Many of the big guns in the mock draft world have released new or updated mocks over the last few days. And while there seems to be an impression that most mocks have the Cowboys picking Prince Amukamara with their first pick, that is not always the case in our collection of some of the finest mock drafts available.
If your pet cat is Da'Quan Bowers, Nick Fairley, J.J. Watt, Tyron Smith or Anthony Castonzo, then read on, you might find a mock pick to your liking.
The basis for this mock draft overview are the grades that BTB's rabblerousr gave each scout in his recent post "Scouting The Scouts". The advantage of looking at the mocks this way is that it gives us a better understanding of which mocks we should perhaps give a little more credence to, and which mocks we should perhaps enjoy more for their flowery prose.
||Nolan Nawrocki (PFW)||3/14/11
||J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
||Watt tested off the charts at the NFL Scouting Combine and received rave reviews for his maturity and focus in the interview process. He is not without his detractors in the scouting community, but his ability to man the five-technique post where the Cowboys are severely undermanned could allow him to fit into the top 10.|
||Wes Bunting (NFP)||3/2/11
||Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska||Speed rules at the cornerback position and the second that Amukamara ran in the sub-4.4 range he established himself as a potential top-ten pick.|
||Russ Lande (Sporting News)||3/15/11
||Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College||A big reason QB Tony Romo has been unable to carry Dallas deep into the playoffs is he often is running for his life. Castonzo could start at left tackle from Day 1.|
||Dan Shonka (Ourlads)||3/8/11
||Tyron Smith, OT, USC||Did not workout at the Combine due to recent knee surgery. Long arms-36 3/8 Hands-11" Played right tackle at USC. Has left tackle feet and will start out there with any team that drafts him.Jerry Jones hasn't selected a 1st round offensive lineman..it's about time he does before Romo is on the shelf for good.|
||Scott Wright (Draft Countdown)||2/15/11
||J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin||Watt isn’t an elite pass rusher but he is absolutely relentless with a non-stop motor and is versatile enough to play multiple positions in either a 4-3 or 3-4. Watt’s best fit at the next level may come as a five-technique in a "30" front and that is exactly what he'd play in "Big D"|
||Mel Kiper (ESPN)||3/9/11
||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.|
||Todd McShay (ESPN)||2/10/11
||J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin||The team's most pressing need is for a 5-technique (defensive end) in its 3-4 scheme. The Cowboys are also aging along the offensive line and need some depth/future starters at inside linebacker and safety. Dallas would have a tough call in this scenario, but Watt will continue to fly up boards because of his versatility and nonstop motor. Watt is capable of making an immediate impact on all three downs as a rookie. Finding a player like Watt to generate inside pressure would be a great complement to OLB DeMarcus Ware's edge rushing ability.|
||Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska||While Patrick Peterson is the best cornerback prospect to come along in a very long time, the consensus belief is that Prince Amukamara isn't too far behind him.|
||Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska||The Boys could use one more corner and should be thrilled to see the Fresh Prince of Nebraska on the board.|
||Great Blue North Draft Report||3/14/11
||Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson||- -|
|UDFA||Mocking The Draft||3/2/11||Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska||Anybody doubting Amukamara's speed was silenced after he ran an unofficial 40 time of 4.37 seconds. This speed combined with this good technique will immediately help the putrid Dallas secondary.|
|UDFA||Draft Ace||3/14/11||Tyron Smith, OT, USC||The Cowboys would love to land Prince Amukamara, and would probably consider trading up for him or Patrick Peterson if the opportunity presented itself. But with both top corners off the board, the Cowboys have to reach to fill another position of need. Tyron Smith played right tackle at USC, but has demonstrated this offseason that he has the athleticism and the size to easily shift over to the left side. This is definitely a risky pick, but the Cowboys don’t have many other options.|
|UDFA||Drafttek||3/15/11||Nick Fairley, DE, Auburn
||Will Nick Fairley fall this far? Probably not, but if he does Cuzzin Jerruh will favor the QB pressure factor over the QB protection factor. Dallas has 3 DE's with F/A status: Marcus Spears, Stephen Bowen and Jason Hatcher. Chances are they will not re-sign all 3 and with only run-stuffing Igor Olshanksy having playing experience left on the roster, the position will have to be addressed. Fairley is probably better suited to play DT in a 4-3 alignment, but Jay Ratliff (another Auburn alum) spent time with him during the off-season and can further tutor him on position changes.|
If you want to check up on a mock draft you particularly like (and not just from the table above) the check out The Huddle Report. The site grades mock drafters for last year and for the last five years. A fun read if you're into things like that. Oh, and if you ever wondered how good Rick Gosselin's mock drafts are, they rock.