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NFL Draft

2009 Draft Picks-Time to decide your future

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Well the Cowboys waited, they traded, and then delivered in a seemingly common fashion in this year’s draft.  It's no shocker to see that things weren't as projected.  The Cowboys themselves swept us off our feet, following through with 12 picks and none of them necessarily a jaw dropper so I thought I'd go through them and Tell you what I think.

Jason Williams OLB Western Illinois: Projected to be able to dominate the inside with his speed, size, and strength. He’s a big hitter and has the speed to make some plays.

Verdict: He makes the team edging out Bobby Carpenter.

Robert Brewster OT Ball State: Versatile lineman capable of guard and tackle positions but can be sloppy in game scenarios. However, he moves quickly for being 325.

Verdict-Second string option for any position, expect him to start over time.

Stephen McGee QB Texas A&M: Stephen is reunited with Martellus Bennett and a good thing. In the wildcat offense McGee will get his chance and will have a target he’s comfortable with. His speed, size, and arm strength will give us the back up we’ll be looking for and a viable option if Romo goes down.

Verdict: No brainer, he becomes the third quarterback and a franchise back up.

Victor Butler OLB Oregon State and Brandon Williams Defensive End Texas Tech: I put these two together because they are very similar. They look to become hybrid players. I’m not sure I like Butler’s chances as much as I like Brandon Williams’ chances to sure up the end. They’re speed is the thing here, both very quick and have the ability to get to the quarterback. Victor Butler has a small problem with strength and open field tackling.

Verdict: Williams makes the team as Second String beating out either Hatcher or Bowen. Butler will have to compete but can surely contribute; his future depends on what the Cowboys are thinking about doing with Ellis.

DeAngelo Smith CB Cincinnati: The truth is that we need Cornerback Depth and this boy can play. He’s got great ball skills and is a hawk. His speed is an issue but with proper training he’s going to be a good young talent.

Verdict: He’ll make the team because of the lack of depth but contribution will start with the special teams, he controls his own destiny.

Michael Hamlin S Clemson: A Talented safety who was mocked by some to be taken by the ‘boys in the 2nd. With him you’ll get a safety that can contribute immediately.

Verdict: A lock to make the team but if he becomes a starter will be determined by Mike Mickens and DeAngelo Smith who may make the switch to safety.

David Beuhler PK USC: A lot view this as Jerry’s fun pick. Not a need at all with Nick Folk being a NFL Elite. Beuhler has the ability to kick deep and accurate, he’s more of a luxury then a necessity.

Verdict: He’s an insurance option, but I can’t see the Cowboys using him for much. I don’t expect to see him on the 2009 roster.

Stephen Hodge OLB TCU: This dude is a speed demon who really can produce on the field. He’s not expected to start but I personally predict him to be a special teams monster. Say goodbye to Keith Davis… Say Hello to his replacement.

Verdict: One of my favorite picks, this Local will be a role player on this franchise and will receive his time to shine.

John Phillips TE Virginia: Blocking Tight end, not very gaudy on his passing game. However, With Bennett and Witten ahead of him, he doesn’t need to be.

Verdict: He’ll compete for the third spot but will need some serious training, He could do it though, but if not he’ll be on the practice squad awaiting his chance.

Mike Mickens CB Cincinnati: STEAL ALERT. This years Scandrick, this player dropped from 2nd to third round talent. He can play safety or corner; he has speed, he’s aggressive, and can find the ball and makes plays. With mentorship from Terrance Newman, you’re looking at a real potential to be a key player for the Cowboys in the future.

Verdict: Done deal, Mickens will continue to impress and will get adequate opportunities to show what he has. Expect big things from him in a couple years.

Manuel Johnson WR Oklahoma: He’s a tough receiver possibly possession style. He has trouble separating which will give him trouble given the type of talent playing DB in the NFC East. It’s hard to expect that much.

Verdict: He’ll have to outplay Stanback, but if he can he’ll be able to show what he has. Coach Sherman is who holds his future.

Final Analysis: Hamlin, Mickens, Hodge, McGee, Brewster, Jason Williams, Smith, and Brandon Williams are looking to immediately contribute. The others all have a good chance but will it will require a lot of hard work, dedication, and skill.




Former Sports Writer. Veteran. Serving veterans is my passion. Johns Hopkins Student. Enjoy Discussing Politics and sports!

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. TT

    April 26, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Pretty much what I see in this draft class for the Cowboys as well. I do expect that Johnson will be able to beat out Stanback, which shouldn’t be hard if this guy can stay healthy at all. Drafting what I hear is a fair amount of speed with other well-rounded traits of a receiver, and getting McGee as well, Stanback’s value just went way down thanks to his inability to really gel in this offense and stay healthy.

