Through amazing work, rabblerousr over at SB Nation's Dallas Cowboys blog, Blogging the Boys, was able to piece together the entire Cowboys' big board for last month's NFL Draft. Using still images from video taken during the draft, roublerousr was able to slot all 132 players on the Cowboys board into the round in which Dallas graded them.
He was also able to build the Cowboys' ranked order of all of the picks from the first five rounds, regardless of position. I will let you head over to Blogging the Boys (via the link above) to check out that chart.
I will however, share the big board:
Using that big board, we can take a look at the Miami Dolphins' draft. While the Dolphins' board will clearly have differences, it is interesting to remember, Miami General Manager Jeff Ireland grew up in the Cowboys' front office, working his way up from national scout to Vice President of College and Pro Scouting, where he answered only to owner Jerry Jones, who also works as the team's GM. Ireland was developed in the same scheme that the Cowboys' owner uses today - there will be similarities in how they work.
The Dolphins traded up to the third overall pick in the draft to snag defensive end Dion Jordan. The move was derided by analysts, who could not figure out how the Dolphins would use the defensive end, despite the Dolphins needing a defensive end. The ridicule also came, despite many reporter published draft boards having Jordan listed as a top five pick.
Looking at the Cowboys' draft board, they agree that he was a first round pick, and that he was the top defensive end in the selection process. Cheating a little and looking at the ranking chart on Blogging the Boys, the Cowboys ranked Jordan as the third player, behind tackles Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher. Clearly, Dallas saw Jordan as worthy of the third overall pick.
With the 54th overall pick, the Dolphins selected cornerback Jamar Taylor. Looking at the Cowboys' draft board, it appears they were not overly high on Taylor, grading him as the last CB with a third round grade, but they also were not high on some of the other highly selected cornerbacks, either. Four cornerbacks were selected in the first round, while Dallas only saw two as worthy. D.J. Hayden, who the Oakland Raiders selected with the Dolphins' 12th overall pick following the trade for Jordan, was the second CB off the board, but was the fourth, with a second round grade, on Dallas' board.
Ultimately, the Cowboys' board does not match a lot in terms of how the cornerback position was drafted.
Miami picked two players in the third round. First, they took offensive lineman Dallas Thomas with the 77th overall pick. The Cowboys slotted Thomas in the fourth round, but only had 68 players with grades of third round or better. Miami then came back with their second cornerback selection, Will Davis, with the 93rd overall pick. Like Thomas, Davis also received a fourth round grade by the Cowboys, but he was also the first cornerback after Taylor on Dallas' board.
The fourth round also saw two Miami picks, with the 104th overall going to linebacker Jelani Jenkins and the 106th being used on tight end Dion Sims. Interestingly, Jenkins does not even appear on the Dallas big board. Either they did not like Jenkins, or they felt he would not fit their system.
As for Sims, the Cowboys ranked him as a third round pick, the fifth tight end in the draft. Looks like, at least in the Cowboys' eyes, the Dolphins got good value for their 106 overall selection.
For the third straight round, the Dolphins again had two picks. Near the end of the round, Miami selected running back Mike Gillislee (164th) and kicker Caleb Sturgis (166th). The Cowboys did not board kickers or punters, so there's nothing to compare for Sturgis, but they did have Gillislee on the board.
They slotted Gillislee as the last running back with a fifth round grade. Miami took him near the end of the fifth round. Looks like those grades matched up.
The Dolphins used their final picks, a seventh round compensatory selection (250th overall), to grab defensive back Don Jones. Listed as a safety, the Dolphins plan to use him as a cornerback. The Cowboys, meanwhile, saw him as a sixth round selection. Again, good value for the Dolphins, at least in Dallas' eyes.
What do you think of the Dolphins' draft, compared to the Cowboys' draft board? Do you think it's applicable at all? Do you think it shows any connection to how Jeff Ireland would build his horizontal draft board?