Evaluations Need Time

(From left) Jones, Jenkins, Scandrick and the 2008 class still have some room to improve.

or forward. You just never know, not for a few years at least.  

So let's take a look at the 2008 picks. At the end, I'll put my own grade on the pick and the entire draft and you can do the same. (Scoring at home is always fun!)  

  Felix Jones   1st round (22nd overall)
  Even after three years, none of these grades are exactly complete. They still have the ability to go up and down. But we have to remember that Jones was drafted to be a complementary back to Marion Barber. He's been that guy. And now, it appears Jones will get the chance to be the overall starter with Barber likely out of the picture soon. Jones has room to grow, especially if he's going to carry more of the load. But for now, he's been solid. But remember this isn't about Felix but the actual pick. The Cowboys took Felix with Rashard Mendenhall, Chris Johnson, Ray Rice, Matt Forte, Steve Slaton and Jamaal Charles all still on the board.
  Grade: C 

  Mike Jenkins   1st round (25th overall)
  Talk about the rollercoaster ride. After one year he gets criticized for not having heart and getting beaten out by a fifth-rounder. The second year, he bounces back and makes the Pro Bowl. Last year, he was yellow-flag waiting to happen and his confidence dipped again. Let's see if Jenkins is an odd-year player, or maybe he turns it around again in Rob Ryan's defense. Consistency has been a major issue, but making the Pro Bowl in his second year is hard to overlook.
  Grade: B 

  Martellus Bennett   2nd round (61st overall)
  On one hand, you can say Bennett really hasn't produced all that much for a second-round pick, scoring four touchdowns and not one since Thanksgiving of his rookie season. Then you could argue that he's playing behind an All-Pro tight end in Jason Witten. But the latter is something the Cowboys knew all along. It was the same reason they traded Anthony Fasano because he wasn't producing that much. So the pick never really had a chance because of the opportunity. It's just an average grade because Bennett does play a significant number of snaps.
  Grade: C 

  Tashard Choice   4th round (122nd overall)
  When the Cowboys used a fourth-round pick on Choice, based on the fact Barber just signed a big contract and Jones was taken in the first round, it appeared he would be the No. 3 back. And that's exactly what he has been and probably what he will continue to be with the recent pick of OU's DeMarco Murray in the third round of the 2011 draft. Choice has been productive in the limited touches he has received, but for some reason, the Cowboys haven't used him more, even with the running game sputtering at times last season.
  Grade: C 

  Orlando Scandrick   5th round (143rd overall)
  Fifth-round choices aren't always a given to make the team, much less play significant roles, but Scandrick has proven to be a good draft pick for the fifth round. He's played in the nickel for three years in the slot, which is always a tough spot for any defensive back. While he struggled early last year, he improved dramatically in the second half of the season. He'll be a starter one day - whether or not it'll be here is another story.
  Grade: B 

  Erik Walden   6th round (167th overall)
  The pick was good and that's why it's not an F. You can't fault the scouting department from an evaluation process. But getting him on the team was another matter. The Cowboys cut Walden at the end of camp and he went to Kansas City, where he didn't exactly pan out there either. But in Green Bay last year, Walden ended up starting down the stretch and played a role in the Packers' run to the Super Bowl. So while the Cowboys at least knew he had some talent, they didn't make sure they kept him around.
  Grade: D 

  Overall Grade: There's no direct science to this, but just by going over my individual grades, I'd say the 2008 Draft would get a C

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