Missisippi State defensive lineman Fletcher Cox may be the Cowboys preferred target with the 14th overall pick.
The combine has come and gone. We are right in the middle of free agency, but the draft is inching closer. It has been nearly a month since my last big board update. Prospects are starting to settle into their rankings and teams draft boards will begin to take shape.
The Cowboys are off to a great start rebuilding their roster. The theme of the offseason appears to be plug in holes on the roster via free agency and use the draft to take the best available talent on the board. It's hard to buy everything Jerry Jones sells us, but so far he seems to be backing up what he is selling.
This is one of the best free agency periods the team has had in a long time. Most of the contracts were very reasonable and look like good financial moves. Free agency is far from over, but I wouldn't expect the Cowboys to do much more shopping on the open market. The draft is shaping up to be a very interesting one for the Cowboys. With the way the have handled free agency, they are putting themselves in a great position to draft with less pressure on them.
2012 Cowboys Draft Needs
As of right now, I would say there are a few areas the Cowboys will attack in the draft. Center looks like a need still. If they decide to roll with Phil Costa again; there will be trouble. I know they are hoping he will improve and be a better football player, but I just cannot see this offense succeeding with him at center.
Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings are solid signings, nothing spectacular. Just because we signed two offensive guards doesn't mean we are out of the David DeCastro hunt. If he falls there they will take him. Offensive coordinator Bill Callahan recently worked out with Peter Konz and Kevin Zeitler. The Cowboys look to be focused on continuing to upgrade the offensive line.
Laurent Robinson took the big money and will be leaving Dallas after being one of their best wide receivers in 2011. Kevin Ogletree was re-signed, but we cannot expect him to be the #3 wide receiver next year. The draft is loaded with wide receiver talent. I moved the position up on my draft need wishlist after losing Robinson. Replacing 11 touchdowns won't be a walk in the park.
Brandon Carr was their #1 target entering free agency. Cornerback is nowhere near the need now it was just a week ago. They should still look to add another cornerback after the first round, but if one falls to them at 14 they may pull the trigger. There will be some great values after the first round, so the team should continue to stock up on cornerback talent.
Defensive line looks the area of need to upgrade in the draft. There have been no reports of the Cowboys bringing in any free agent defensive lineman in for a visit. The draft will have to be means to upgrade a defensive line that needs to generate more of a pass rush.
Michael Brockers has immense upside, but is the boom or bust type that makes selecting him that high risky. Fletcher Cox doesn't do it for me on tape or in the workouts to take him at 14. He is a fantastic young man with the RKG mentality, but he doesn't wow me enough to take him in the top 15. If he was the pick, I wouldn't have a problem with it. He is a solid football player with great upside, but I might go in another direction.
The Top 50
|2||2||Robert Griffin III||QB||Baylor||n.c.|
|3||3||Justin Blackmon||WR||Oklahoma State||n.c.|
|8||8||Melvin Ingram||DE||South Carolina||n.c.|
|9||13||Luke Kuechly||LB||Boston College||4|
|10||14||Janoris Jenkins||CB||North Alabama||4|
|15||9||Quinton Coples||DE||North Carolina||-6|
|17||18||Michael Floyd||WR||Notre Dame||1|
|20||42||Fletcher Cox||DT||Mississippi State||22|
|22||20||Devon Still||DT||Penn State||-2|
|23||48||Ryan Tannehill||QB||Texas A&M||25|
|25||21||Mike Adams||OT||Ohio State||-4|
|27||- -||Bruce Irvin||OLB||West Virginia||- -|
|28||31||Stephon Gilmore||CB||South Carolina||3|
|34||46||David Wilson||RB||Virginia Tech||12|
|36||- -||LaMichael James||RB||Oregon||- -|
|41||41||Zach Brown||LB||North Carolina||n.c.|
|43||33||Kelechi Osemele||OG||Iowa State||-10|
|44||- -||Josh Robinson||CB||Central Florida||- -
|45||- -||Andre Branch||OLB||Clemson||- -|
|46||- -||Mychael Kendricks||LB||California||- -|
|47||47||Jerel Worthy||DT||Michigan State||n.c.||
|28||Alshon Jeffery||WR||South Carolina|
|49||Vontaze Burfict||LB||Arizona State|
Here's how the Top 50 board splits out by position groups
|Andrew Luck||Justin Blackmon||Coby Fleener||Trent Richardson||Matt Kalil||David DeCastro|
|Robert Griffin III||Michael Floyd||Orson Charles||David Wilson||Riley Reiff||Cordy Glenn|
|Ryan Tannehill||Kendall Wright||Dwayne Allen||LaMichael James
||Jonathan Martin||Brandon Washington|
|Mohammed Sanu||Lamar Miller||Mike Adams||Kelechi Osemele|
|Dontari Poe||Melvin Ingram||Luke Kuechly||Morris Claiborne||Mark Barron|
|Michael Brockers||Nick Perry||Don'ta Hightower||Janoris Jenkins|
|Fletcher Cox||Quinton Coples||Courtney Upshaw||Dre Kirkpatrick|
|Devon Still||Whitney Mercilus||Bruce Irvin||Stephon Gilmore|
|Alameda Ta'amu||Vinny Curry||Zach Brown||Josh Robinson
|Brandon Thompson||Andre Branch
|Kendall Reyes||Chandler Jones|
|Jerel Worthy||Jared Crick