Let's begin by reviewing the short list of OTs who make last year's board:
1-4 Russell Okung, 6'6'', 305 lbs.
1-5 Trent Williams, 6'5'', 306 lbs.
1-13 Bryan Bulaga, 6'5'', 310 lbs.
3-42 Anthony Davis, 6'5'', 325 lbs.
3-58 Roger Saffold, 6'4'', 312 lbs.
4-74 Vladimir Ducasse?, 6'4'', 326 lbs.
5-103 Sam Young, 6'7'', 305 lbs.
6-118 Jared Veldheer, 6'8'', 321 lbs.
To repeat, I've been told the level grade weighs long-term ceiling much more than immediate return. This group contained three players the Cowboys project as quality, Pro Bowl caliber starters, at some point, in Okung, Williams and Bulaga. Davis and Saffold were rated as solid starters and Young and Veldheer as possible starters, but hardly sure things.
Using the Cowboys own initial rating of Sam Young, I'm sticking with the proposition that the Cowboys will spend a very high pick on a player to plug in on the right side.
Here's the list of o-line prospects who have visited Dallas this week:
- Gabe Carimi
- Anthony Castonzo
- Will Rackley
- Derek Sherrod
- Tyron Smith
- Nate Solder
- Danny Watkins
This list does not include Villanova's Ben Ijalana, who was prepping for today's pro day, but I imagine he's somewhere high on Dallas' board.
If we add him here, we then should consider as OTs on Dallas' board? I think Rackley and Watkins will get really high or fairly high grades, but as guards, so I'm filtering them out. That gets us to this early-rounds list:
Carimi, Castonzo, Ijalana, Sherrod, Smith, Solder
Who gets the first round grades and in what possible order? Let's look at last year's grades for some guidance. Okung and Williams were rated 1-2 by a lot of teams, ahead of Bulaga, who some saw as a RT only, where others saw a possible pro LT. That seems a separator. And the long-term value of a LT is more than a RT only prospect.
Figuring long-term ceiling into the equation, I'm going with this:
1 - Smith
1 - Castonzo
1 - Sherrod
1 - Carimi
2 - Ijalana
I waffle between a 2 and a 3 for Solder. If you compare him to Anthony Davis and Roger Saffold's 2010 Cowboys rankings, 3 may be his draft-board neighborhood. Solder has a lot of athleticism, but I keep reading about Solder's narrow base, and concerns that will prevent him from building the lower-body strength to become a powerful run blocker. That pushes him below the other guys, in my opinion.
We can hash this list all we want, but I'd be quite happy with any of the top four names on this list. I think Smith will be the best player long-term and can play immediately, but if the team moves down and picks up one of the next three guys on this list, that's fine with me. They could all play right tackle for the Dallas Cowboys.
As a bonus, here's blogger Corey Grodner's board. He goes all the way to seven, to paraphrase Nigel Tufnel: