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Montee Ball's Fantasy Value with Knowshon Moreno in Miami

Posted on March 31, 2014 by Joseph Slisz

We all saw this coming.  From the beginning of free agency, and even sometime before that, the Denver Broncos showed no interest in wanting Knowshon Moreno back.  Now with Moreno in Miami, how does this affect Montee Ball's fantasy value?

It obviously increases it but how much is the question.  Many experts have Ball has a late second rounder.  However, I believe that's too low for him.

While Moreno finished in the top five last season among running backs and had a career year with 1,500 total yards, 60 catches and 13 touchdowns, Montee Ball can get that or possibly exceed that.

Last year, Montee Ball led the team with a 4.66 yards per carry average compared to Moreno's 4.2 yards per carry average.  Also, the only thing that held Montee Ball back from being the starter was the fact that he couldn't hold onto the football and pass protect.

However, he learned the blocking scheme towards mid season and started to hang onto the ball more which led to 65 carries in final eight games of the season with double digit catches as well, in a partial timeshare with Moreno.

Over that eight game span, Montee Ball averaged 5.87 yards per carry with more work and greatly outplayed Knowshon Moreno from a football perspective.  Also, despite Moreno's great year, the Denver Broncos have so much faith in Montee Ball that they didn't want to keep Moreno because of Ball.

Also, despite being a back up in a partial time share, Montee Ball had at least nine fantasy points in four of the last six games of the year as his workload increased. 

However, while Ball more or may not be better than Moreno (from everything I've seen he definitely is) with Peyton Manning and those weapons being there, any running back should be top 10 in fantasy on that offense given enough opportunity which Montee Ball has.

In 32 games Peyton Manning has been in Denver, 23 times that starting running back for the team, whether it was Knowshon Moreno or Willis McGahee, had double digit fantasy points that game.  Also, Peyton Manning likes to run when he gets in close leading to Knowshon Moreno's 13 touchdowns and a handful for Montee Ball himself.

Also, while I'm not doubting Peyton, I don't think he'll throw for 55 touchdowns again which many came in the red zone, potentially leading to more touchdowns than 13 for Ball.  And Peyton has had a past with making fantasy superstars out of average backs; just ask Joseph Addai.

Montee Ball is younger, just as good as a pass catcher as Moreno and a better runner with more explosion.  However, Ball is in a better opportunity then Moreno was last year as Moreno had to win the job and keep it, while Montee Ball is being handed the job as an every down back.

With this in mind, Montee Ball will have plenty of success especially because of the fronts he'll see because of Peyton.  Out of Knowshon Moreno's 241 carries last year, 192 of them came against defenses playing 6 or fewer defenders in the box. 

Again any running back can have success in this offense, but Ball is better than any average running back.

2014 NFL Combine Top 5 Losers: Teddy Bridgewater A Big Letdown

Posted on February 28, 2014 by Bill Enright and Todd Devries

Teddy Bridgewater, Michael Sam, and Adam Muema are just three of the incoming NFL rookies with a lot of hype. But their performances at the 2014 NFL Combine left us with a bitter taste in our mouths.

The NFL Combine is basically a big job interview for incoming rookies. The five players we discuss in the video are still going to get drafted, but their poor performances in Indianapolis likely hurt their Draft Stock which in the long run can also hurt their chances for a big rookie contract. 

Number 5: Micahel Sam, DE/OLB, Missouri: His sexuality is NOT going to hurt his draft stock (at least it shouldn’t) but a slow time in the 40 yard dash (4.91) and only 17 reps on the bench press most certainly will.

Number 4: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville: Some consider Bridgewater the Top QB Prospect and the Houston Texans may take him Number 1 Overall but Bridgewater did nothing at the Combine to convince them he should be the Number 1 pick. In fact, Bridgewater literally did nothing on the field at the combine. He opted out of all drills.

Number 3: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech: Height, weight, and other physical measurements can quickly become a major storyline and a major problem for incoming rookies. Amaro had a decent 40 time and managed to put up 28 reps on the bench press but his hand size checked in as the smallest among Tight Ends. Not exactly the ideal stat for a player who wants to catch passes for a living.

Number 2: Ka’Deem Carey, RB, Arizona: NFL Players are typically freakishly fast, freakishly strong/large, or a combination of both. Small players make up for their lack of size with exceptional speed but that wasn’t the case for Carey who is a 5 foot, 9 inch running back. Carey clocked in at 4.7 seconds during his 40 yard dash which was well outside the Top 15 for the position.  

