nation has been left disappointed with who the Cowboys have chosen to take in the first-round.
I don’t know about you, but the selection of Vander Esch immediately brought back the same feelings/emotions I dealt with a year ago after the Dallas Cowboys drafted Taco Charlton. The sad truth is, both Taco Charlton and Leighton Vander Esch are somewhat similar in regards the type of players they are coming out of college.
Vander Esch and Charlton were both viewed as players who have yet to reach their true potential, which is why many draft analysts believe their best football is ahead of them. But, both are said to need more time to develop before they can be trusted as starters.
This begs the question as to why the Dallas Cowboys would draft such players in the first-round if they need more time to develop? Well, I think it’s all about upside.
Vander Esch is an ascending player considering where he started out. He played six-man football in high school, a school who only had a graduating class of 11, and walked on to Boise State. He continued to get better each season at Boise State and eventually took over as the starting middle linebacker.
Charlton is a lot like Vander Esch in the fact that he also didn’t have a lot of starting experience coming out of Michigan. It’s that lack of experience that really limited him as a rookie. His lack of football IQ even shocked Charles Haley when he worked with him season ago.
The Taco Charlton and Leighton Vander Esch picks by the Dallas Cowboys in the first-round are a little bit of a head scratcher for me. I’m trying real hard to buy into the thought process here, but I’m struggling because there were other players who could have been plugged in immediately and contributed right away.
Hopefully Charlton and Vander Esch end up working out, meaning the Dallas Cowboys made the right decision to draft them instead of some of the other prospects the fan base wanted, but it’s difficult to believe that right now. Right now, it looks as if they may have botched their first-round selections the last two years.
Only time will tell…