Mocking Some Old Mock Drafts, 2001-2005
It isn’t always easy to find old mock drafts, given that many of the mainstays on the Internet don’t keep their old mock drafts on their sites. I also tried to find a history of Mel Kiper’s mock drafts and draft boards, but it wasn’t as easy as I thought.
I did, however, find some interesting old mock drafts dating back the last decade or so. Here are some highlights from a few mock drafts, starting with the period from 2001 to 2005.
Cowboys’ needs: You name it, but the most pressing need was to find a replacement for the retired Troy Aikman. Dallas did not have a first pick thanks to a trade with Seattle for Joey Galloway, so Dallas was going to need to find a QB gem in the second round or later.
Here’s one mock draft that found such a QB. The passage begins with a quote from Our Friend Jerry.
“For the first time in the last 11 or 12 years, we’re going to be looking for a quarterback (in the April 21-22 draft),” Jones told the group. “We have challenges to look forward to.”
Many expect Virginia Tech’s Michael Vick to be the only quarterback taken in the first round, likely with the top overall pick. That could leave such top prospects as Drew Brees of Purdue, Mike McMahon of Rutgers, Chris Weinke of Florida State, Jesse Palmer of Florida and Quincy Carter of Georgia on the board if the Cowboys choose to use their first pick on the position.
Several analysts’ mock drafts have the Cowboys taking Brees, which would seem a possibility if he slips to the second round.
Houston Chronicle, April 10, 2001
Cowboys’ pick: Brees went to San Diego at #32. The Cowboys didn’t try to trade up to get him and instead moved down to acquire two picks in the second round. The result was Quincy Carter, Tony Dixon, and a yet another wasted draft.
Cowboys’ needs: A new scouting department. Otherwise, you name it.
The Cowboys had plenty of options in 2002 and had the benefit of the #8 overall pick. Most predicated that Dallas would go with a defensive player, but not a guy named Robb Sherwin at a website known as Jolt Country. Here is his pick:
Donte Stallworth, WR, Tennessee
Jerry Jones — owner and G.M. Jerry Jones — is utterly unpredictable and as bad at drafting as a single human can be. No idea how the hell they are going to mess this up. Stallworth ran 4.3s all day, and so while this team NEEDS a quarterback, while they NEED some help in the secondary, I see them adding another fast guy to the Galloway and Ismail stables they already have.
Cowboys’ pick: Dallas went with defense after all, taking Oklahoma safety Roy Williams. Stallworth went to New Orleans at #13, and though he wasn’t a terrible pick, he never became a #1 receiver.
Cowboys needs: More defense. This was Bill Parcells’ first year in Dallas, and many thought he would trade down to obtain more picks.
Interestingly, Rich Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News thought that Cincinnati would take CB Terence Newman instead of QB Carson Palmer. Instead of taking Newman, the Cowboys would take OT Jordan Gross of Utah.
Then there’s Tim Cowlishaw: “Aren’t you relatively certain that (Byron) Leftwich, the 6-6 cannon-armed quarterback from Marshall, is destined to have a finer pro career than Chad Hutchinson? And if that’s the case, shouldn’t he get full consideration with the fifth pick?”
Cowboys’ pick: Newman, which is better than the Leftwich pick would have been, but probably not as good as Jordan Gross, who went to Carolina at #8.
Cowboys’ needs: running back, quarterback, defense as usual, offensive line. The #22 pick was not as inviting as the picks from 2002 and 2003.
WalterFootball.com thought that Dallas would take a running back named Jones. No, not that Jones:
Dallas Cowboys: Kevin Jones, RB, Virginia Tech
Dallas hasn’t really done much this offseason as far as filling needs is concerned. That could change with the selection of Kevin Jones, whose stock has slipped due to a poor 40 time at Virginia Tech’s Pro Day Workout (4.61). Nevertheless, the Cowboys desperately need a running back.
Cowboys’ pick: This is the draft that Dallas missed out on Steven Jackson, who went to the Rams at #24. The Cowboys traded out of the first round and took Julius Jones in the second. Not a great pick, and when Kevin Jones had more than 1,000 yards as a rookie with Detroit, the Dallas move looked worse. However, Kevin never rushed for as many as 700 yards for the rest of his five-year career and was out of the league after 2008.
Cowboys’ needs: Defense, defense, defense. The Cowboys planned to convert to a 3-4, and this draft would prove vital to that conversion.
Nearly everyone had Dallas taking LB/DE DeMarcus Ware at #11 and Marcus Spears at #20. However, this wasn’t a unanimous opinion. Ask the Commish had other ideas:
Cowboys (6-10), Player: DE/OLB *Shawne Merriman (Maryland)
Needs: DE, S, LB, WR, DT
Dallas needs help on defense and could be looking to fill some of those needs here, but they are also looking for youthful help at WR so Williamson could be tempting. Still, Merriman’s skills as an edge rusher could be well utilized by Parcells as a rush LB in a 3-4 scheme or as a rush DE in a 4-3 scheme. He’s a bit raw, but the Dallas defense needs some help in getting after the passer.
Cowboys (6-10), Player: WR Mark Clayton (Oklahoma)
Needs: DE, S, LB, WR, DT
Dallas still needs help on defense and could be looking to fill some of those needs here, but they are also looking for youthful help at WR. Dallas already found some veterans on defense so don’t be surprised if Dallas looks to the draft to get younger at WR with Bledsoe in town. Clayton runs great routes and has fantastic hands so I give him an edge over the bigger, speedier play-maker, Roddy White.
Cowboys’ pick: Ware and Spears, of course. Fans debated Ware vs. Merriman for a few years, but Merriman’s career may be over after he appeared in only three games in 2010 before being released by the Chargers. Clayton never emerged as a top receiver and is certainly nowhere near the quality of Roddy White.
We will look at the drafts from 2006 to 2010 later this week.