Monthly Archives: January 2013

Early-Bird Special: #18 – Dallas Cowboys

Now that the 2012 NFL Regular Season is in the books, it’s time to get an early look at the 2013 NFL Draft prospectus for each of the 20 NFL teams who now know their draft position in the first round.  We continue with the Dallas Cowboys at #18 overall.

“America’s Team” was in the hunt for the NFC East title until the final minutes of the regular season, but fell out of the playoffs completely after losing to Washington in Week 17.  Dallas definitely looked like a playoff team at times this season, but there are plenty of holes to fill on a team riddled with inconsistent play, even from its best players.  From Tony Romo’s hot/cold streaks, to Dez Bryant’s dazzling catch to bonehead drop tendencies, even the ‘Boys strengths were there weaknesses at certain points throughout the season.                            406

Texas S Kenny Vaccaro

Texas S Kenny Vaccaro

There are two holes on this team that cry out for immediate help, however.  Last year, the Cowboys were slated to pick 14th and were pegged by most to take Alabama S Mark Barron, as he was the perfect balance of overall talent and desperate position of need.  The Cowboys fueled that fire even further by trading up to the #6 pick, but chose to draft LSU CB Morris Claiborne instead.  The need at safety is still just as gaping, so it’s no surprise that the top prospect available at the position this year, Texas’ Kenny Vaccaro, is the popular mock pick for Dallas at #18.  Vaccaro doesn’t have the star power or swagger of Barron, but he’s a more balanced player who can play either strong or free safety, and who is just as comfortable in coverage as he is in the box defending the run.

The other big need for Dallas is along the interior offensive line, particularly at guard.  Alabama’s Chance Warmack will more than likely be off the board by the time they pick, and it might still be a bit early at that point for the Cowboys to make North Carolina’s Jonathan Cooper their selection.  If Warmack and Vaccaro are both off the board somehow, it would make plenty of sense for Jerry Jones to trade back and look to grab Cooper later in the first round.  Jones has proven that he’s not afraid to move up to get his man, or move down if he’s not enamored with any particular prospect at his given slot, so definitely look for the possibility of the ‘Boys moving in one direction or another in order for them to acquire their intended target.

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Early-Bird Special: #19 – New York Giants

Now that the 2012 NFL Regular Season is in the books, it’s time to get an early look at the 2013 NFL Draft prospectus for each of the 20 NFL teams who now know their draft position in the first round.  We continue with the New York Giants at #19 overall.

Anytime you’re picking in the low teens, it’s a sign that your team is right on the playoff cusp, but just couldn’t get over the hump.  It’s no different for the defending Super Bowl champs, who will have to watch helplessly as a new NFL king is crowned.  There was plenty of inconsistency to go around for the G-Men this year, starting with QB Eli Manning’s erratic play through the middle part of the season.  The team has also endured a slew of injuries in the defensive backfield, allowing opposing offenses to run-and-shoot their way to victory with regularity.


The first direction the Giants should look to in the first round is toward the Cornerback position.  This unit has been plagued by inconsistent play and a lack of durability.  Terrell Thomas’ knees just can’t seem to hold up, and while Corey Webster showed flashes of brilliance, he went through long droughts of being successfully attacked on a consistent basis.  Throw in the continuous disappointment that is former first-rounder Prince Amakumara, and you’ve got a recipe for needing to spend a premium pick on a strong cover man.

To that end, the Giants will be hoping that Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks slides down to their slot.  Banks has great size and ball skills, and though he definitely has room for improvement when it comes to his technique in run support, his play-making ability (he returned punts and kicks, as well) and size equivalency to the bigger NFL receivers would make him a great selection.  There’s quite a sizable drop-off at the position after Banks is off the board, and it seems a bit of a long-shot that Banks will make it past the Buccaneers at #13.  If that’s the case, look for the Giants to go in a different direction, rather than reaching for someone like Oregon’s Jordan Poyer at #19.

MSU CB Johnthan Banks

MSU CB Johnthan Banks

The Giants are not afraid to go with the best player available, and they definitely have an affinity for pass-rushers, so don’t be surprised if they pull the trigger at that position, where there is plenty of talent and value.  Names like Dion Jordan (Oregon), Cornelius Carridine (Florida State), and Ezekiel Ansah (BYU) – who is similar to Jason Pierre-Paul, as a raw, high-ceiling prospect – would all be possible targets at the 19th pick.

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