From Monday through Wednesday next week, the Cowboys will bring in up to 30 draft-eligible national prospects for pre-draft visits. The Cowboys will follow up those visits on Thursday and Friday next week, with 'Dallas Day' visits for local prospects who went to college or high school in the Dallas/Fort-Worth.
In recent years, the national visits have been a pretty good indicator of which players and which positions the Cowboys were going to select in the ensuing draft. The number of invited players per position usually corresponds fairly well with which positions the Cowboys eventually drafted on draft weekend.
Also, the Cowboys' last six top picks - Tyron Smith - all visited Valley Ranch as part of the Cowboys' pre-draft visits. The last top pick the Cowboys did not invite for a visit prior to the draft was in 2005. This year could be the 7th consecutive year the Cowboys bring their top draft pick in for a pre-draft visit., , , , and
Unusually for the Cowboys - but perhaps characteristically for the Garrett-led Cowboys - we've only heard of a couple of names so far who are coming in for a visit, even though those visits are only two more days away.
Each NFL team is permitted to invite up to 30 national draft prospects for a pre-draft visit every year. Per league rules, these visits are not workouts, they are strictly meet and greets where the team can get a better feel for the players and the medical staff can conduct more thorough medical checkups. Additionally, teams can invite as many local prospects as they want for a workout during Dallas Days.
Here are the players we know of so far who are coming in for a visit, either as a national prospect or as a local prospect for 'Dallas Days'.
|Amini Silatolu||OG||Midwestern State||2|
|Lionel Smith||CB||Texas A&M||UDFA|
|Chase Baker||NT||Boise State||UDFA|
|Local Prospects invited for Dallas Days|
|Jeff Fuller||WR||Texas A&M||4-5|
|Nathan Dick||QB||Central Arkansas||UDFA|
Watch closely over the next few days as word trickles out about which players have received invitations to Valley Ranch - the chances are high that the Cowboys' top pick will be on the list. Next week, Rabblerouser will review the full list of known names once we have it and draw some conclusions from both the national prospect list and the Dallas Days list.
The table below summarizes all the players (that I could find) invited for national pre-draft visits to Valley Ranch over the last four years. The players who eventually ended up with the Cowboys are highlighted in yellow. Armed to the teeth with the benefit of hindsight, it's easy to see how this invitation list is a good indicator of whom the Cowboys will draft.
Pre-draft visitors to Valley Ranch, 2008-2011
|Pick||WR||Pick||OL||Pick||CB||Pick||S||Pick||DE||Pick||LB||Pick||RB||- -||- -|
|26||Jon Baldwin||9||OT Tyron Smith||19||45||11||40||71||- -||- -|
|111||Edmond Gates||15||OG Mike Pouncey||34||100||94||67||73|
|114||Cecil Shorts||17||OT Nate Solder||88||108||106||68||126|
|- -||22||OT Anthony Castonzo||89
|32||OT Derek Sherrod||139|
|76||OG Will Rackley||207|
|Pick||WR||Pick||OL||Pick||CB||Pick||S||Pick||DE||Pick||LB||Pick||FB||- -||- -|
|24||17||OG Mike Iupati||29||37||10||55||125||- -||- -|
|78||61||OT Vlad Ducasse||76||71||190|
|82||*||73||OG John Jerry||96|
|191||*||106||OT Bruce Campbell|
|194||OT Ramon Harewood|
|228||OG Reggie Stephens|
|36||58||OT Sebastian Vollmer||42||33||68||16||101||122|
|51||26||OT Duane Brown||16||10||22|
* denotes players who count as a local prospects