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Jimmy Johnson previews the NFL Draft

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Jimmy Johnson

Jimmy Johnson was the architect of the Dallas Cowboys' dynasty in the mid-1990s. His team celebrated two consecutive Super Bowl victories with Johnson at the helm. He joined "FOX NFL Sunday" in 2010. Follow him on Twitter.

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Renowned for his unique ability to assess draft talent and make key trades during the extensive NFL Draft process, FOX NFL Sunday analyst Jimmy Johnson breaks down the mentality teams need to have and evaluates some of the higher profile names in this year’s pool.

Johnson on a team’s general approach when looking at their picks and the talent available: “This was my favorite time of year, because this is when you build your football team. Every draft is a great draft if you take the right players. For years, teams approached the draft with the mentality of ‘we are going to draft the best player available.’ Over the last 10 years, teams have started to look at who’s the best player available that fits their need. Obviously, a team has to have a franchise quarterback, and after that you start filling in. If you can sign an outstanding offensive tackle, someone who has the feet and the reach, he can be a cornerstone for you for 10 years.

“It’s easier to find running backs and receivers in the second and third round. The shelf life of a running back is so short that not only is it a risk drafting one early, but you might not have him very long. They have the shortest career of any position on the board. It was only 2006 when LaDainian Tomlinson was the hottest thing in the league. The Emmitt Smiths of the world are a rarity.”

Sam Bradford: “He is a big, physical, good looking player that can move. He is the prototype quarterback. You have to be a little concerned about the shoulder injury and if it is going to happen again, but he has the intelligence that I like. You want him to lead your franchise. That’s why if the Rams look at him and think ‘he’s our guy and we believe in him,’ then you don’t even listen to another offer, you just get him signed. He’s a guy who will be able to fit into your offensive style right off the bat.”

Jimmy Clausen: “He is an accurate passer and has a good touch on the deep ball. I like him. I just don’t know that he has the physical ability of Sam Bradford, but if you need a quarterback he is probably one of the two guys who can come in and play for you now.”

Tim Tebow: “He’s still a work in progress. It is going to be difficult for him to jump in and perform without sitting, watching and practicing. He is a talent, but has to go to the right team that uses him the right way. Tebow’s development is going to be a two or three-year project. A team could use him in other areas before he becomes a starting quarterback, but you first have to consider your current quarterback. Is he going to be comfortable going to the sideline while you develop Tebow? There are a lot of teams where that is not going to happen. I would take a chance on him in the second round. His intangibles are off the charts, and if I am in the middle of the second round and he fits our style of play, I think he is worth the pick.”

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