Will Jason Garrett's relationship with Nick Saban lead Dre Kirkpatrick to Dallas?
Mock draft season is at its pre-Combine peak, and the draftniks across the country are scrambling to get their last mocks up before the Combine opens its doors later this week.
SBNation's Ryan Van Bibber got in on the action early yesterday and updated his 2012 NFL Mock Draft, just in time before the Combine shakes up these rankings with 40-yard times, bench press results and 3-cone drills.
For the Cowboys, not much has changed. Van Bibber has the Cowboys selecting Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick for the third time in four weeks:
The Cowboys who really need help in the secondary. This pick will depend on what they do in free agency, where Brent Grimes, Cortland Finnegan and Brandon Carr could also provide a fix. Kirkpatrick matches up well against bigger, physical receivers, which could come in handy against Dallas' division rivals in New York.
Cornerback ranks at the very top of the Cowboys' needs this offseason, and if the Cowboys wait until the draft to solidify the position, Dre Kirkpatrick looks like a pretty good bet. Other corners like North Alabama's Janoris Jenkins or South Carolina's Stephon Gilmore are currently rated a little lower than Kirkpatrick, but that may change after the Combine - in either direction.
With Stanford Routt agreeing to a $20 million, 3-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs, free agency now offers three big-name corners for the Cowboys in Cortland Finnegan, Brent Grimes and Brandon Carr. But each of those guys will want to see big money and it's questionable whether the Cowboys will want to go down that route.
For today, the SBNation mock has the Cowboys picking a corner, and while the prospects are bound to change in the next iterations of these mocks, a corner has been a fairly consistent theme in the SBNation mocks. Here's a list showing Van Bibber's weekly projections for the Cowboys since the start of the year:
Feb 20: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
Feb 13: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
Feb 7: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Jan 30: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
Jan 23: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Jan 17: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
Jan 9: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Jan 2: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska