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Mocking the Cowboys 2011 Draft: Flavor Of The Week

Btb_draft_medium_mediumAs a predictor of which players are going to which teams, mock drafts aren't particularly accurate. Somebody here recently said your best bet would be to wait until Goose Gosselin releases his mock two days before the actual draft - but where's the fun in that?

For those so inclined, mock drafts can still be a lot of fun and the ones that come from analysts who know their stuff can still give us a general sense for where a player fits on the draft boards. But as an indicator of exactly which player goes to which team, they're not very accurate. All it takes is for one team to mix it up - that includes trading up/down - and the rest of the mock is thrown off.

To paraphrase Dan Patrick from, there also some other reasons why these mocks may be inherently inaccurate:

  • Half are put together by draftniks who watched two Notre Dame games at a sports bar and the second half of the B.C.S. National Championship Game and who wouldn't recognize Nick Fairley if they were stuck in an elevator with him.
  • Among the chief sources of information for these mock drafts: NFL general managers, who are lying, and agents, who are lying even more.
  • An even bigger source of information: other people's mock drafts. Which is a good a reason as any why Dallas keeps ending up with Prince Amukamara.
  • Regardless, mock drafts are fun because they focus attention on players or positions that we can sit around and endlessly talk about. Because that's what we do, especially in the offseason. After the break, we'll see who the flavor of the week is for the Cowboys this week. (Long Ball), 2/15/2011: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

    "Do I think this will be the selection? No -- but every other simulation I ran attempting to draft a quality OT in any round came up empty. I believe the Cowboys will be active at the trade table during the draft . . . but let's talk about the selection. Castonzo displayed adaptability at the Senior Bowl, as the North coaches played him at RT, OG as well as his natural position of LOT. The Cowboys scouting department made many a trip to BC games this year. Castonzo may start on the right side, but we already know Free can play ROT -- in 2 years (assuming Woicik works on his lower body), he will be the best LOT out of this draft." (Chad Reuter), 2/13/2011: Tyron Smith, OT, Southern California

    "Smith could play right tackle, as he did at USC, or on the left side. His athleticism will push him up boards whether he works out at the Combine or waits until his pro day." (Evan Silva), 2/16/2011: Marcell Dareus, DE, Alabama.

    "Marcus Spears, Stephen Bowen, and Jason Hatcher’s contracts are all up, meaning Dallas could lose three of its top four defensive ends. A 6-foot-3, 306-pound bowling ball with rare quickness for a behemoth, Dareus would immediately move into the starting lineup opposite Igor Olshansky."

    ESPN (Todd McShay), 2/10/2011: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

    "The team's most pressing need is for a 5-technique (defensive end) in its 3-4 scheme. The Cowboys are also aging along the offensive line and need some depth/future starters at inside linebacker and safety. Dallas would have a tough call in this scenario, but Watt will continue to fly up boards because of his versatility and nonstop motor. Watt is capable of making an immediate impact on all three downs as a rookie. Finding a player like Watt to generate inside pressure would be a great complement to OLB DeMarcus Ware's edge rushing ability."

    Draft Countdown (Scott Wright), 2/15/2011: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

    "On paper the Cowboys have far fewer glaring holes than most of the teams picking this early. With that said, Dallas could go in a few different directions at this point. Based on pure need, defensive end would probably get the nod since Marcus Spears, Jason Hatcher and Stephen Bowen are all due to become free agents. Wisconsin’s J.J. Watt actually began his college career as a tight end at Central Michigan but after joining the Badgers he developed into a super productive, 6-6, 292 pound defensive lineman. Watt isn’t an elite pass rusher but he is absolutely relentless with a non-stop motor and is versatile enough to play multiple positions in either a 4-3 or 3-4. Watt’s best fit at the next level may come as a five-technique in a “30” front and that is exactly what he’d play in “Big D”. If Alabama’s Marcell Dareus were to somehow fall this far he would also be an ideal fit, as would Cal’s Cameron Jordan. The Cowboys had major issues in the secondary last year so they’d be crazy to not strongly consider Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara. Dallas could also use an infusion of youth along the offensive line and if a tackle such as Tyron Smith of USC emerges as a legitimate Top 10 possibility they would probably be in the conversation as well". (Rob Rang), 2/13/2011: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

    "The offensive line might be a greater area of concern for the Cowboys, but with no offensive tackle in this class worthy of a top-10 selection, Dallas would be forced to look elsewhere. Mike Jenkins has great talent, but suffered through a sophomore slump in 2010 after flashing as a rookie. Veteran Terence Newman remains an adequate starter, but in a division blessed with the skilled receivers the NFC East boasts, the Cowboys would be wise to upgrade with Amukamara, who entered the year as the top-rated senior prospect in the country and did little to change that status with an All-American season."

    SB Nation (Brian Galliford), 2/14/2011: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

    "In desperate need of a talent upgrade in their defensive backfield, Amukamara might be an instant starter at cornerback in Big D."

    Sporting News (Russ Lande), 2/15/2011: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

    "Prince is a top flight athlete at the cornerback position. His great frame allows him to match up against any receiver in the country. When tackling ball carriers he shows a physicality that most corners lack and wraps up well to be a sure tackler. If he can continue to improve as a senior he could work his way to being the top corner in the 2011 draft."

    ESPN (Mel Kiper), 2/16/2011: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

    "As with Peterson to San Fran, Cowboys fans might believe the team would be better suited addressing offensive tackle or even safety. But because the mock draft can't account for draft board trades, if the draft played out this way with the picks ahead of them, the Cowboys could do a lot worse than to grab the best pure technician at the corner position. Amukamara should transition quickly, and Terence Newman isn't getting any younger."

    Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft overview (min. three rounds deep)

    last updated
    1st Round 2nd Round 3rd Round 4th Round
    5th Round 6th Round 7th Round
    Drafttek 2/15/2011 Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
    Christian Ballard, DE, Iowa
    Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia
    John Moffitt, OG, Wisconsin
    Brandon Fusco, OC, Slippery Rock
    Kenny Rowe, OLB34, Oregon
    Henry Hynoski, FB, Pittsburgh
    Sideline Scouting 2/13/2011 Cameron Jordan, DE/DT, Cal
    Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
    Curtis Brown, CB, Texas
    James Carpenter, OT, Alabama
    James Brewer, OG, Indiana
    Kai Forbath, K, UCLA
    David Carter, DT, UCLA
    Draftsite 2/9/2011 Tyron Smith, OT, USC
    Quinton Carter, S, Oklahoma
    Curtis Brown, CB, Texas
    Colin McCarthy, OLB, Miami
    Ian Williams, DT, Notre Dame
    Mason Foster, ILB, Washington
    Ryan Whalen, WR, Stanford
    2/7/2011 Cameron Jordan, DE/DT, Cal
    DeMarcus Love, OT, Arkansas
    Justin Boren, G, Ohio St
    Jeron Johnson, SS, Boise St
    Kelvin Sheppard, ILB, LSU
    Ian Williams, DT, ND
    Jason Teague, CB/FS, TCU
    Walter Football 2/16/2011 Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
    Quinton Carter, S, Oklahoma
    Jerrell Powe, NT, Ole Miss
    Chris Hairston, OT, Clemson
    Delone Carter, RB, Syracuse

    NE Patriots Draft 2/14/2011 Cameron Heyward, DE/DT, Ohio St
    Corey Liuget, DL, Illinois
    Curtis Brown, CB, Texas

    NFL Draft Blitz 2/12/2011 Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
    Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
    DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma

    Draft Season 2/14/2011 Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
    Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
    DeAndre McDaniel, S, Clemson

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