Brian Galliford of our mothership, SB Nation, posted his first post-Senior Bowl Mock draft earlier today. Perhaps the most important development is that, based on their middling performances in the Senior Bowl, the quarterbacks who looked as if they threatened to invade the top ten now seem unlikely to be slotted that high. For example, The Sporting News' most recent pre-Senior Bowl mock had three QBs--Missouri's Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker of Washington, and Arkansas' Ryan Mallett--all going in the top ten picks. Now, its likely that TSN, and numerous other drafting sites, will follow Galliford's lead, with these and other quarterbacks (Cam Newton) moving down the charts a bit...at least until things are reorganized once again at the Combine.
This is likely to affect the Cowboys, who have the ninth pick in the draft. This is not because they were planning on drafting a quarterack in the first round; rather, Cowboys fans have been hoping that rising QBs might push one of the draft's five or six true blue-chip prospects down to Dallas' slot. Additionally, it has been thought that teams in the mid-teens who need quarterbacks (historically an over-valued commodity, particularly in the first round) might prove to be motivated trading partners with the Cowboys, especially given that they may need to jump the Redskins, at pick #10, who are also likely to have signal caller high on their list of draft day priorities.
With such a trade, Dallas could pick up additional picks (likely multiple picks), and still be in perfect range for one of the top offensive tackles, Colorado's Nate Solder, Boston College's Anthony Castonzo, or Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi. However, if most of the top quarterbacks are slotted in that 12-18 range, it will make finding that magical trading partner highly unlikely, if not downright impossible.
That said, this is not cause for alarm or time to despair. Galliford was kind to the Cowboys at #9:
Dallas Cowboys: Cameron Jordan, DE, California. With the top two corners off the board, Dallas can simply take the best defender available. There's little doubt that that's Jordan here, who drew rave reviews from the Senior Bowl after dominating a surprisingly good group of blockers in 1-on-1 drills during three straight practices last week.
Jordan spent the entire week abusing the aforementioned tackles, was a quick study (no surprise there; he went to the world's greatest public university...Go Bears!), used his massive hands well, and frequently found himself in the opposing backfield. If he's the booby prize in this raffle, I'll take ten more tickets.