You can't always get what you want.
Will the Cowboys get what they need?
I've long posted that the team will not fill every need. That's just the nature of drafting. Dallas has six picks heading to April. List the 6th and 7th rounders as long shots. Sure, the Cowboys have been surprisingly good in these later rounds lately, but can you count on the players taken here to be quality?
Realistically, Dallas has four solid shots, and four hits often comprises a solid draft. Get four good players three or four years running and you've built the core of a good team. Which raises another issue. Dallas has more than four needs. Two offensive linemen, a young receiver to groom, a free safety, a backup nose tackle, perhaps another inside linebacker and another young CB would be nice. That's seven players.
Count on at least one and maybe two of your "priority" needs going unmet. The Cowboys can't predict who will be on the board when they pick. They can only be prepared to maximize value and improve odds that they get four good players. Period. No matter the position.
So, what will they do if the top receiver, offensive linemen and safeties are off the board? Perhaps something like this:
Round 1: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
Cornerbacks are to the current, pass-happy NFL what starting pitchers are to major league baseball. You can never have enough of them. This year's crop seems to lack an elite upper tier, but it nonetheless contains depth. I would not be shocked to see the Cowboys ponder an inside linebacker candidate, if a top one is available (more on this next weekend) but Wilson seems like a good value at 27. He would represent a hedge against a regression by Orlando Scandrick, or an injury by the increasingly fragile Terence Newman, who turns 32 the first week of the season.
Round 2: Carlton Mitchell, WR, South Florida
I'm getting the impression 2010 is shaping up to be a replay of 2008. I see lots of offensive tackles going high, with some of them overdrafted. Conversely, I see the receivers dropping as they did in '08, when none went in round one but ten flew off the board in the 2nd round.
Once Dez Bryant goes, and I still see him going in the top 12-16 picks or so, regardless of the current whispers about him, a drop off occurs. If a similar run starts early in the 2nd, Dallas' pick at 59 could see the team finally land a quality wideout in this part of the draft, after missing on or passing on receivers here in recent years.
Mitchell is a rough piece of clay, but he's a big, fast, talented one, who could become the next receiver work of art to emerge from sculptor Ray Sherman's studio.
Round 3: Ed Wang, OT, Virginia Tech
Long OT prospect who needs to add bulk, but who can protect his quarterback.
Round 4: Kevin Matthews, C, Texas A&M
Because Cory Proctor isn't forever. Matthews has the pedigree: Hall of Fame C Bruce Matthews is his dad.
No safety, you say? No nose tackle? That's what free agency is for.
Monday: Position breakdowns resume with a look at cornerbacks.