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Brian Galliford and SB Nation have produced an early 2012 NFL mock draft, and this No. 1 overall player seems to be a much easier consensus than 2011's No. 1.
1. San Francisco 49ers: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford. Even with Colin Kaepernick on board, it's tough to imagine Jim Harbaugh turning down any opportunity to reunite with his Stanford protege.
The Cowboys are projected to pick at No. 20 (which seems about right) and to go to a familiar well.
20. Dallas Cowboys: Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas. Running back lacks clarity in Big D, and Davis looks like an ascending star from a school that Jerry Jones is very familiar with.
Dallas obviously hopes that DeMarco Murray gives them a head start on upgrading the position. Most don't see Murray as an impact player, but given their needs and the available players in the third round, they clearly think highly of him.
Brian Galliford of SB Nation has a fresh second round mock draft for us, and he projects a familiar name to the Cowboys at No. 40.
40. Dallas Cowboys: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas. Dallas needs help in the secondary. Williams is a big, physical kid with ball skills, and could conceivably play corner or safety.
I’m a fan of this idea because I think that Williams is going to be a quality corner in the league and will match up well with bigger receivers. Additionally, Jerry Jones wants his second rounder on the field quickly, and Williams is physical enough to contribute as a free safety type if Rob Ryan feels good enough about Mike Jenkins and the aging Terence Newman at the starting corner spots.
Andy Dalton and Da’Quan Bowers are the two biggest names to watch this evening, as Dalton was thought by many to be likely to go in the middle of round one on Thursday, and Bowers, injury problems aside, is a top five talent. They are projected at Nos. 35 and 37 respectively here.
Mel Kiper has released his second round mock draft. Kiper projects the Cowboys to select Miami corner Brandon Harris with their pick at No. 40 overall.
Brandon Harris, CB, Miami (FL)
Cowboys need help at corner. Harris is a borderline first-round talent.
The Cowboys were interested in trading into the end of the first round to add a defensive end, but may find the defensive backfield the most promising match in the second round. Kiper projects Texas corner Aaron Williams to go four spots before the Cowboys’ pick, leaving Harris as a pretty clear choice as the top corner available.
Jerry Jones could opt to buck another trend, choosing a real, live free safety early in the draft. The Cowboys have a need there after Alan Ball struggled with his position switch in 2010. The top safety in the draft, Rahim Moore, can play in the free safety role. Kiper projects him to go at No. 42, two spots after Dallas’ pick.
Todd McShay and Scouts Inc have completed their draft day mock draft, and this one projects J.J. Watt to the Cowboys at No. 9.
Record: 6-10 | Needs: DE, OT, S, ILB, CB
J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
Watt’s size, strength, athletic ability and motor make him a good fit as a 5-technique in the Cowboys’ 3-4 defensive scheme.
So one consensus between Mel Kiper and McShay is that the Cowboys will take a defensive end. I both drafts, both Cameron Jordan and J.J. Watt are available at No. 9, so there is a difference of opinion on Dallas’ preference.
McShay’s mock draft is radically, almost shockingly different from the norm today. Most notably, Patrick Peterson falls right past the Cowboys to Houston at No. 11. There have been numerous rumors that Peterson is the top rated player on the Cowboys’ board, and with issues in the secondary it’s hard to imagine them simply passing on him. Among other surrpises, Aldon Smith is slotted at No. 5 to Arizona, and Cleveland takes the leap on Julio Jones at No. 6.
Analysis: In my first mock draft I had Tyron Smith going to the Cowboys at this spot, but two weeks later, I don’t believe that will be the case. Smith has some outstanding traits, as does Catronzo, but I feel they are looking for a tough, smart, steady, consistent performer. The Cowboys have studied the whole body of work here and that’s why I feel they will select Castonzo. With Julio Jones on the board, the possibility of trading down looms, as well.
Broaddus has no doubt talked this through with his connections at Valley Ranch, but the thought process makes sense. Jerry Jones will not concede that the Cowboys will use 2011 as a rebuilding year. He has a franchise QB and a handful of stars in their prime. If he drafts an offensive lineman in the first round, that guy has to be a starter. The comfort level with installing Castonzo at right tackle has to be higher than doing so with an early entry guy like Smith.
