Dallas Cowboys Draft Targets - Rounds 1-3

Dallas Cowboys 2012 Draft Predictions

I want to start this off with a little explanation about where I believe the Cowboys should come at this draft, and that is to go after the best talent available, but not overlook their needs. By this I mean that I’m not a hater of the Cowboys offensive line like some other fans. Do I believe that this line was great? By any means, no, but I do believe they were serviceable and got the job done. Remember that even with fractured ribs and a punctured lung, Tony Romo had one of his best years ever has a passer. Not to mention the running prowess that Demarco Murray displayed despite this “shaky” line. My belief is that the front five were alright last year, and yes there is room for improvement, but prior to even talking draft let’s look at the line as of right now.

With Tyron smith moving to left tackle and switching spots with Doug Free you allow Free back into a position he dominated in and you allow for Tyron Smith to take over in a spot where he can flourish as well as perform better then Free did in the previous year, which is already an upgrade. You have Phil Costa, Kevin Kowalski and David Arkin, all of whom have had injury issues in the last year and all of whom have great size for linemen and could possibly start as a guard or center when training camp commences. Then add in the fact that Dallas signed Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings as two possible starting guards as well. So to me, depending on how they all fit in there is room to pick a guard or center but it is not as urgent of a need as some people have it pegged to be, nor is it necessary to take a linemen with the first pick of the draft. So if you’ll understand where I am coming from when I say this, let us look at who some names the cowboys should look to grab in the first couple rounds of the upcoming draft.

With their first pick (No. 14 Overall) the Dallas Cowboys should select Dontari Poe, Dre Kirkpatrick, or Mark Barron

Dontari Poe DT (Memphis) 6’ 3 and ½ “ 346lbs

Combine Results:

40 Yard Dash: 4.98 seconds

Bench Press: 44 reps (225lbs) – Most for this years’ draft and 5 from record of 49

Vertical Leap: 29.0 inches

Broad Jump: 105 inches

Shuttle: 4.56

Three Cone: 7.90

I like Poe, he’s big and nasty, has some trouble shedding blocks in run defense from what I have seen, but in the middle of the defensive line he’s there to take up space and try to draw attention, if nothing else he allows you to put Ratliff out on the end position and gives you two threats on the line and this will only make DeMarcus Ware all the more scary.

Dre Kirkpatrick CB (Alabama) 6’ 1 and 5/8 “ 185lbs

Combine Results:

40 Yard Dash: 4.51 seconds

Vertical Leap: 35.0 inches

Broad Jump: 120 inches

Did not participate: 3-Cone Drill, 20-Yard Shuttle, or Bench Press

I think Kirkpatrick is better all-around player but his arrest has turned a lot of people off of him, not to mention he didn’t exactly sparkle during the combine. His speed and size, as well as natural to the ball instincts gives him a dangerous shut down corner possibility. This could be the next great shut down guy to enter the NFL.

Mark Barron S (Alabama) 6’1” 213lbs

Combine Results:

Did not participate: 40-Yard Dash, 3-Cone Drill, 20-Yard Shuttle, Bench Press, Vertical Jump, or Broad Jump.

The more than likely the pick by the Cowboys due to Barron’s safety prowess as one of the best to come out of college in years, and the need of the Cowboys to start anyone but Brodney Pool at strong safety. Add on the fact that the Cowboys just spent big money on Brandon Carr and I have to say they are not going to also waste a first round pick on a cornerback as well. Barron is a well-polished player, out of a great system, I look for him to be the Cowboys number one pick, and safety that may just bring Rob Ryan’s defense together.

With their second pick (No. 45 Overall) the Dallas Cowboys should select Lamar Miller, Alfonzo Dennard, Casey Hayward, or Peter Konz

Lamar Miller RB (Miami) 5’11” 212lbs

Combine Results:

40 Yard Dash: 4.40 seconds

Vertical Leap: 33.0 inches

Did not participate: 3-Cone Drill, 20-Yard Shuttle, Bench Press or Broad Jump

I know he's a running back but Miller is fast and speed kills. He can be a special teams returner and could help to keep Dez Bryant from having to risk his health for those duties. He would also be a great compliment to Murray and Jones. Miller is more of a pipe dream though, as good a fit he would be, I don’t know if Dallas will be willing to deal a second round pick on another running back. However by doing so the opening to then trade Felix Jones for even more picks might then open up.