Number 1: Adam Muema, RB, San Diego State: Perhaps one of the most interesting stories to ever come out of the combine. Muema was in Indianapolis, but left before participating in any drills because God told him to do so. Apparently, God also told Muema he would be drafted by the reigning Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks. Vaya Con Dios…

2014 NFL Combine: Gilbert and Mack Headline The Top 5 Winners

Posted on February 28, 2014 by Bill Enright and Todd Devries

Which incoming NFL Rookies dominated in this year's NFL Combine? Bill Enright and the College Football Geek, Todd DeVries, talk about the impressive performances from Taylor Lewan, Brandin Cooks, Khalil Mack and other promising prospects.

More than 300 incoming NFL Rookies traveled to Indianapolis to participate in the 2014 NFL Combine with hopes of boosting their stock for the upcoming NFL Draft in May. NFL.com does an excellent job of tracking all performances and displaying the top performers in each category or by position, so if you missed any of the action, be sure to check it out. 

The 2014 NFL Draft Class is widely considered one of the most talented in years. Whether it’s quarterbacks, linemen, linebackers, or receivers, this class is loaded with promising prospects at all positions.  

Some players like Sammy Watkins (top wide receiver prospect) and Jadeveon Clowney (top defensive prospect) had an excellent showing at the Combine but their draft stock can’t get much higher considering both are expected to get drafted in the Top 10 and possibly even Number 1 Overall. 

The players Todd DeVries and Bill Enright discuss in this video consist of the players that greatly boosted their draft value thanks to stellar performances in Indy. 

Number 5: Taylor Lewan, Offensive Tackle Michigan: Ran the fastest 40 yard dash among O-Line (4.87 seconds). His incredible overall combine results will keep him in the running for best lineman in this draft and we wouldn’t be surprised if he was the 1st lineman off the board in May.

 Number 4: Aaron Donald, Defensive Tackle, Pittsburgh: Top 5 finisher in four different categories including the Bench Press (35 reps) and 40 yard dash (4.68 seconds). Great combine results further proves he’s a Top 3 Defensive Tackle in this year’s Draft. 

Number 3:  Justin Gilbert, Cornerback, Oklahoma State: Ran the fastest 40 yard dash (4.37 seconds) among DBs and the 4th fastest out of all participants. Gilbert was also a Top Performer for DBs in the 3 Cone Drill and Bench Press.  His athleticism was on full display and his size speaks for itself, we’d be shocked if he’s not off the board by the middle of the 1st Round. 

Number 2: Brandin Cooks, Wide Receiver, Oregon State: The 2013 Biletnikoff winner dazzled at the Combine thanks to a 4.33 second 40 yard dash which was the fastest among receivers and 2nd fastest among all Combine participants. Cooks was previously thought to be a mid-to-late 2nd Round pick but the hype machine is starting to pick up steam and he may end up getting selected by the end of the 1st Round.  

Number 1: Khalil Mack, Linebacker, Buffalo: The explosive linebacker from the MAC Conference  showed off his athleticism and speed in nearly every drill. His 4.65 second 40 yard dash and 40 inch vertical is quite impressive for a 6’3, 251 pounder. 

2014 NFL Free Agency: Top 10 Defensive Linemen

Posted on February 24, 2014 by Tom Pollin

By Tom Pollin

The line is the foundation that top defenses are built on. A line that can collapse the pocket and disrupt the quarterback without the need for blitz pressure can measurably improve a team's pass defense. One that can hold their ground allows linebackers to fill gaps and control an opponent's running game.

Andrew Luck Still Top Pick in 2012 NFL Draft Re-Mock

Posted on February 23, 2014 by Damien Walec

The 2012 NFL draft was one of the strongest in recent history, bringing us lauded quarterback prospects and a boatload of players who have established themselves as some of the best in the game. For every Morris Claiborne, Shea McClellin and Brandon Weeden, there is a Brandon Boykin, Olivier Vernon and Russell Wilson that has put themself into the stratisphere of the league. Here's a revisiting of the draft that has shaped the league recently.

 

#1: Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, Quarterback

 

I'd say the Colts made the right call by selecting the lauded quarterback. Two seasons, two playoff berths and 23 total wins later, the Colts are in great position, and this all starts with Luck at quarterback. Russell Wilson is obviously in play here, but I think the Colts would be best off by keeping the young man who has led the franchise well so far in his career.