This draft seems to hit its first fork at No. 5 and Arizona.They may trade out or go with the one remaining elite talent on the board. Or they may just draft Blaine Gabbert, as Broaddus projects. Their decision will send the draft in a distinctly different direction. With Gabbert going fifth, Patrick Peterson falls tantalizingly close to the Cowboys at No. 7.
Broaddus has all of Smith, Prince Amukamara, Julio Jones, J.J. Watt and Cameron Jordan available for Dallas. He has Jordan falling all the way to No. 24.
SB Nation’s final mock draft is out, and they once again project Tyron Smith to the Cowboys at No. 9.
9. Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, OT, USC. Dallas is a wild card in the first round, to be certain. Smith is raw, but has tremendous upside, and could start at right tackle immediately in Big D.
Cameron Jordan goes immediately after him at No. 10, while the other Cowboys options – J.J. Watt and Anthony Castonzo – stay on the board until the late teens. Prince Amukamara is once again off the board at No. 7.
As has been the case all spring, the draft is extremely lineman heavy. Twenty of the 32 first rounders are listed as offensive or defensive linemen.
Among locals, Phil Taylor is projected to go No. 21 to Kansas City, while his Baylor teammate Danny Watkins come in at No. 31. Andy Dalton stays in the first round at No. 25. Longhorn Aaron Williams does not make this first round.
Mel Kiper has published his fifth and final mock draft of the season, and he chooses a defensive lineman not named J.J. Watt for the Cowboys.
Cameron Jordan, DE, Cal
A shift from the previous mock, where I had the Cowboys targeting a corner. This is a team that needs to find solutions on front seven and Jordan offers a lot of versatility. Think about lining up a dynamic pass-rusher who can take on double-teams as a 3-4 defensive end and forcing the offense to make a decision on doubling him or DeMarcus Ware.
His rationale makes good sense. It’s a position of need, and the Cowboys have lacked any pass rush whatsoever from their end spots, outside of a few occasions where Stephen Bowen has provided it. The question, I suppose, is just how dynamic of a rusher Jordan would be in the Dallas scheme.
Kiper projects Cam Newton to go first, saying that the Panthers will buy into his upside. The other elite talents go in order from two through five – Von Miller, Marcell Dareus, A.J. Green, Patrick Peterson. Julio Jones and Blaine Gabbert both go in front of the Cowboys, removing the possibility of entertaining high leverage trade possibilities.
He leaves Robert Quinn, Prince Amukamara, Tyron Smith, Anthony Castonza and Watt all on the board to opt for Jordan at No. 9. Amukamara lasts all the way to No. 20.
We're now just about 30 hours away from the 2011 NFL Draft - and of course, there's drama. Most of the NFL news the past few days has come from Judge Susan Nelson ordering an injunction to end the lockout, while the owners look for a stay. Most people in America aren't going to know what it means - but it means, essentially, that the end of the lockout is near and that there will almost certainly be a full 16 game season this year.
So with that, let's all enjoy the 2011 NFL Draft - which will be held over three days again, with the first round being held on Thursday night, rounds two and three on Friday (take that, Royal Wedding) and the rest of the draft on Saturday.
Yesterday, there was news that Andy Dalton could actually sneak into the first round. Given half the quarterbacks in the league, it's not terribly surprising. However, it was surprising to see Jason La Confora report that the Titans might be willing to take Dalton with the eighth overall pick. This would be excellent news for the Cowboys - assuming the ninth overall pick is still in their possession at that point - since it would let another elite level talent slip to them.
As for that ninth pick that the Cowboys have, Rick Gosselin still projects Dallas to select J.J. Watt. Gosselin projected Dallas to select Dez Bryant last year, and it happened even though it took a trade with New England to ultimately happen.
There are rumors surrounding the Patriots as well - that they'd be interested in trading up if the right player were there. Given Jerry Jones' habit of trading down in the draft, it's possible that Dallas and New England could swing another draft day deal. It's usually against New England's draft M.O. to trade up, but ESPN's Adam Schefter identified New England and Philadelphia as two teams that could trade up.
SB Nation predicts the opposite, though, and projects Dallas to trade up for Arizona's fifth overall pick and select LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson.
Rick Gosselin has released his second of three pre-draft mock drafts, and this one projects J.J. Watts to the Cowboys. You’ll have to be a DMN subscriber to see the details, but Defending Big D has a good breakdown.
Gosselin always offers up three mock drafts prior to the draft. The first mock is based on his draft board of the top 32 players, yesterday’s second mock focuses more on team needs and the third and final mock which will be released on Thursday is how he sees the draft playing out.
