Could Cowboys history be repeating itself?
In 2013 the Dallas Cowboys drafted OC Travis Fredericks with the 31st pick of the NFL Draft. They traded back to do it but the aspect I want to focus on here is how a collective groan was heard from Cowboys Nation and NFL Draft pundits alike as almost everyone thought the club reached taking a player many had a second or third round grade on.
Remember these reactions?
Bob Rang, CBS Sports – “This team needs more. Grade C-”
Danny Webster, Yahoo! – “Mike Mayock had a third-round grade labeled on Frederick, and it could be due to his lack of athleticism compared to the likes of the other offensive line taken in the first round.”
Michael Dulka, Bleacher Report – “Travis Frederick was most shocking prick of the 1st round.”
… the list goes on. The general consensus was everyone liked him, just not in the first round. What was NOT widely reported was the Baltimore Ravens, picking right behind Dallas, had him on their short list and were going to pull the trigger if the Cowboys did not. So waiting till the second round for the future All-Pro was not an option. The Cowboys stuck to their board, trusted their scouts and got their man.
Flash forward to this seasons’ NFL Draft and the Cowboys selection of MLB Leighton Vander Esch and you will find many of the same reactions. Again the general feeling has everyone liking the guy but had him graded as a second round talent. The clear take here is the team could have had the same player much later and taken a “stud WR” in the first (even though the team had no intention of drafting one).
Well, it seems the Tennessee Titans were channeling their inner Baltimore Raven as they had the Boise State MLB at the top of their board and were going to pull the trigger if the kids was available when they picked according to Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com.
“The Titans targeted Leighton Vander Esch in the first round, but the team went to its contingency plan and selected Rashaan Evans after Vander Esch was scooped off the board by Dallas.” – Tony Pauline
The talented player would never have made it past the 25th pick and the Cowboys would have been left scrambling to fill what they felt was their most pressing need.
Now if he can just become a walk-on, perennial All-Pro like Fredericks the cycle would be complete.
What say you Sports Nation?
Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over