 

#2: Washington Redskins: Russell Wilson, Quarterback

 

In this re-do, Washington picks the fast-rising Russell Wilson, already a Super Bowl winner just two years into his career. Wilson has ranked in the top five at his position in each of the first two years of his career by ProFootballFocus, making him just one of two players in this draft that can say that (Lavonte David is the other). Robert Griffin III hasn't done a bad job as the starting quarterback for the 'Skins, but I'm sure the team would rather go with a player who actually knows how to protect himself when he runs.

 

#3: Minnesota Vikings: Cordy Glenn, Offensive Tackle

 

It was obvious that the Vikings had a need at the tackle position when they selected Matt Kalil with the fourth pick when this draft first happened. While Kalil enjoyed a strong first season, he struggled this past year, leading Minnesota to instead go with Glenn. One of the best offensive tackles in the game, Glenn would give Minnesota a great building block on offense and would also help the team keep Adrian Peterson running.

 

#4: Cleveland Browns: Josh Gordon, Wide Receiver

 

In real life, Cleveland sacrificed a second round pick to select Gordon in the supplemental draft. In this scenario, the team would have to use the fourth overall pick to keep their troubled-but-talented field stretcher. Gordon led the NFL in receiving yards this past season despite missing two games with suspension, tying Billy Howton as the youngest receiver in NFL history to lead the league in receiving (with at least 1,000 receiving yards) at 22. Cleveland needs a quarterback, but this draft is deep enough at the position that they can wait until their second first-rounder to get one.

 

#5: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Brandon Boykin, Cornerback

 

Many people thought that the Bucs would use this pick on top corner prospect Morris Claiborne, but in this re-mock they use their pick on a much better corner instead in Boykin. After a decent rookie year, Boykin held opposing quarterbacks to a 64.3 quarterback rating this past year, picking off six passes and ranking as the top cornerback, coverage-wise, on ProFootball Focus.

 

#6: St. Louis Rams: Alshon Jeffery, Wide Receiver

 

No receiver had more highlight-reel plays this past season than Jeffery. With his unreal focus, it seemed as if Jeffery could go up and catch any ball thrown near him. That's exactly what Sam Bradford could use in a receiver, so in this universe, Jeff Fisher decides to go out and pick up a number one receiver for his young quarterback.

 

#7: Jacksonville Jaguars: Lavonte David, Linebacker

 

This is an absolute steal at pick number seven. Lavonte David is one of the best cover linebackers in the game, combining that with good tackling ability and great instincts. The Jaguars as a team have lacked leadership and fight for years, but David gives the team a truly great young linebacker to build their defense around.

 

#8: Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, Quarterback

 

Miami made the right call here. Tannehill has played well for the team so far, and although his deep accuracy is lacking, he's a worthwhile pick right here. Now, if only Miami can find themselves a good offensive lineman, Tannehill can finally play up to his massive potential and lead this franchise into the postseason.

 

#9: Carolina Panthers: Luke Kuechly, Linebacker

 

Kuechly's been slightly overrated in his career (he absolutely did not deserve NFL Defensive Player of the Year this season), but that doesn't change the fact that he's a sensational run defender with good cover skills as well. Carolina got this pick 100% right when they made it and, if given the chance, would absolutely pick Kuechly again.

 

#10: Buffalo Bills: Bobby Wagner, Linebacker

 

Wagner didn't have a great season after dominating as a rookie two years ago, but he's still a great linebacker who would give the Bills' new 4-3 front a great player to work with. Considering the Bills were one of the worse run defending teams in the NFL in 2011, Wagner would certainly help this team improve greatly on defense.

 

#11: Kansas City Chiefs: Dontari Poe, Nose Tackle

 

The Chiefs hit this pick right on the nose when they selected the athletic defensive lineman from Memphis. Although Poe struggled in his rookie year, he turned in a fine season in 2013, exploding onto the scene with four sacks in his first two games. Once he began commanding double teams, Poe's sack production dropped, but he also compiled 33 hurries and was one of the top run defending defensive tackles in the NFL as well.

 

#12: Seattle Seahawks: Nick Foles, Quarterback

 

In real life, the Seahawks were fortunate enough to get Russell Wilson in the third round. Here, they have to address the position as soon as possible, and Foles fits in nicely. One of the league's most efficient quarterbacks this past season, Nick Foles led the NFL with a 119.2 quarterback rating as well as leading the league with 9.1 yards per pass attempt. His 27-to-2 TD-to-interception ratio was also the best in the league.