The Huddle Report lists Rick Gosselin as the most accurate NFL mock drafter of the last five years, so we listen up when Gosselin speaks. Last year, he famously predicted the Dez Bryant pick.
Watt and Boston College OL Anthony Castonzo are getting the most play in connection to the Dallas pick at No. 9 as the week moves along. Both are typically ranked lower than the top ten, so value, worst case alternatives, and a possible trade down are likely major points of conversation at Valley Ranch right now.
Brian Galliford and Dan Kadar have completed their last Monday SB Nation NFL mock draft of the season, and this one is a doozy for Cowboys fans. They have included what they see as likely trades, and the first one of the draft involves the Cowboys and a big name.
ARI gets: No. 9 overall, No. 40 overall (second round)
DAL gets: No. 5 overall, 2012 third-round pick
5. Dallas Cowboys (f/ARI): Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU. Peterson is a guy that Jerry Jones would go up (relatively cheaply) to get. He's a perfect fit for Dallas. Arizona, meanwhile, can slide down, pick up another pick this year, and continue their re-build with more bodies at better value - even if they lose a third next season.
While the loss of their high second round pick and the resulting inability to fill an offensive line hole with a potential impact player smart, most Cowboys fans would be pretty juiced by the prospect of adding the guy who many think is the top talent in this draft at a key position of need. The pickup of the future third makes the points even out.
There are several other Cowboys related points to take away from this mock draft.
7. Dallas isn’t solid about what to do at nine. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cowboys stretch for versatile Boston College tackle Anthony Castonzo (wisely) or Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt.
This fits the recent narrative emanating from Valley Ranch, suggesting that the Cowboys are as high on those two as Tyron Smith and maybe even Prince Amukamara (though their feeling could also be that Amukamara won’t make it to nine).
The resulting question is then whether it makes more sense to sit tight and simply grab the guy you like best or to play the value game and move down. King’s next thought plays into that question:
8. And if Castonzo’s on the board when the Vikes pick at No. 12, he’ll be in play there, along with defensive end Aldon Smith, with Locker on the outside.
If both of these are true, or even if the Cowboys think this is true, it may be enough to keep them from moving down too far, at least if they settle on offensive line.
Yea, you can always bank on Jerry Jones looking to trade out. That's his history; he doesn't want to draft; he doesn't want that pick; he'd rather have quantity than quality. You can bank on the Cowboys at least looking around to trade down. That's their history; that's the history with Jerry Jones as the general manager. Again, we've talked about this: I think they're crazy if they trade down out of No. 9. I think they lose out on a blue-chip player if they do that. But, that's their history.
The Cowboys reportedly like Anthony Castonzo and Nate Solder enough that they are not afraid to see Tyron Smith get away. They are also thought to like J.J. Watt and other defensive linemen who can fit in the end spot in their 3-4 scheme. A group of linemen should last into the teens, and the Cowboys could trade as far down as 16 or 17 and still see one they like. Dallas may lose Marcus Spears, Stephen Bowen and Jason Hatcher - three of the top four ends on their depth chart - to free agency.
You wouldn’t exactly be surprised if I told you that ESPN’s Todd McShay has Tyron Smith pegged as the Dallas Cowboys’ most likely scenario in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. McShay is just one of many pundits who believes that the Cowboys will be interested in obtaining a blue-chip offensive tackle in this year’s draft. Let’s take a look though at some other scenarios that McShay mentioned as possible scenarios for the Cowboys in round one ($)next Thursday night.
Scenario 2: This is another spot where a trade with St. Louis is possible, and moving back to No. 14 would allow the Cowboys to still get one of the top three offensive tackles on the board (Smith, Boston College’s Anthony Castonzo, Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi).
Scenario 3: Dallas could fill a need on defense with Amukamara or Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt.
My sense is that the Cowboys might be wise to explore scenario No. 3. I really think J.J. Watt is going to be outstanding at the NFL level, and if I absolutely had to wager on either Watt or Smith being a disappointment in the NFL, I’d place my money on Smith. There’s some intriguing upside with Smith. He certainly has the prototypical frame to be great at left tackle, and at just 20 years of age, he’s got plenty of development left in him before peaking physically. But I think there are other Tackles in the draft — James Carpenter and Marcus Gilbert for example — that would be good picks in rounds two or three.
