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Cowboys Draft '10: Mock 1.0

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Here's some mock jerkey to chew over the weekend.

The Cowboys like the top of their roster, but they have some dead wood to clear off the bottom.  Look at the 3rd and 4th year players who have yet to push for starting spots.  The Cory Proctors.  The Pat McQuistans.  The Pat Watkins.  The Sam Hurds.  The Montrae Hollands and Duke Prestons.  Dallas was looking for new blood at their positions last year but didn't see the board line up their way. 

This year, my first mock sees Dallas taking players at positions they missed last spring.

Round 1:  Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida, 6'5", 318 lbs.

Offensive tackle has become a sexy position of late and has therefore become a rising postion, meaning players there go a bit higher than they are rated.  This means the elite group of OTs (Okung, Davis, Bulaga & Campbell) will likely be gone before the board strikes 20.   If the Cowboys want an offensive lineman high, they may need to go against tendency and take one with the 27th pick.

Pouncey looks like a better center prospect than any of the big names in last year's center-rich draft.  He's the same weight as Andre Gurode and one inch taller.  Some serious mockers have him in the top 10 on their boards, though most put him in the 20-30 range.  If Pouncey can also play guard he's the type of interior line prospect who could challenge for a starting spot right away. C/G was a serious position of interest last year.  The Cowboys missed out on their prime target (see below).  Pouncey represents a chance to get it right this time.

Round 2: (trade up)  Morgan Burnett, FS, Georgia Tech, 6'1", 210 lbs.

Dallas has been burned staying put in the late 2nd in recent years.  The Cowboys saw WR Steve Smith snatched one pick in front of them in '08 and suffered the same fate last year when the Seahawks jumped one spot in front of them to snag C/G target Max Unger

The Cowboys were looking hard at free safeties last year. Western Michigan's Louis Delmas intrigued them, but he rocketed up draft boards after his Combine showing and was the first player taken in the 2nd.  Dallas is rumored to be targeting free safety again and this year's crop looks much deeper, with Earl Thomas, Taylor Mays, Burnett and Nate Allen topping the list.  Free safety, like offensive tackle, has become a sexy pick of late and if Dallas wants one of these guys, it may have to take one in the first.  Burnett looks like the safest pick of the four.  He's bigger than Thomas, and has better ball skills than Mays or Allen.  I do think all four of these guys will be gone by Dallas' 2nd projected selection, so a move up will be required to scratch the long-existing safety itch.

Round 3: Mike Tepper, OT, California, 6'6", 322 lbs.

A big, physical right tackle prospect.  Run blocks well and has the size the grit the Cowboys like.

Round 4: Cal Thomas, DT, North Carolina, 6'3", 330 lbs.

Dallas gets Jay Ratliff a backup with some upside.  Thomas has some rough edges to his game, but he also has the power, size and hand skills to supplant Junior Siavii right away.  Wade Phillips' nose tackles play on the shade and have to be active in pursuit.  Thomas will need to improve in this area, but if he's teachable, he could give Ratliff even more productive relief than Siavii did this year. 

Round 5: Traded to Denver for Montrae Holland

Round 6: Jacoby Ford, WR, Clemson, 5'9", 185 lbs.

A raw prospect who needs to improve his strength and work on his hands.  He has outstanding speed, however and is hard to catch once the football is in his hands.  A developmental type guy who could excel in the slot. 

Round 7: Hunter Lawrence, K, Texas, 6'0", 187 lbs.

The Cowboys have been going to this well a lot in recent years, but can you think of a 7th rounder who could make a bigger impact than a level-headed kicker?  Lawrence was 34 of 39 on field goals for his college career and made a big-pressure kick to win the Big 12 Championship Game last year.