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Mailbag: How Many Elite Draft Prospects? Best Way To Develop Young QBs?


For the purpose of this question, let's say we draft a QB with our fourth overall pick and Romo then plays injury free for two seasons. Would sitting on the sidelines, watching and learning for those two seasons help a QB long term or does it hinder the player who was deemed to be good enough for a fourth overall pick but then have no game time for two years?

Bryan: That's a fair question and I understand what you are asking here. I am usually from the school of "plug and play" and this team has done a nice job of finding those types of players. For a quarterback I feel like it's a little different – I am okay having them sit a little longer. Even if he sits for two seasons, you still have the opportunity to have him for three seasons before you have to make a major decision.

David: Well, that's a central part of the debate, isn't it? You've heard all kinds of people argue against throwing a rookie quarterback directly into the starting lineup. You can also point to guys like Aaron Rodgers as examples of the benefits of sitting out. At the same time, you want your big-time quarterback to get some reps – or else how will you know if he's worth keeping around after Romo? At the end of the day, though, I think there are worse ideas than developing a young quarterback for a few years. If you draft him No. 4 overall, you have at least four – if not five – years to figure it out.


How many truly elite players are there in this year's draft? Usually you hear that there are maybe 15 elite players each year. If the Cowboys traded down to No. 15 or lower (for example, No. 20) would they miss out on one?

Bryan:Scouts generally don't look at the draft that way. We tend to see the draft in number of players in the round. For example in this draft at this time I have 18 1st round grades. Depending on the year, you usually have somewhere between 15 to 20 names that you would draft in the 1st round. I will say that sitting at four in this draft, they do have a chance to draft an elite type of player which is why if I am going to trade down – you had better blow me away with an offer.

David:I've actually talked to some front office types about this. Typically, you'll probably see 14-18 prospects on the draft board that have first-round grades. That doesn't mean they'll all go in order, since each team rates players differently. But the further you trade down, the less likely you are to get one. And obviously, the guys that are going to go in the top 10 would figure to have the fewest holes in their game.

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