 

#13: Arizona Cardinals: Mitchell Schwartz, Offensive Tackle

 

The Cardinals' offensive line has been a problem for years, so the team decides to address it with the best player available in Schwartz. One of the best pass blocking tackles of 2012, Schwartz has been an underrated contributor on Cleveland, but he doesn't go underrated here as the Cardinals shore up the right side of their line.

 

#14: Dallas Cowboys: Casey Hayward, Cornerback

 

Casey Hayward had a sensational rookie year in 2012 for the Packers before hurting himself and missing most of the 2013 NFL season. Dallas traded up to the sixth pick to select massive bust Morris Claiborne in real life, but here Dallas gets a productive player at the cornerback position instead.

 

#15: Philadelphia Eagles: Vontaze Burfict, Linebacker

 

The 2012 Philadelphia Eagles had one of the worst linebacking corps in the NFL, so rather than struggling through that, the team instead picks up a true talent in Vontaze Burfict. Unlike Mychal Kendricks, Burfict can actually cover, and he combines that with strong instincts and good tackling ability.

 

#16: New York Jets: Chander Jones, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker

 

Chandler Jones enjoyed a very strong 2013, and also started the 2012 season with a bang before slowing down with injuries. The Jets were desparate for pass rushers here, as evidenced by the team picking bust Quinton Coples with this pick in real life. Rather than dealing with the lazy Coples, the Jets pick Jones here and actually improve their pass rush.

 

#17: Cincinnati Bengals: Kevin Zeitler, Guard

 

Kevin Zeitler has been one of the best guards in the league since the Bengals selected him, so why change course and pick another player here?

 

#18: San Diego Chargers: Michael Floyd, Wide Receiver

 

Michael Floyd emerged as one of the better receivers in the league, catching for more yards than fellow teammate Larry Fitzgerald in 2013 while topping 1,000 yards for the first time. The Chargers had finally given up on Vincent Jackson at this point, so the team was in need of a receiver, and could definitely use Floyd.

 

#19: Chicago Bears: Fletcher Cox, Defensive Tackle

 

Fletcher Cox has played very well for the Eagles so far in his career, but teams with glaring needs causes the young pass rusher to fall to 19, and the Bears are ecstatic. Chicago's pass rush was thinning, and the team needed to get a hold on its defensive tackle situation, so Cox is a perfect fit on the inside of this 4-3 defense.

 

#20: Tennessee Titans: Akiem Hicks, Defensive Tackle

 

Although not a good pass rusher, Akiem Hicks is one of the premier run defenders in this draft and would give Tennessee a great complement to Derrick Morgan and Jurell Casey (who, at this point, was just regarded as a good run defender).

 

#21: Cincinnati Bengals: Harrison Smith, Safety

 

Harrison Smith enjoyed a great 2012, where he burst onto the scene as one of the league's best young safeties. Despite a poor 2013, I still think Smith is worth picking here, and instantly upgrades the Bengals' secondary.

 

#22: Cleveland Browns: Robert Griffin III, Quarterback

 

Not a bad draft haul at all. After addressing the receiver position with the playmaking receiver Josh Gordon at pick number four, Cleveland nabs themselves a very good quarterback with the 22nd pick. Given the strength of Cleveland's offensive line, this team could actually succeed at keeping RGIII healthy as well.

 

#23: Detroit Lions: Matt Kalil, Offensive Tackle

 

Poor 2013 season aside, Matt Kalil was figured as an elite prospect in this draft and had a strong showing in 2012 by helping Adrian Peterson to a 2,000 yard season. Here, Detroit picks up a great young tackle who can play on both sides of the line, and gives them an heir to veteran Jeff Backus.

 

#24: Pittsburgh Steelers: David DeCastro, Guard

 

I was strongly considering Dont'a Hightower here, but Pittsburgh's offensive line struggles have been well documented for a long time and, after an injury-riddled 2012 campaign, DeCastro turned in a strong 2013 season. Once regarded as the best guard prospect in the draft, DeCastro has been taken over by Kevin Zeitler, but he's still worthy of a first round pick.

 

#25: Denver Broncos: Alfred Morris, Running Back

 

In 2011, Denver running back Willis McGahee performed well, but the team also knew that he was on the wrong side of 30 and appeared to be done with former first round pick Knowshon Moreno. Enter Morris, who had a great rookie year for Washington and kept it going with a solid 2013 season as well. He can't catch passes, but Morris runs with conviction and would give Denver's offense some solid juice.

