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Mailbag: Ready For An Unpredictable NFL Draft?


Does the unpredictability of this draft that has been created by the pandemic effect on the evaluation process around the league worry you or excite you for the Cowboys? - MICHAEL MCCOWN / FRANKFURT, GERMANY

Nick:I think it's the nature of the draft, so I would say both. That's what the NFL Draft is. You get excited about your picks because of the potential. But you're also nervous about the high-end picks because they could turn out differently and there are so many expectations on them. So while the pandemic is going to change a few things about this draft, I don't know if there's any more uncertainty than ever before. It's just different in a lot of ways, but it's the same for all teams. I trust the Cowboys getting a good read on the medical aspect of it, so maybe there's an advantage there.

Rob: I absolutely agree: There will be some unpredictability Thursday, Friday and Saturday. How could there not be some twists? We saw a little of that last year, and this year's evaluation process has been fraught with roadblocks: no Combine, numerous COVID-19 college opt-outs and limited medical information compared to normal years. Excited or worried? Despite those challenges, I would lean toward excited because the Cowboys' front office and medical staff has a strong track record drafting the last several years. If I'm a fan, I would feel confident they've done their homework as best they can. And it always helps to have four picks inside the top 100.

I am curious as to the different reports that say Caleb Farley will drop in the draft. Some have him late in the first round, but basically no one knows because of the back issues. What I haven't heard is how good a career he could have when healed. Is the back issue going to heal and would he be a steal late in the first if he slipped? - DAVID JONES / COCOA, FL

Nick:It's one of the big Wild Cards of this draft. There's always going to be a few guys like this. Jaylon Smith was one of them back in 2016 and of course, we know all that played out. I would imagine the Cowboys have done extra homework on him to figure out where he stands. If he falls out of the first round, I think it's something the Cowboys will consider in the second round, especially if they did not take a corner in the first. But assuming they take either Surtain or Horn, I wouldn't think they take the risk on Farley – or really any cornerback again – until the later rounds. And even though he might fall, Farley probably won't fall that far.

Rob: All that matters is how the Cowboys view Farley's medical situation. They're not going to disclose that, of course, so we're left guessing. If they feel good about his short- and long-term prospects, then sure, I imagine he'd be on their radar because he's most likely a top-20 pick if not for these injury flags. We all know the Cowboys haven't hesitated to draft a player with first-round talent who dropped because of injuries (Jaylon Smith, Sean Lee and Bruce Carter were all second-round picks). But it wouldn't shock me if Farley gets selected somewhere in the late first or very-early second round, well before pick 44.


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