We’re in the heading into the homestretch and the question remains; Who Will the Cowboys draft? Not only do all the fans want to know who we’re drafting, but they absolutely know that the brain trust must hit on their draft picks. To me, the first three picks should be immediate contributors. I got together with my message board moderators and surveyed them on who they think the Cowboys will take. So let’s take a look now.
1. Tyron Smith, OL: Simply put, compared to any realistic possibility at #9, Tyron Smith represents the highest likelihood that you’re going to get a Pro Bowl-level player. J.J. Watt is another intriguing option, but I would be wary of taking a 3-4 DE this high.
2. Rahim Moore, S: I think this represents probably the most pressing need on the team. Would have taken a safety in the first if a safety worth of a top 10 pick were available.
3. DE: This is where I think we’ll take a DE. I think they cling to the recent success they’ve had drafting d-linemen later in the draft and take one here.
1st Round – Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn: You want the most talent possible when you pick, and Fairley looks like he’s going to fall to us. I don’t worry about these character issues because with Fairley I saw a guy who always showed up when it mattered. He made as many clutch plays on defense as Newton did on offense for Auburn.
2nd Round – Danny Watkins, G, Baylor: Versatile and pro-ready, Watkins makes perfect sense for a team looking to get back to the postseason. He’s an ideal backup for us immediately and may be good enough to supplant a starter. His older age should not be a concern based on his background.
3rd Round – No idea about specific players, but I think they’d be looking at Offensive Tackle, Inside Linebacker, or Corner/Safety in that order.
1. OT Tyron Smith, USC
It just makes to much sense. Over half of our Offensive line who are starters are over 30. As much as I have liked Colombo since we brought him in it is time to replace him. His injuries are getting in the way. I like Smith a lot here because he played RT in college and played it well.
If not Smith then I would be happy seeing us also think C/OG Mike Pouncey. I just really think we go Smith here though. The guy is huge and has 11 inch hands and gets them up and spread out really well. It was also reported he nailed 29 reps on the Bench. Awesome.
2.S, Rahim Moore, UCLA
This is our biggest need and has been for many years now. There will be no one worth using the number 9 pick to address this in the first round. For value and top play looking to get out on the field early in 2011 Rahim is a very solid and smart pick for the Cowboys. He has great read & React Instincts. He was born for Zone Coverage as well because of his great backpedaling. He would be very good for us run support wise because he quickly reads the run and shows the burst and aggression to beat blockers to the punch.I just really like this kid and think he would be a fantastic pick up for us in the 2nd round.
3.G, Justin Boren, Ohio St
It is reported the Guy is strong as heck and would be a heck of an asset for us in the Running game. He is known to be a scrapper with a nasty football attitude during the play. We all know the Cowboys can use some fire on the line to get the guys playing their best. You will often find Boren pushing defenders several yards down the field. This nonstop attitude inspires the rest of the offensive line and helps runners gain extra yardage.
1. Tyron Smith, OT USC - Fits the need and he is the #1 player at his position, this should happen. If not, expect a trade down and we would get Carimi later in the 1st. Gotta go with OT in the first due to the low number of projected starters available, as there won’t be any starting material OTs left when pick #40 comes around.
2. Christian Ballard, DE Iowa – Another need and there is a surplus of DE’s that can play 5-gap in the 3-4, so another no brainer. He should fall to us at #40. This is why we can delay til the 2nd to pick a DE instead of JJ Watt in the first, because unlike OT there will still be starting DE’s available at #40. It is a relatively low-impact position as well, so waiting until the 2nd seems a little more fiscally responsible. Ballard would fill in great at DE and could start day 1. He had a great senior bowl and has had rising stock since the college year ended and is going to be considered a steal at this point.
3. Stefen Wisniewski, G Penn State – I also like Watkins, but Watkins is going to be turning 27 his rookie year. While he may not have the normal wear and tear of a 27 yr old NFL player, he is going to be less durable than a typical 23 yr old prospect. I am also not sure having a ready to go player is worth it at guard as we already have 2 starters there that will probably be okay this year. So that gives us time to work with a guy that has more potential, but is just more raw. Wisniewski played center in college, but he is expected to make the transition seamlessly to G in the pros. I don’t know if he will even be available here, but if he is we get another starter on the line at Guard. It may not be immediately, but as soon as Davis or Kosier show they are done or injured, Wisniewski will be able to step in.
Lastly, my 1st three picks are:
1. Mike Pouncey, C, Florida - I have a feeling that Jerry is going to move down two times in the first round. I would be shocked if we stay at #9 and draft Tryon Smith. Now, if we took Smith I am absolutely fine with that pick and would be very confident in the selection. To me Jerry trades like crazy and acquires picks for the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Pouncey moves to center, Gurode bounces to Gurode and replaces Davis or Kosier.
2. Danny Watkins, G, Baylor – Watkins has versatility, power, and size to play any position on the line. Watkins gets picked here and becomes the next RT
3. Kenrick Ellis, DT, Hampton - if Ellis is selected we could see Ratliff return to his roots at defensive end, and his menacing ways would continue maybe even excel more. To me, the Defensive Line gets addressed within the first three picks, Im pegging that pick more likely to land with the 3rd selection.
I really like everyone’s thinking for the 1st three picks of the draft. I can’t say anything bad about those picks, I think all the combinations acknowledge and address our weaknesses, and that is the Offensive Line. Shout out to my moderators at CowboysBoard.com, stop by and join the conversation!