    I expect to see Beuhler in 09 simply because we do need better kickoffs to get field position more consistently, and with so many of these picks shoring up the special teams unit, it looks like we’ll be able to cover them under new coach Joe D.

  2. Shaun Wellman

    April 27, 2009 at 2:01 am

    Victor Butler and Brandon Williams wont be competeing with Hatcher or Bowens for backup Defensive end spots because they were both drafted to play Outside Linebacker. They’ll back up Ware and Spencer, and Ellis thankfully will be outta here.

    DeAngelo Smith was drafted to play Safety, and possibly return punts.

    Beuhler will make the team because Folk may be an NFL elite when it comes to FG’s And PAT’s, but his place kicking is horrible, and Spagnolas excuses about him being asked to kick directionally because of the poor coverage units held even less water after this pick was made. I’m not saying he was wrong about the coverage units play, but the biggest reason Folk was asked to kick directionally was because of VERY poor hang-time and the inability to put the ball past the 5 yd line with any consistency.

    After it’s all said and done I really liked this draft. I think they were able to re-build their special teams unit from the ground up and bring in young guys to push the vets and push out some of the garbage at the bottom of the lineup.

    How many guys do you think feel safe about their roster spot now?

    If you do the math you’ll see that if they are willing to part with just a few sub par performers there could be a spot on the roster for all these guys.

    Maybe Wade is a little soft, but if these guys are paying attention to the rookie class coming in this year he won’t have to completely change his style and still be able to get results. Knowing you could be CUT in a heartbeat can be a very good motivator.

  3. Bryan Martin

    April 27, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Hey Shaun I really appreciate your comments but just remember that butler and williams have to POTENTIAL to play both, and I think that they will. We needed a little more on the line and we took that. I’m not saying they wont play OLB but behind ware and spencer I dont see them getting all the time they want. The could contribute at both positions.

  4. TT

    April 27, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Both Smith and M. Hamlin are being looked at in combination roles between safety and corner on defense, according to Wade Phillips, though with Mickens I don’t see how any subpackagaes would arise that have Newman, Jenkins, Scandrick, Mickens, and either Smith or M. Hamlin at corner. So what Wade said won’t exactly play out, especially since he gave Alan Ball new hope of making an impact as well.

    As for Beuhler and Folk, well Shaun got it right above. The combination of Folk’s poor kickoff ability and the special teams inability to cover kicks worth a damn is why he was asked for directional kickoffs. With improved special teams as we should have with these new players, they want a guy to kick the ball deep, and Beuhler is the kind of guy that does that and also adds into the mix an extra guy that can lay a hit on the returner.

    I tell you though, if Mickens checks out and is clear to play, I’d be willing to bet that he’s the steal of the 09 draft, and definitely a steal for the Cowboys. Keeping my fingers crossed on that one.

  5. Shaun Wellman

    April 27, 2009 at 11:58 am

    The only way Butler or Williams will play defensive end is in the nickel defense when they go with four down linemen.

    They are not big enough to play end in the 3-4.

    I agree about Mickens being the steal of this draft, definately this years Orlando Scandrick.

    They’ll be keeping 10 DB’s this year so I think theres room for all these guys on the 53.

    CB S
    Terence Newman Ken Hamlin <===( I would’nt mind dropping this guy)
    Mike Jenkins Gerald Sensabaugh
    Orlando Scandrick DeAngelo Smith
    Allan Ball Michael Hamlin
    Mike Mickens Stephen Hodge

    I think this is how it will shake out in the end. Pat Watkins and Courtney Brown are done, and I think Bryan is right on the money about Stephen Hodge replacing Keith Davis.

  6. Shaun Wellman

    April 27, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Oops.

    I had those names spaced into 2 columns. CB. Safety.

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NFL Draft

Could Cowboys Take Another 2nd Round Risk On DT Jeffery Simmons?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Could Cowboys Take Another 2nd Round Risk On DT Jeffery Simmons?

The Dallas Cowboys have taken a few risks when on the clock in the second round of the NFL Draft in recent years. Randy Gregory and Jaylon Smith, both important starters on defense, were drafted to the Cowboys after they went down on many teams' draft boards. In 2019, they'll have the opportunity to take yet another risk. Recently, one of the best defensive tackles in this year's class, Jeffery Simmons, suffered a torn ACL while going through a drill during his workout in Florida.

Simmons took to Twitter to share the unfortunate news that will drastically affect his draft stock only a couple of months before the Draft.

Jeffery Simmons on Twitter

Jeffery Simmons on Twitter

https://t.co/0NAzPv0bvY

Before the injury, Jeffery Simmons was seen as a top draft prospect. Some even envisioned him being drafted in the top 10. As a 21-year old defensive tackle from Mississippi State, Simmons had an impressive career during his time in college football. In three seasons he managed to rack up 157 tackles and seven sacks.

