It's never bad to have a little validation. While Carolina isn't exactly in the business of validation, and the draft grades are rarely kind, Dave Gettleman noted that a GM had texted him to congratulate him on seeing his son graduate, and said one (maybe the same one, maybe not) had texted and said the tradeup for CB Bene Benwikere was a good move.
But Cowboys VP Stephen Jones went a step further. While he didn't give Carolina any props, he went on record suggesting that, before a trade-up, they'd anticipated targeting DE Kony Ealy and G Trai Turner with their 2nd and 3rd picks, respectively. Both were ahead of Carolina's picks in those rounds, so they would've taken Carolina's two players there.
Now, it's rare for an executive to rave about two players his team didn't pick. And, by trading up for Demarcus Lawrence in the 30s, they're also saying that they had Lawrence high enough that they couldn't chance him falling (i.e., he was both ahead of Ealy and far enough ahead for the trade). But
The other thing is, Jones shoots himself in the foot by showing that he essentially gave up a starting level player to get a minor upgrade - or, in my view, a downgrade, since I liked Ealy more than Lawrence. So that solidifies the traditional strategy of not trading up. Is Kony Ealy a Trai Turner less than Demarcus Lawrence? Not in my estimation, and not if you take Turner out and judge them as equals.
But, interesting stuff. Wasn't expecting that one.