Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he expects players drafted in the first three rounds to be starters.
Not necessarily Day 1 starters, but soon.
“Day 1 starters? You can’t say that. Nobody can say that, but at some point in their careers, you would like to think that they’re a starter, and the sooner the better,” Garrett said Wednesday at Valley Ranch, a day before the Cowboys were scheduled to pick 14th in the first round of the NFL draft.
Garrett outlined his thinking for players taken in the fourth round and later.
“Maybe he’s a younger player who needs time to develop but can be a starter down the road,” he said. “Or maybe that fourth-round player is a teams guy. Maybe he has a particular role and will never be an every-down player, but he has a role for you that’s fairly defined. And then, when you get in the fifth, sixth and seventh, I think you’re looking for players with special traits. Again, maybe a role for your team or maybe a guy who isn’t ready to play but maybe has the measurables and the makeup and you think down the road can be a player for you in a given role or maybe even as a starter.”
That’s how the Cowboys think of second-year guard David Arkin, who they selected in the fourth round out of Missouri State last year but left inactive all season.
“Smaller school guy with the intangibles and with the measureables, his jump was going to be bigger than some of the bigger school guys we were evaluating at his position,” Garrett said. “But we feel like he was a guy who was worth it in the fourth round to have some patience with, get him in the program, try to develop him, see where he is in Year 1 but hopefully be someone we can develop in Years 2 and 3 down the road.”
-- Carlos Mendez