SB Nation’s Cowboys blog, "Blogging the Boys", published an article on July 18 showing a picture of what looks to be the Cowboys 2016 draft board. Check out the article here. While we don’t know whether this is real or fake, Blogging the Boys has released leaked pictures of the Cowboys draft board seemingly every year. If the pictures are real, which they look very legitimate, are pretty funny. It helps that this consistently seems to happen, year after year with Blogging the Boys and Dallas' draft boards.
Blogging the Boys enlarged the picture, as one can’t make out the names at the original size of the picture, and created a table of the draft board. So how did the Cowboys grade the Ravens draft picks? The following list is in order of how the Cowboys stacked the Ravens picks.
The Cowboys ranked Stanley as the 16th best player, while they had Laremy Tunsil third (Ezekiel Elliot and Jalen Ramsey were first and second respectively). Clearly the Cowboys were not one of the teams who reportedly preferred Stanley to Tunsil even before the draft night fiasco. Stanley is also ranked lower than Myles Jack and Jaylon Smith, players who weren’t selected until the second round (both players were top 5 talents, but had injuries that caused a large drop in their draft stock). It’s also interesting that the Cowboys ranked Paxton Lynch as the twelfth overall player, when most had Lynch as a late first round pick at best.
No, I’m not skipping anyone. The Cowboys had Dixon graded as a fourth round pick, and Kenneth Dixon did end up being one of the Ravens fourth round picks. The Cowboys, and Ravens, seemed to be lower on Dixon than most media analysts, who had Dixon as a third, or even second round selection. Dixon could end up being the biggest steal the Ravens get in the draft. Also, the Cowboys have Dixon ranked as the sixth best running back, when some media analysts, specifically Pro Football Focus, ranked the Louisiana Tech product second.
The Cowboys have Kaufusi graded for the fifth round, and the Ravens selected him in the third round. Maybe Jerry Jones missed something that Ozzie Newsome saw? Kaufusi was one of 11 players that went at least two rounds higher than the Cowboys had them graded for. As I wrote about in another article, Kaufusi will have a meaningful role as a rookie, and have a chance to start. Hopefully, the Cowboys loss is the Ravens gain.
Kaufusi was the last Ravens player listed on the Cowboys board. Yes, the Cowboys only had a grade on three of the Ravens picks. However, Blogging the Boys notes that, "We've done our best to decipher the names above, and while we're confident that we got most of them right, we're not certain we got every name right. But to get more names, and more certainty, we would probably need some CIA-level software, which we don't have."
According to the Cowboys draft board, the Ravens had a poor draft. The Ravens selected a player with a first, fourth, and fifth round grade according to the Cowboys. The Cowboys had a fantastic draft according to their board, selecting two players in their top five, Ezekiel Elliot and Jaylon Smith.
There is a chance that the remaining Ravens draft picks were just illegible in the picture. Most notably is the absence of second round pick Kamalei Correa. Correa is not the only top level prospect missing however. Other missing players include, Robert Nkemdiche, Chirs Jones, and Noah Spence, all players that media analysts had given first round grades to. It’s safe to assume that the missing names of Ravens players are due to illegibility. It just doesn’t seem possible that the Ravens and the Cowboys have that much discrepancy.
While we don't know how factual this draft board truly is, it makes me glad that the Ravens have never had to worry about this kind of stuff.