The first three rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft are in the books - and hey, it only took two days. The Dallas Cowboys have made only three selections so far through the first three rounds, with one pick coming in each round.
First Round, Ninth overall: Tyron Smith, OL, USC
Second Round, No. 40 overall: Bruce Carter, LB, UNC
Third Round, No. 71 overall: DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma
Smith is widely believed to be the top offensive lineman in the draft, so the selection by Jason Garrett and Jerry Jones appears to be a good one. Despite being raw, it looks as though Smith will get a chance to start in his rookie season. Our own Brett Perryman wrote this yesterday on the pick:
Despite suggestions otherwise in the week leading into the draft, the Cowboys did rank their choice Tyron Smith No. 5 on their entire board, appreciably higher than Anthony Castonzo and Nate Solder (the Cowboys ranked Solder just ahead of Castonzo). Hudson Houck told reporters after the selection that Smith is "much better" than the other tackles in the draft and that he gave Smith one of the highest grades he’s ever given an offensive lineman in the draft.
Houck also said that Smith will start in 2011, but that the team will go to camp and decide whether Doug Free (who is either a restricted or unrestricted free agent, depending on the result of current litigation and negotiating between NFL owners and players) or Smith will play on the left side. Both players have experience on both sides.
The fourth through seventh rounds will be held on Saturday.