If one thing is clear it's that the Mississippi State product will be an impact player when he gets on the field on Sundays. His quick reaction on the get-off will still interest a lot of teams despite his injury. A sound defender on the running and passing game, he'll pay big dividends for whichever team decides to pull the trigger on him come April.

Due to their recent second round draft history, I can't help but wonder if the Dallas Cowboys will consider him when they're on the clock in the second round. This year though, there will be a big difference. Pick #58 will be the first time the Cowboys will be on the clock in this year's draft after trading away their first rounder for Amari Cooper last year.

It will be tough for them to wait until the third round to pick a player they could actually put on the field for the 2019 season. Specially considering the fact that they're a football team with title aspirations this year. Despite their history and the fact that Simmons will be one hell of a pro, I believe the team will not want to make such a pick in the second without a first round selection.

The team has a big need at DT, although Antwaun Woods and Maliek Collins were very serviceable in 2018. We'll see how tempted they are if Jeffery Simmons is still on the board when they're on the clock.

Tell me what you think about "Could Cowboys Take Another 2nd Round Risk On DT Jeffery Simmons?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: Film Notes on Maryland Safety Darnell Savage Jr.

John Williams

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Cowboys Draft: Film Notes on Maryland Safety Darnell Savage Jr.

The Dallas Cowboys defense was one of the better units throughout the season, but it wasn't without its flaws. An area where they struggled was in creating turnovers and at times against the run. As good as they were in 2018, they have positions where they can use upgrades; defensive tackle and safety. Xavier Woods showed a lot of promise in his second season with the Dallas Cowboys and should continue to be a prominent player moving forward, but Jeff Heath's full-time role may have run its course. Today we're going to look at Darnell Savage Jr, safety from Maryland.

Per College Football Reference, Darnell Savage Jr. stands at 5-11 and weighs in right at 200 pounds. In his last three years at Maryland he played in 35 games. He averaged 56.67 tackles, 2.67 interceptions (3.5 per season over his last two seasons and four in his senior season), and three tackles for loss over his final three seasons. He had eight pass deflections as a junior and two more as a senior.

Savage could be a player that's in play for the Dallas Cowboys at number 58 of the second round.

I watched the Texas and Temple Games from 2018.

Darnell Savage Jr. Film Notes

  • Maryland lined him up in two-deep cover two looks a lot and dropped him into different coverages. From his two-deep alignment, he would move into cover-3, cover-4, and man coverages.
  • Temple or Texas looked to avoid him as part of their game plans. The one time the either Texas or Temple through his way, he came down from his 2-deep look into man coverage and jumped a five yard out route and intercepted the pass, taking it to the end zone for a touchdown.
  • He's excellent in diagnosing bubbles screens and swing passes. On several occasions he met the ball carrier five yards behind the line of scrimmage and dropped him for a loss.
  • Savage wraps up in the open field against. Once he diagnoses the play, he gets moving toward the ball in a flash.
  • Willing to take on bigger blockers and receivers with the ball in their hands. Stymied the 6-4 225 pound Lil' Jordan Humphrey from Texas on a bubble screen after Humphrey had broken one tackle. Savage wrapped him up and brought him to the ground.
  • Temple attempted to run a reverse after the hand off and Savage came all the way from across the field to meet the runner for a six yard loss.
  • Plays with excellent speed and aggressiveness when he sees the play. Sometimes Savage gets caught watching the action on his side of the field and doesn't recognize what is happening in the middle or opposite side of the field.
  • Several times on the read-option, it appeared that he didn't recognize that the QB had given the ball away. It could be that he was schemed to take the quarterback, but one time the runner went against the grain to Savage's side of the field and he was unable to get to him before he scored a short touchdown.
  • Maryland had Savage cover tight ends and wide receivers and again, Temple and Texas didn't throw his way much at all.
  • Again, in a two-deep safety look came up from 10 yards deep to make a play on a toss to the running back and tackled him for a four yard loss. It's dangerous to run things to the perimeter with this guy. If he gets to the line of scrimmage unblocked, he's bringing you down.
  • When blocked on runs to the perimeter, he does a good job of stringing the play to the outside. Savage works his blocker and doesn't give up on the play. He fights to get unblocked in order to make a play.
  • When a team runs play action or hands the ball off out of shotgun or pistol formations, Savage is slower to react and diagnose the play. He'll need to get quicker in processing what's happening there at the next level.
  • One of the more impressive plays I saw him make was on a trick play. Temple attempted to run a wide receiver pass to the outside. Everyone bought the wide receiver reverse and even Savage did too, but was able to use his quickness and speed to make up five yards of separation that the Temple receiver had on him to be in good coverage. The Temple receiver wasn't able to come down with the catch and Savage's coverage affected that.