We’ll see what happens just over a week from now when the 2011 NFL Draft finally gets underway after months of speculation, but while we wait, let the debate continue! For more Cowboys draft coverage, analysis, mock draft discussion, be sure to check out Blogging the Boys and SB Nation’s Mocking the Draft.
With no free agency this offseason, and no real encouraging news on the NFL Lokcout front, the focus this past few months has been all things NFL Draft. Unfortunately, the majority of mock drafts published by media and fans end after just one round. But as we all know, there’s far more than just 32 intriguing prospects that are drafted each year, and if you’re like me, you want to learn more about some of the guys who will be taken in round two or later.
With ten days until round two of the NFL Draft, there’s still time to learn about the crop of prospects that you haven’t seen highlighted in the endless barrage of first round mocks. For starters, let’s take a look at the most recent two round mock posted by SB Nation to see who they pegged as a potential second round pick for the Dallas Cowboys.
40. Dallas Cowboys: Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA. He’s the best in a very weak safety class, but Moore has the range and ball skills that the Cowboys need.
Now, you might have seen Moore’s name this draft season as he’s widely considered to be the best talent in this year’s weak crop of safetys. Moore’s best traits are his ability to break on the ball, his soft hands, his closing speed on deep routes, and his durability. He didn’t miss a single game in his three years at UCLA, and he finished his collegiate career in Westwood with an impressive 14 interceptions, ten of which came during his sophomore season.
My biggest concern about Moore is his physicality at the NFL level. He’s not a poor tackler or someone who’s afraid of contact, but he’s definitely also not a big hitter. Bringing guys down in the open field in the NFL will be tougher for him, and really, no mistakes are acceptable at the pro level in terms of whiffing on tackles. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Moore begin his career by playing some nickel corner before seeing how he fares as the last line of defense at safety.
Peter King is the latest to project USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith to the Cowboys with the ninth pick in the NFL draft. King projects Cam Newton first to Carolina, Blaine Gabbert fourth to Cincy, and Patrick Peterson seventh to Houston, leaving the LSU corner tantalizingly close to Dallas’ pick. His mock draft makes Robert Quinn, Prince Amukamara, Da’Quan Bowers and J.J. Watt available at the Cowboys’ spot.
King also offers his opinion on who each team should take. For the Cowboys, he suggests Boston College tackle Anthony Castonzo. He also suggests Castonzo at three for Buffalo.
Dallas can take the long-term replacement for right tackle Marc Colombo here, and the choice is between the raw but athletically gifted 20-year-old (Smith) or the proven commodity who is the most versatile lineman in the draft (Castonzo). Smith’s not a bad pick, but with a roaming QB in Tony Romo, who’s subjected to lots of hits and coming off a season-ending injury, give me the surer thing, please.
The notion that Castonzo and Smith are fairly interchangeable options fits with Matt Mosley’s suggestion Monday that the Cowboys grade those two and Nate Solder similarly.
Another theme in the draft is that King sees TCU QB Andy Dalton as a good candidate in the middle of the first round. He suggests Dalton as the pick that should be made at Nos. 8, 11 and 12, before he projects him to be taken by the Dolphins at 15.
Matt Mosley, formerly of the Dallas Morning News and ESPN.com and now writing for FoxSportsSouthwest.com, has been burning up the phone lines with his connections at Valley Ranch and said Monday while visiting with ESPN 103.3 that he is certain that the Cowboys will not select Tyron Smith with the ninth overall pick.
“After multiple conversations [Sunday] I am convinced that the Cowboys don’t think there’s that much difference between [Anthony] Castonzo, Nate Solder and Smith. They think those tackles are right there close together.”
Mosley said that he expects the Cowboys to trade down from their ninth slot and that they like J.J. Watt and also have interest in Cam Jordan and Prince Amukamara if they move down. He added that Amukamara is still a name in play for Dallas at nine. He also tweeted Monday that they will not pick Nick Fairley.
Mosley suggested that the Cowboys could trade as far down as 17 or 18 and that they would prefer to pick somewhere in the teens.
In SB Nation's latest and greatest 2011 NFL Mock Draft, the Dallas Cowboys are projected to take University of Southern California lineman Tyron Smith with the ninth overall pick.
Almost everything written about Smith leading up to the draft has included the word raw and/or project. Still, Smith is regarded as the top offensive lineman in the upcoming draft.
