During the draft process, how much time do the Cowboys spend trying to predict what the teams with picks 1-9 are going to do? How do they do it? Do they look at the mock drafts like us fans? Do they do their own mock drafts? — VIN HRASKY / IOWA CITY, IA
Rob: Yes, the front office does their own mock drafts every year. Lots of them. It not only helps them get an idea of what their options might be on the clock, but also possible trade-up or trade-back scenarios they need to be ready for. Of course, just like our mock drafts, it's not scientific. Not once was CeeDee Lamb still on the board at No. 17 in their mock drafts last year.
Jonny: I don't think they're "predicting" what they're going to do necessarily, but they're probably taking it a step further and playing out nearly all of the possibilities. It's definitely a lot, but they have a big staff who are paid to do it. It's not a mock draft situation as much as a narrowing down possibilities so they can easily decide what to do when one of them plays our. If Player X and Player Y are available at 10 and they like them both, the decision shouldn't be difficult. They should already have decided what they would do in that situation.
Would there be an advantage to drafting Patrick Surtain II considering he and Trevon Diggs were teammates and played together in college? — JOEL JACKSON / CORPUS CHRISTI, TX
Rob: I don't think it would provide the same advantage as, say, drafting a quarterback and wide receiver combo in consecutive first rounds. Diggs and Surtain wouldn't need to have that type of rapport on the field. If there's an advantage, it would probably be more through the evaluation process. By drafting Diggs last year and evaluating him closely, the Cowboys know the Alabama program and style of defense in the secondary very well. And they know they can trust the feedback from the staff there. But that's probably the case with a lot of schools.
Jonny: I doubt there would be any sort of chemistry advantage or anything like that. But we talked a year ago about the notion that Diggs was ready for the NFL and based some of that on his Alabama pedigree, winning a National Championship, playing under Nick Saban, and covering SEC receivers. Whether those were the reasons, he certainly proved he was ready, which might make you feel a little better about Surtain's chances.
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