The Cowboys under Jerry Jones haven't exactly been praised for their recent draft classes, especially their most recent one.
If there is one thing that Jones & Co. are good at when it comes to the draft, though, it's sharing their entire board with the public.
For the second time in four years, Jerrah gave an interview in front of Dallas's draft board, and the Blogging the Boys guys have done the yeomanlike work of reconstructing the whole thing from screenshots for the rest of us to enjoy.
We shouldn't assume this was accidental on the Cowboys' part, because according to their board, they did a stellar job in April, nabbing six players with third-round grades or better in the first five rounds.
Of more interest to us, though, is what they thought of the players taken by Denver. Let's take a peek:
2013 Broncos Draft Class as Graded by Dallas Scouting Dept.
A few observations:
- Considering that the Broncos drafted at 28 and 26 in the first two rounds, the Williams and Ball picks would read as mild reaches relative to the Cowboys' grades, if at all.
- Obviously, the selection of Webster is the most glaring difference, as the Cowboys thought enough of him to grade him, but they put a seventh-round evaluation on a guy Denver took at the bottom of the third. Just like everyone else not at Dove Valley or South Florida, eyebrows must have been raised in Dallas when the Broncos drafted Webster.
- We don't know if Smith's knee injury took him off Dallas's board, but that would seem to be a fair assumption. Either way, we're talking about a fifth-rounder here, so not a notable difference of opinion, if any.
- Painter and Dysert play positions the Cowboys didn't draft, and they didn't even bother grading tackles out beyond the fifth round.
- Dallas had a second-round grade on Eddie Lacy, a third-round grade on Arthur Brown, and Alec Ogletree was off their board entirely. These were the other players Denver was said to be considering when they took Williams and Ball.
Obviously, we wish we could see Denver's board, and everyone else's. But those 31 teams other than the Cowboys are run by men who are either better at keeping secrets, or self-secure enough that they don't leak their boards to explain away a draft class that's been widely and harshly panned.
From Jerrah's perspective (shudder to put oneself in his shoes), his guys did a great job of drafting, while the Broncos mostly reached.
But if nothing else, let this serve as a reminder that prospect grades vary widely across the league.
Or, they at least vary widely between the Broncos and a team that has drafted terribly for the past six or seven years.