 

#26: Houston Texans: Riley Reiff, Offensive Tackle

 

Reiff has played well in his two seasons as a Detroit Lion. Houston was coming off a surprise release of starting right tackle Eric Winston, and Reiff would slot in there nicely. Although the team certainly would've loved for Matt Kalil to fall another couple picks, I'm sure they'd be fine with taking on Reiff instead.

 

#27: New England Patriots: Dont'a Hightower, Linebacker

 

New England decides to stick with their linebacker and go Hightower here. The young linebacker struggles in coverage and isn't much of a pass rusher, but he's also one of the best run defending linebackers in the league, giving New England something solid to work with on their defense next to Jerod Mayo.

 

#28: Green Bay Packers: Alfonzo Dennard, Cornerback

 

The Packers benefitted greatly from adding cornerback Casey Hayward in the second round in real life. They would have no such luck here, but Dennard showed he can hang in the NFL with a solid rookie year before struggling in 2013.

 

#29: Baltimore Ravens: Mike Daniels, Defensive End

 

One of the best kept secrets in the league, Daniels was a force this past season on Green Bay's three man front, compiling eight sacks and 27 hurries. He's also a solid run defender and would give Baltimore one of the most feared front seven's in the league, especially with the emergence of Arthur Jones.

 

#30: San Francisco 49ers: Kendall Wright, Wide Receiver

 

Certainly not a bad pick here. Wright was one of the better receivers this past year, topping 1,000 yards despite playing for Tennessee, where catching for 1,000 yards is seemingly illegal. The Niners missed hard on this pick by reaching for A.J. Jenkins, so let's just resolve that by giving them a receiver worth picking here.

 

#31: New England Patriots: Doug Martin, Running Back

 

This is a huge value pick. Martin was one of the absolute worst running backs in 2013, but in 2012 he enjoyed a sensational year. He's a more versatile player than Stevan Ridley, and would give the Patriots a great complement to the passing game.

 

#32: New York Giants: Dwayne Allen, Tight End

 

Dwayne Allen missing essentially the entire 2013 season set him back on the draft board after a sensational rookie campaign, in which he ranked as the second best tight end by ProFootballFocus. The Giants are able to pick up a great security blanket to Eli Manning, and finally get some solidarity at the position in the process.

Johnny Manziel Will Be an Instant Success in the NFL From Day One

Posted on February 23, 2014 by Chris Alderson

For the past two seasons we have witnessed one of the biggest stars the game has ever seen in the sport of college football. Former Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel grabbed attention of fans nationwide with his exciting play on the field and his Hollywood lifestyle off the field. Manziel will now be taking his talents to the NFL and whether he will be a success on the field is yet to be seen, but one thing is for sure and that is he will certainly be a star off the field.

The debate has been whether or not the hometown Houston Texans, with the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, should draft Manziel. The decision certainly is debatable when it comes to their needs on the field, but in terms of bringing excitement and a renewed energy to the franchise of the Houston Texans taking Manziel is certainly the best decision.

I compare Manziel to former Florida Gators’ quarterback Tim Tebow in terms of their star power, popularity and ability to draw interest from people nationwide. Tebow, much like Manziel, entered the NFL with many questions such as his arm strength, throwing motion and ability to read NFL defenses. Tebow saw some success in his short stint as starter of the Broncos, but quickly fell off the radar of all 32 NFL teams in 2013.

Manziel enters the 2014 NFL Draft with many questions of his own such as his size and ability to stay composed enough to be a franchise quarterback. Manziel measured in at under 6 foot earlier this week in some pre draft workouts, but with the success of Super Bowl champion quarterback Russell Wilson this should not be that big of an issue.

Manziel’s off the field lifestyle and Hollywood persona I also don’t find to be that big of an issue either. He was out living the life of a college student and it just happened to be in a public light. Manziel being the quarterback of a big time program like A&M was expected to not live life like a normal college student and I find that completely unfair to him.

In the NFL, Manziel will have to mature and put the off the field things behind him now that he is not in college no longer and he will now be expected to act like a professional. I feel Manziel will mature and turn out to be a star in the NFL if he is in the right situation. The recent success of young quarterbacks in the NFL is certainly a positive for Manziel and I believe that will help his chances at succeeding in the NFL.

As I mentioned earlier I feel that Tebow and Manziel are very similar in the way they are viewed as potential NFL stars and their ability to draw attention to a franchise in the NFL. Tebow was cut by the Patriots in the preseason of 2013 and this brought up the possibility of him going to the Jacksonville Jaguars just to bring a new sense of energy to a team that badly needed some. Tebow, being a former Florida Gator, made the idea very intriguing just for the fact it would be a great sales point for the Jaguars. The Jaguars have been rumored to be a possible team on the move to a new city and the signing of Tebow could have helped the marketability of the Jaguars, but the move never happened.