Previous mock drafts had the Cowboys selecting Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara. However, Amukamara's stock has risen and he is not expected to be there at No. 9 when the Dallas Cowboys are on the clock. SB Nation's latest mock has Amukamara being selected seventh overall by the San Francisco 49ers.
Recently, Todd McShay of ESPN projected that the Cowboys would select defensive end Da'Quan Bowers with the ninth overall pick. Bowers, according to SB Nation's latest mock, would still be there on the board for Dallas at nine if Jerry Jones and company wished to opt for the defensive lineman over the offensive lineman.
Todd McShay brought in two actual NFL Scouts to help him with his latest NFL Mock Draft over at ESPN (Insider only). They have an interesting selection for the Cowboys in Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers. The AFC Scout who made the pick explains his selection.
Everyone says the Cowboys need an offensive tackle, and that's true, but they could also have a major hole at the five-technique because of expiring contracts, and taking Da'Quan Bowers at No. 9 is something to think about. Bowers has been tagged as an ideal 4-3 end, but at 280 pounds why couldn't he play end in a 3-4 and be a guy who provides some pass-rush help both from the outside and inside?
This is the first time that I've seen anyone peg Bowers as that kind of player, but I do think it makes some sense. Bowers is considered a rush end, but he doesn't have the jaw-dropping athleticism that most of the players that are successful in that position posses. He is also a much better all-around player than people give him credit for. If the Cowboys think they can make it work with him as a 3-4 DE, than I think it could be a successful risk to take.
The NFL Draft is just a couple weeks away, and the Mock Drafts are starting to pour in faster than ever. There is one name that keeps popping up for the Cowboys, USC's tackle Tyron Smith. Mocking the Draft just came out with their latest edition of the 2011 NFL Mock Draft, and they keep up that trend. Here is their rationale.
Dallas has problems along their offensive line especially at tackle. Smith has the ability to step in right away and start at right tackle with the potential to develop into a left tackle. Smith's athletic ability combined with his balance make him the top tackle prospect in this class.
At this point, you can't throw a rock without hitting a Mock Draft that projects Tyron Smith to the Cowboys. It's one of those picks that happens in every draft when everyone kind of knows how it's going to play that. Having said that, Jerry Jones isn't really the kind of owner who enjoys just going along with conventional wisdom, so we'll have to see if it actually plays out like everyone is expecting it to.
As we approach the 2011 NFL Draft, our feelings about which players might go to which teams becomes a little bit more crystallized. But it turns out none of us know as much about the draft as Mike Pouncey, a guard from Florida, who projects to go some time in the middle of the first round. But if you ask him, he's going No. 9 to the Cowboys, and he's pretty sure about it.
Headed back to pittsburgh.... would be shocked if i wasnt in a dallas uniform nxt year! The draft is april 28th so we will see....less than a minute ago via Twitter for Android Favorite Retweet ReplyMike Pouncey
For those of you saying, "wow, that's a little bold, why would he tweet that? Pouncey had an answer for you.
I dnt see how my tweet was a mistake i visit with a lot of teams and dallas was a great time...
Well, you have to like his confidence. But I haven't seen a single mock draft project Pouncey to go anywhere in the top 10. So if he gets taken by the Cowboys in the first round, it will be a huge surprise. But I'll be the first one to give him his kudos.
Mel Kiper and Todd McShay both updated their Insider mock drafts Wednesday and continue to see USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith as the right fit for the Cowboys, who pick ninth. Kiper notes that Smith has moved up to No. 9 on his “big board” and calls it a need pick but one that could help soon.
Both mocksters project Patrick Peterson to fall to the seven slot despite his high ranking, a tough pill to swallow for some Cowboys fans who saw their team fall from six to nine in the draft order with a meaningless win against the Eagles on the last day of the season. Kiper and McShaw also agree on spots for both of the elite QBs in the draft, with Cam Newton projected as the top pick and Blaine Gabbert tabbed to go fifth to the Cardinals.
In fact, their top fives match entirely, as both have Alabama DT Marcell Dareus second, Texas A&M’s Von Miller third and Alabama WR A.J. Green fourth. The second corner in the draft, Prince Amukamara of Nebraska, is slotted at No. 13 on each draft.