Summary

Darnell Savage Jr. doesn't have a ton of height, but he's an explosive player who can play down in the box and in two deep looks for the Cowboys. He's a guy that would pair well with Xavier Woods as you could use those two interchangeably depending on the matchup you face week-to-week. He's an aggressive player who uses his speed to get into the play and cause disruption. Savage could be around for the Dallas Cowboys at 58 and if they don't sign one of the big name free agent safeties, should be the selection. If he isn't a day one starter, he'd be starting by the end of the season.



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NFL Draft

Pre-Combine Position Rankings: Sorting Out The Tight Ends

Kevin Brady

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Looking Ahead to 2019 NFL Mock Drafts a Theme Persists

It's pretty much universally agreed that the Dallas Cowboys have a need for a starting tight end, particularly one who can stretch the field as a receiving threat.

Despite not having a first round pick, this class should give the Cowboys an opportunity to add tight end talent to their roster through the NFL Draft.

Will that be TE1 talent, though? Or will it just be another replacement-level tight end on a roster which already seems full of them?

Let's get into my top 5 tight ends of this 2019 class, and see what they could potentially bring to the Cowboys this season and beyond.

1. TJ Hockenson, Iowa

The clear TE1 in this class is TJ Hockenson. The 2018 John Mackey Award winner earned his way to the top of this list with his versatility, lining up in-line and as a slot receiver for Iowa during his college career.

At 6'5" 243 pounds, Hockenson looks like he was made in a tight-end producing lab, and he has the athleticism and ability to maximize his build.

In the run game TJ Hockenson is a good blocker, showcasing excellent effort and competitiveness through his blocks. A technical route runner with good hands, a plus-catch radius, and legitimate yards-after-catch ability, Hockenson has a chance to be the very first offensive skill player off the board this Spring.

2. Noah Fant, Iowa

Hockenson's teammate at Iowa, Noah Fant, comes in at number two on my tight end rankings. While Hockenson is the more well-rounded of the two players, Fant certainly has more athletic upside. I expect him to test better than Hockenson will at the combine, and has the receiving skills to be a real threat at the next level.

Noah Fant fits the bill for a modern NFL tight end, flexing out wide and threatening defenses vertically with his receiving ability. A long player with good route running ability and speed, Fant is able to create separation against defensive backs in a variety of ways.

Fant is far from a one-trick pony, and would be an excellent addition to a Cowboys offense which is yearning for this type of flex-threat from the tight end position.

Unfortunately, he won't last anywhere near 58th overall.

3. Irv Smith Jr., Alabama

Cowboys Draft Target: Alabama TE Irv Smith Jr.

Can I interest you in a tight end who averaged 16.3 yards per catch and scored 7 touchdowns last season? If so, meet Alabama's Irv Smith Jr.

Smith is the number three tight end on my board entering the combine, and I really don't expect him to drop whatsoever in the coming months. Smith is an athletic player who runs good routes and offers excellent run blocking ability. He's not as refined as Hockenson nor as athletic/explosive as Fant, but he combines the in-line and flex abilities of the two to a certain extent.

Smith is the first somewhat-plausible target for the Cowboys on this list, though I'd still be surprised if he lasted until 58th overall.

4. Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M

Jace Sternberger came out of nowhere last season at Texas A&M. Relatively unknown before the 2018 season, Sternberger finished the year with 800+ yards and 10 touchdowns on 48 catches, and earned All-American honors for his production.

Now he has a chance to be a second round pick in the 2019 draft, and is finding himself mocked to the Cowboys by many major draft media outlets. Sternberger fits the prototype of the modern receiving tight end, with better speed and hands than most others in his class. Though he is still raw in many areas, his upside is intriguing, and there's no doubt he's a pretty good player as is.

Like the first three, it's hard to imagine I will move Sternbeger any lower than fourth in this class, and he is a legitimate option for the Cowboys 58th overall.

5. Isaac Nauta, Georgia

While the first four tight ends on this list will make their money with their passing game production, Georgia's Isaac Nauta looks like more of an old-school run blocker. Nauta is right up there with any tight end in this class in terms of blocking, and would be an immediate contributor to the Cowboys' run game in that area.

He's still growing in multiple areas as a receiver, however, such as his route running and yards-after-catch ability. Still, I think Nauta is much better as a receiver than his college production would suggest. He, like others in that talented Georgia offense, got lost in the shuffle a bit, and didn't get the number of targets he could have seen elsewhere.

There's a real possibility Nauta is available at 58 when the Cowboys pick, and I wouldn't be surprised if he were the pick either.



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