Alfonzo Dennard CB (Nebraska) 5’10” 204lbs

Combine Results:

40 Yard Dash: 4.55 seconds

Vertical Leap: 37.0 inches

Did not participate: 3-Cone Drill, 20-Yard Shuttle, Bench Press or Broad Jump

Great work at shutting guys down in college, rarely was the ball thrown his way. He played very physical at the line and was able to make great plays down the field thanks largely to his natural leaping ability. In the NFL I don’t know that he could be as great because of his size, but would certainly be serviceable.

Casey Hayward CB (Vanderbilt) 5’11” 185lbs

Combine Results:

40 Yard Dash: 4.57 seconds

Bench Press: 19 reps (225lbs)

Vertical Leap: 34.0 inches

Broad Jump: 119 inches

Shuttle: 3.90

Three Cone: 6.76

Great all-around athlete, makes tremendous plays in the clutch. A real class act, and smart individual, he is probably one of the more underrated corners coming out of the draft. He was explosive and made plays on the ball, as well as shutting guys down. Great addition to any team, Dallas just has to see if any other corner is higher on their board at the time when they get pick.

Peter Konz C (Wisconsin) 6’5” 314lbs

Combine Results: Bench Press: 18 reps (225lbs)

Did not participate: 40-Yard Dash, 3-Cone Drill, 20-Yard Shuttle, Vertical Jump, or Broad Jump

No not a guard or a tackle, a center. If the Cowboys need to correct anything on their line, I would say it would be the abysmal snapping that last years’ center Phil Costa became accustomed to showing us. Constantly balls in the shot gun were flown over Tony Romo’s head, and just as well the ball was snapped early and took away drives in games the Cowboys could of won. Konz is big and has is one of the best offensive line prospects, in fact coming out a year early has hurt his stock and dropped him to an early-mid second round pick. There is a strong possibility if he is available the Cowboys will not hesitate and make him the 45th selection in this years’ draft.

With their third pick (No. 81 Overall) the Dallas Cowboys should select Jamell Fleming, Ben Jones, or Brandon Washington

Jamell Fleming CB (Oklahoma) 5’11” 206lbs

Combine Results:

40 Yard Dash: 4.53 seconds

Bench Press: 23 reps (225lbs)

Vertical Leap: 34.0 inches

Broad Jump: 125 inches

Shuttle: 3.97

Three Cone: 6.71

Jamell Flemming is a serviceable corner, if no other corner is taken then I assume they address it here. He doesn’t jump out at me as a shut-down kind of guy, but he’s athletic and can keep up with the best of them, as well as make some plays. I see him as more of a depth guy behind Orlando Scandrick

Ben Jones C (Georgia) 6’2” 303lbs

Combine Results:

40 Yard Dash: 5.44 seconds

Bench Press: 29 reps (225lbs)

Vertical Leap: 30.0 inches

Broad Jump: 105 inches

Shuttle: 4.74

Three Cone: 7.95

The Bulldogs have had a successful passing attack, and Aaron Murray has been kept on his feet a lot because of the play of this hard worker. Look for Jones to develop into a quality pass snapper and help intensify and jumpstart any team from the middle spot of the offensive line. He is a great intensity guy, and a real competitor.

Brandon Washington OG (Miami) 6’3” 320lbs

Combine Results:

40 Yard Dash: 5.25 seconds

Bench Press: 28 reps (225lbs)

Vertical Leap: 25.0 inches

Broad Jump: 101 inches

Shuttle: 4.87

Three Cone: 8.22

Lamar Miller has had some help, and Brandon has been providing it. Miller is electric, and that is partly because Washington is able to get such leverage and provide huge holes for Miller to run through. There is tons of video of Washington moving defenders at will in order to spring his running back. His pass defense footwork needs a little work, but the guy seems to be a natural bull in the rush, I trust the Cowboys to take Brandon if they have already addressed corner and Jones is off the table.

In conclusion, I would guess that the Cowboys first three picks be Barron, Konz, and Fleming, locking up a starting strong safety, Center, and add some depth in at corner. I would love to see Lamar miller with a star on his head supplementing Murray and Jones, giving the Cowboys a scary looking run game, but Konz is a great athlete and prospect, and the Cowboys would be better off with someone who can snap the ball.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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