These are three-round mock drafts, and both guys see Dallas loading up with defensive backs in the second and third rounds. Kiper projects Miami corner Brandon Harris, who has been in some first round projections, and North Carolina safety Da’Norris Searcy. McShay goes with Texas corner-safety Aaron Williams and WVa corner Brandon Hogan. Williams would be an interesting fit, since he looks to be able to play both corner and free safety, both positions where Dallas could get him on the field.
Another week, another NFL Mock Draft over at SB Nation.
While most people are interested in who the Carolina Panthers will select at No. 1 over all (Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert or a wild card?), Dallas Cowboy fans are interested in who Jason Garrett will take with his first selection as head coach. Just like last week, the SB Nation mock draft has the Cowboys selecting Southern California offensive lineman Tyron Smith with the ninth overall pick.
Smith has been linked to the Cowboys by other media outlets as well, with Don Banks of Sports Illustrated being one of the more recent NFL experts to hop on the Smith-to-Dallas bandwagon. Smith is an extremely raw prospect, but has the most talent of any offensive lineman on the board, which is why he is projected to be the first offensive lineman taken in the draft.
Don Banks of Sports Illustrated released version number four of his 2011 NFL Mock Draft on Wednesday, and just like the folks at SB Nation earlier in the week, Banks also believes the Dallas Cowboys will select Tyron Smith, the 20-year old behemoth tackle out of USC. The Cowboys might be wise to get back to focusing on building their team from the inside out, a philosophy strictly adhered to during the Bill Parcells era.
Here’s what Banks had to say about the pick:
The Smith-to-Dallas buzz has been building for a couple weeks now, and it makes some sense that the draft’s highest-rated offensive tackle would eventually get pushed up into the top 10. The Cowboys could use an upgrade over Marc Colombo at right tackle, and Smith is now widely viewed as the most talented, upside-laden offensive lineman in the draft. Dallas is making noise about having options to trade down, but time will tell if that’s a smoke screen or real leverage.
For the third straight week, the folks over at SB Nation are projecting a different player to be selected by the Dallas Cowboys with the ninth overall pick in next month's NFL Draft.
For quite awhile, it seemed like Prince Amukamara was going to fall to the Cowboys, but his stock has improved and it looks as though he'll be off the board by the time Dallas picks. Last week, SB Nation projected Dallas to take Robert Quinn of North Carolina. This week? Offensive lineman Tyron Smith of USC.
ESPN's Todd McShay also is projecting Smith to be taken by the Cowboys. Smith is considered a raw prospect, but has tremendous upside and figures to be the first offensive lineman taken in the 2011 NFL Draft.
In yet another 2011 NFL Mock Draft, the Dallas Cowboys are selecting somebody other than Prince Amukamara.
ESPN's Todd McShay, draft expert No. 2 over at the Worldwide Leader, has the Dallas Cowboys selecting USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith with the ninth overall pick in the upcoming draft. This, of course, is contrary to what SB Nation has been projecting, which had for awhile Amukamara being selected by Dallas before this week's latest having Robert Quinn of North Carolina being taken by Dallas.
Smith is listed at 6-5, 304 lbs. and is regarded as the best draft prospect at his position this year. Smith is projected by McShay - and SB Nation - to be the first offensive lineman taken on April 28. The knock on Smith is that he's a bit raw and a project, but that there is tremendous upside to be had.
You can watch McShay mock the top 10 selections of the NFL Draft at ESPN's NFL page, or you can read his latest mock draft, which is an insider piece here.
The newest NFL mock draft from SB Nation is in, and the Cowboys are once again projected to select DE/LB Robert Quinn. After a few weeks of seeing Nebraska corner Prince Amukamara fall to Dallas, we see him go at No. 7. This is notable not only because of Amukamara, but some mock drafts have Patrick Peterson sliding into the middle of the top ten (poor Wonderlic?). Rather than being a possible trade partner for the Cowboys, the 49ers appear to be competition for the best corner on the board.
As for Quinn:
9. Dallas Cowboys: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina. Dallas is a prime spot to entertain the idea of a trade, because their needs don’t match up with the talent likely available to them. A BPA route may be in order if they stand pat, and Quinn is arguably that here.
For those of us who bemoaned the Week 17 victory over the Eagles that dropped the Cowboys from six to nine in the draft, this is not welcome commentary. Instead of being almost certain of having one of the two elite corners available – and possibly both – and one of the top front seven talents, such as a Nick Fairley or Von Miller, Dallas is likely to be tempted to trade down. And I can guarantee that that would be received with audible groans from the fan base, particularly given all of the recent rumblings that Jerry Jones is looking to save money.
