This was the first year in as long as I can remember that I missed the draft. I was traveling for work and when I wasn’t traveling I was working. When I heard Demarcus Lawrence had been drafted by the Cowboys, I let out a loud, kind of obnoxious sounding cheer. It was then that it dawned on me I was on a 747 full of people. yup, the looks I got are still clear in my brain. I am certain they thought I was off my damn rocker.
The only thing that seemed logical at the time was to let them all know why I had just wailed at the top of my lungs. In my best true-blue voice I shouted,
“The Cowboys got Demarcus Lawrence!“
The Eagles fan seated across the aisle from me looked as if he wanted throw his book at me. Several others, by this point, looked as if they were convinced I was a wack job. But, right when I started thinking I had just made a total ass out of myself, I discovered I wasn’t the only Cowboys fan on the plane. From the back of the plane somewhere I heard a deep voice yell, “Hell Yah!” Whoever it was started clapping. The next thing I knew several others joined in. As it turned out, there were from I could I tell, at least half a dozen other Cowboys fans on the plane. It was at that moment I felt the redness disappearing from my face. I casually took a sip off of my cocktail and said to myself,
“I’ll be damned, Jerry actually addressed the trenches in the first two rounds.”
That being said, I have to give Mr. Jones some kudos for a change. I have been pretty hard on him over the last couple of years, but he redeemed himself a little bit this year. Way to go Jerry!
Demarcus Lawrence amassed 72 tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, forced 3 fumbles and had an interception in 2013 as a junior. Prior to reading my uncles scouting report on him I hadn’t studied his tape yet. I had seen him play and was already a fan. I was so impressed by the report, I immediately put the tape on. As usual, Al was spot on.
I make it a habit to see where the major outlets such as NFL.com, CBS etc have players projected. Here at YDCFF we put our own grades on players. Unlike the major outlets, we don’t change our grades or projections following the draft. I specifically remember CBS having Demarcus Lawrence in the 3rd to fourth round at some point before the draft. When I looked today, they had him as the 3rd best DE behind Clowney and Ford (he was much further down the list prior to the draft) and projected in the 1st to 2nd round. Laughable at best. I am on record as saying to multiple people that Demarcus Lawrence will end up the best DE in this draft barring a major injury. You can see Al’s scouting report on him here. I had him in pretty much every mock draft I did.
All of that being said, based on what my buddy Bryan Broaddus has been reporting, Demarcus Lawrence has been putting Tyron Smith to the test. If you read Al’s report, one of the major concerns with Lawrence was his strength. Apparently he has been busy in the weight room during the offseason because he exhibited enough power to knock Pro Bowl LT Tyron Smith off balance. I said from the beginning that we can’t expect Demarcus Ware type production his 1st season, but with a year or two to develop, he will be a beast. I will stand firm with my evaluation that he will be better than Clowney. Have a little patience Cowboys Nation: Demarcus Lawrence is destined for greatness.