Now Manziel has the chance to be drafted by the Houston Texans in a situation much like the Jaguars experienced with Tebow last season. If Manziel goes to the Texans the fan base would be energized with an exciting new player and also the sales of merchandise from not just Texans fans, but fans nationwide would sky rocket. This has to be in the minds of the top management of the Texans as they decide to pick Manziel or not with the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

I understand it’s all about winning games and championships in any sport, but you also have to remember that at the end of the day it’s a business and making a profit is always the number one goal in many cases when it comes to any business. Taking Manziel would be a great business decision for the Texans and would benefit their franchise in many ways and not just on the field.

Manziel said earlier this month how if the Texans pass on him with the number one pick that he would haunt them and they would regret their decision forever. They were bold words, but those have come to be expected from Manziel throughout his career.

If the Texans pass on Manziel the Browns, Jaguars or Raiders all could be possible candidates to draft Manziel and just like with the Texans all would be great business decisions for either one of those teams. The Texans selecting him would make the most sense, but at this point it’s not clear or not whether he will go to Houston.

The decision to draft Manziel will be a great one for the team that eventually decides to take the chance on him. The sales of merchandise, tickets, and publicity of the franchise that Manziel goes to will be like nothing we have seen in some time. It is an exciting time for Manziel and shortly it will be a very exciting time for his new team when the 2014 NFL Draft arrives.

Dallas Cowboys: 5 Free Agents They Should Target

Posted on February 21, 2014 by Ryan Hutson

The Cowboys will obviously be interested in keeping their own, but here are 5 free agents that I think are both attainable and would provide added value for the Cowboys to target in free agency.

 


1. Justin Tuck DE(NYG)



What would be a better way to kick off free agency than to snag one of your rivals' key players and leaders on defense?  The way the defensive end market played out last season, Tuck could be a moderately priced player.  He has added value in that he can play left end and play inside on nickle packages allowing the Cowboys to utilize George Selvie as well.  Maybe at a rate of $5-6 million per season, he could effectively help replace both Anthony Spencer and Jason Hatcher in one shot.

 

2. Henry Melton DT(CHI)

 

There are a lot of reasons why this would work out for the Cowboys, Melton is coming off a torn ACL, so the price tag may be a little less than normal.  He will only be 28 years old vs. a 32 year old Jason Hatcher.  Melton has ties being a former Longhorn and his pro bowl year blossomed under the direction of Rod Marinelli.  It may be a one year deal if Melton wants to bet on himself and test the market again, but as the Seattle Seahawks did with Michael Bennett, it turned out very well at a decent price.

 

3. Ted Ginn Jr WR(CAR)


 

This may a bit of a suprise to some, but I fully expect Mile Austin to be a cap casualty.  Ginn may have been a bust at the No. 9 overall pick in Miami, but he was a contributor to the 49ers in their 2012 NFC Championship team and the rise of the Carolina Panthers last season.  His salary was just above $1 million last year and with a 36 catch season, it's unlikely that will change much.  His speed would compliment Bryant and Williams on the outside, he could maybe take the pressure off of Dwayne Harris or provide a second option at kick return.

 

4. Jackie Battle RB(TEN)

 

Battle is a veteran back who would add some power to the running back position the Cowboys haven't had.  At 6'2 240# he is a big durable runner that could fill in for Murray for a couple games as he did for Jamaal Charles in Kansas City, he could be a short yardage goalline back and even close out some games to keep Murray from having an injury when he is trying to grind out a 4 minute drive.


5. Jason Williams LB(CAR)

 

Williams was actually the Cowboys top pick in that dreadful 2009 draft, that aside, he actually has managed to stick around in Carolina.  He has good build at 6'1 245#, he has good speed for special teams and the outside linebacker spots.  For some reason he fell out of favor with Wade Phillips, but I think the current scheme is a better fit, there is some familiarity there and he should be a minimum salary type player who would be younger and more durable than Ernie Sims.

 

Summary


The top two players would garner about what Anthony Spencer and Jason Hatcher counted against the cap last year and the rest of the group could be had for what Sims, Durant and Will Allen took in.  This group could give the Cowboys a boost in all three phases of the game and allow them to head into the draft with a pure board to take the best player available.

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