Among other picks of interest in the mock draft, Cam Newton is projected to be taken No. 1 overall by the Panthers, and Blaine Gabbert is projected at No. 4 to the Bengals. A.J. Green, whose stock has been slipping a bit as Julio Jones catches him on draft boards, falls past Dallas to the Redskins at No. 10. With Nate Solder’s weak showing at the combine (particularly on the bench press), Tyron Smith is now the top offensive tackle on the board. He’s projected at No. 13 here, well within distance of the Cowboys, with a month of movement still remaining.
The latest and greatest 2011 NFL Mock Draft is out at SB Nation, and once again, the Dallas Cowboys are projected to select Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara with the ninth overall pick in the April draft.
9. Dallas Cowboys: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska. A guy like Nick Fairley is such a perfect personality and talent fit for the Cowboys that it's hard to let him slide. Dallas' most urgent need is in the secondary, however, and Amukamara has Pro Bowl potential at corner.
Amukamara has been rumored to be drafted by Dallas for weeks now, despite the fact that Nick Fairley's stock seems to be slipping. Mel Kiper in his latest mock draft last week also had Amukamara headed to Dallas.
Of course, it isn't necessarily a lock that Amukamara ends up a member of the Cowboys. Last week, it was rumored that the Cincinnati Bengals were thinking about selecting Amukamara, which would throw a wrench into all these mock drafts.
If upsets are why they play the games, then, well, upsets (?) in the NFL Draft is why they have the NFL Draft.
We’ve been keeping tabs on what the latest iterations of the SB Nation NFL Mock Drafts look like. But let’s turn our attention to the most recognizable
name hair in the business — Mel Kiper Jr. ESPN’s senior draft analyst just filed his third mock draft of the season. In versions one and two, Kiper pegged Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara as the Cowboys’ first round draft pick. He had some changes in other parts of his latest mock, but not for Dallas. Here’s what he had to say:
9. Dallas Cowboys
Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
This is a pick I’ve stuck with through the first two mocks. Again, because the mock draft can’t account for draft board trades — the Cowboys could certainly deal down the board, particularly if they target the offensive line — Dallas could do a lot worse than to grab the best pure technician at the corner position. Amukamara should transition quickly, has shown the requisite speed for a top ten pick at the position, and has a really solid frame at 206 pounds. Any whispers that this guy could project better at safety are unfounded. He’s a potential Pro Bowl corner.
I don’t think any Cowboys fan in Big D or around the world would mind one bit if the former Cornhuskers standout’s name was called when the Cowboys pick at No. 9 in this April’s draft. For more NFL Draft coverage, stay tuned here, as well as at Blogging the Boys and Mocking the Draft.
The latest and greatest 2011 NFL Mock Draft is up over at SB Nation, and the Dallas Cowboys are projected to take Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara with the ninth overall pick.
9. Dallas Cowboys: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska. The Cowboys' needs don't match up with talent at the top of the draft that's likely to be available; the one exception is Amukamara, who is likely to grade out highly on secondary-starved Dallas' big board. Cornerback is a big need for this team.
This is pretty consistent with previous mock drafts over at SB Nation which had Dallas selecting Amukamara with the ninth overall pick. Mel Kiper's mock draft a few weeks ago also had the Cowboys selecting the cornerback currently known as Prince, so there seems to be some prevailing sentiment that Dallas is going to take Amukamara with the ninth overall selection - at this point, at least. A lot can change still between now and April 28th, but as of today, Dallas is projected to bolster their secondary.
Interestingly, at the top of the latest mock draft, Cam Newton is slated to go first overall to Carolina. If for nothing else, it shows how volatile this draft could end up being with prospects' stock jumping up and down.
So far throughout the Mock Draft season, help in the defensive secondary has been the most popular thing given to the Cowboys with their first round pick. But in the latest edition of the 2011 NFL Mock Draft at SB Nation, they have gone in a little bit of a different direction, saying the Cowboys will draft Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley. Here is their rationale.
Amukamara would be a great fit here, and there's a chance that Dallas reaches on an offensive tackle. Fairley, however, is a good talent and star power fit for Jerry Jones and Rob Ryan, and wouldn't need to be an every-down defender immediately.
I think the first thing that comes to mind when you see the Cowboys taking Nick Fairley at ninth is, "Wow, Nick Fairley? That's incredible value, how is he still on the board?" And that would be an appropriate reaction. Depending on who you listen to, Fairley is any one of the top three prospects in the draft; and he had a pretty good combine, so I'm not sure why he fell so far in this latest mock. At nine, he would definitely be a good value pick, and would offer the opportunity for the Cowboys to trade down with a team that might need him more than they do.
Because honestly, I'm not sure Fairley is a great fit at DT for the Cowboys. He is more of the disruptive brand of DT that would be featured in a 4-3. And the Cowboys already have a pretty good DT in Jay Ratliff. Fairley could play at DE in the 3-4, I suppose, but that wouldn't really be playing to his strengths.
If Fairley is on the board, he would be great value. There is no doubt about that. But the Cowboys might be able to get even more value, and players who actually fit their system and fill needs, if they elect to trade down and let someone else take Fairley at nine.
There are two cornerbacks that could be selected in the top-ten of the upcoming NFL draft. Prince Amukamara and Patrick Peterson are both elite prospects, but on most mocking sites, Peterson is ranked higher than Amukamara. That isn't sitting so well with him. According to our very own mock draft site Mocking the Draft, Amukamara isn't shy about his feeling about his confidence in his abilities.
"I have respect for all the DBs, but there's not a guy I try to model my career after," Amukamara said. "I think anyone who considers themselves great should have their own category."
"I think some don't know what they're talking about or seen me on film," he said. "I guess I'll show them on Tuesday."
"I'm not someone who Googles themselves, but if I see it on ESPN I see it."
That's the kind of confidence you need to be able to go up and grab a pass away from an opposing wide receiver. Dallas is very much in need of help in the defensive secondary, and has been linked to Amukamara in plenty of mock drafts. One would think that they would have to think long and hard about both prospects if they were still on the board when they draft.
Galliford says Amukamara “[would] have a hard time not improving the Cowboys’ secondary” regardless of where he lines up; Amukamara can play cornerback or safety, and “would fill a huge need for Dallas at the back end of a still-talented defense.”
The real draft will happen from April 28-30 at Radio City Music Hall. The Carolina Panthers, with the first pick, are on the clock.
There are certain mock drafts out there that carry more weight with Internet readers and followers than others, even though there is no guarantee that they are any more correct than any others. Mel Kiper is one of those people. It may be his hair, and it may be the fact that he has by far the most exposure of anyone doing it, but people continue to listen to Mel Kiper; even though he is far from perfect.
But every time he comes out with a new mock draft, it is big news. So here is his latest mock (insiders only) in which he has the Cowboys taking Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara; a very popular pick for the Cowboys around the Internet. Here is his rationale:
But because the mock draft can't account for draft board trades, if the draft played out this way with the picks ahead of them, the Cowboys could do a lot worse than to grab the best pure technician at the corner position. Amukamara should transition quickly, and Terence Newman isn't getting any younger.
There is a general consensus among NFL mock draft organizers that the Dallas Cowboys will be looking to upgrade their defensive secondary in the upcoming NFL draft. The interesting thing about the mock draft industry as a whole, is that nobody can be really sure if that is the path the Cowboys will choose to follow when until they hand in their draft card. Defensive secondary appears to us to be a position of need, but there is no way to know if the Cowboys feel the same way.
The Dallas Cowboys have the ninth overall pick in the upcoming draft, and with it, a chance to greatly improve by next season. SB Nation has been running out first-round mock drafts for over a month now, but today, it offers its first two-round mock draft. Let's see who it has the Cowboys taking in this tumultuous offseason.
In the first round of its latest mock draft, SB Nation has the Cowboys taking Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara. Here is its rationale:
In desperate need of a talent upgrade in their defensive backfield, Amukamara might be an instant starter at cornerback in Big D.
The general consensus around mock drafters (we have a giant water cooler that we all hang out near, metaphorically speaking) is that the Cowboys need a lot of help in the defensive secondary. There happen to be two top flight cornerback prospects in this draft, and I think the Cowboys would be willing to take either one of them if they are available when they pick.
In the second round, it has the Cowboys continuing to get help in the secondary by adding UCLA safety Rahim Moore.
Dallas is hurting at safety, too, and this is a nice value spot for Moore, the highest-upside safety available this year.
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