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Mock Drafts From Around SB Nation: With The 9th Pick, The Cowboys Select...

Many other SB Nation NFL blogs are running their own community mock drafts, just like we are in the middle of our own first round mock draft here at BTB. So on this slow Sunday morning, we'll take a relaxed, leisurely stroll through our friendly SB Nation neighborhood and see what the other sites are doing with their mock drafts. Specifically, we'll look at who they have the Dallas Cowboys taking with the #9 pick.

There's no consensus on who might be the Cowboys' pick at #9; eight blogs have the Cowboys drafting six different prospects. Find out who these prospects are, and why other bloggers think they'd be a fit in Dallas, after the break.

From SB Nation's Colts blog, Stampede Blue (3/3/2011): Nate Solder - OT, Colorado

"There were a lot of ways the Cowboys can go with their first pick. They have big needs on both offensive and defensive lines, as well as cornerback and safety. With Dareus, Peterson, and Amukamara gone, it came down to Cam Jordan or Nate Solder. I went with Solder because of Tony Romo getting injured. I think that protecting the QB that he just signed to a big contract will drive Jerry Jones to go with the big OT from Colorado. In a division with Trent Cole, Brian Orakpo, and the Giants D-line, OTs are at a premium."

"On paper, the Cowboys should have on of the most explosive offenses in the league, with playmakers like Bryant, Witten, Austin, Barber, Jones, and Choice. Not one of the 3 running backs went over 1000 yards last season. Complicating things further was QB Tony Romo going down with injury. Jerry Jones loves big offensive lineman, and Solder definitely fits that way of thinking. Solder can come in and start at either tackle spot from day one. Which side of the line he plays on depends not on him, but on a competition between Colombo and Free. Solder would be an upgrade over either player. - - [
Addai Another Aday]"

Our good friends and arch enemies from Bleeding Green Nation (3/9/2011): Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

"This pick here is fairly simple - How Da'Quan Bowers slipped to 9 is beyond my comprehension, and although it doesn't fit any of the Cowboys' 3 glaring needs, it does fit a significant one, and Bowers is by far and away the best player remaining on the board (apologies to Robert Quinn). If Prince Amukamara were still on the board, I might give him some consideration, but even then I'm taking Bowers. There are no offensive linemen or safeties in this draft that are worth considering with a talent like Bowers still available."

"Ideally for Bowers, he'll end up in a 4-3 system where he can pin his ears back, attack the QB, and rack up sacks. Unfortunately for Bowers in this mock draft exercise, he lands in a 3-4 system, in which he may have some more 5-technique responsibility than he had hoped for. Still, it's not about where the player wants to go or what team may be the best fit for him in the NFL Draft. It's about who the best player is for the team that is picking, and for the Cowboys in this case, this pick is a coup."

"Bowers is staunch enough to hold up against the run, and unlike the man he'll be replacing (Spears), Bowers will stay in the game on obvious passing situations, when the Cowboys often run four-man fronts, which will play into Bowers' strengths nicely. Opposing teams should find it extremely difficult trying to block DeMarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff, Da'Quan Bowers, and to a lesser degree, Anthony Spencer. You can't double everyone. - - [JimmyK]"

Our fine Bengals blog, Cincy Jungle, (3/12/2011): Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

"This is a worst-case scenario for the Cowboys. The Cowboys had hoped that Blaine Gabbert would already be picked, and possibly Anthony Castonzo, allowing others to fall. The Cowboys need defense, especially a 3-4 defensive end, defensive backs, and a right tackle. The Cowboys had hoped that Marcell Dareus would fall here, but he has been rising up draft boards too quickly. Failing that, they wanted Peterson, Amukamara, or Miller, but they are all gone. So, the choice comes down to Quinn and Castonzo."

"The Cowboys Defense ranked No. 26 against the pass, and No. 31 in scoring, while the offense was in the top ten in most categories. The defense has holes throughout while the offense needs some help on the line. Still Castonzo was very tempting. There is something to be said for taking a strength and turning it into an overwhelming advantage. If the offense was a little better at running the ball, they might be able to almost win games by themselves, and at least help the defense by holding the ball longer. However, Castonzo is a natural left tackle, and there will be right tackles available in the second and third round."

"Quinn is the last of the elite defensive difference makers and the Cowboys cannot pass on that. DeMarcus Ware had 15.5 sacks in 2010, but the next highest total on the team was five, by Anthony Spencer. Drafting Quinn to play opposite Ware puts elite pass rushers on either side of the line. Quinn will also contribute in nickel situations at DE. This should allow the defense to generate more sacks and turnovers, and give the offense better field position, and ultimately win games. - - [Jim0ijk]"

Our other rivals from the East, Big Blue View (3/17/2011): Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska.

"I want you to picture that the fans at Blogging the Boys are Jason Garrett. They understand football better. They know the team best. They know its needs best. They have a rational approach to making the team the best it can be. They know that a physical freak with "tremendous upside" like Tyron Smith would be a great grab right here. He doesn't need to crack the lineup right away -- he can sit behind Colombo and Free until ... well, October, when the line looks like a wet paper bag. He would be the Cowboys' equivalent of a pick like Jason Pierre-Paul: a giant, athletic freak. Further supporting this line of thinking, the Cowboys have met with Smith and he has addressed the major concern, size, bulking up to 307 for the combine. He's now projected as a top 10 pick."

"But I am Jerry Jones. And I have not selected an offensive lineman in 21 years. And I'm not going to now. I'm not going anywhere wild with this pick, although I had considered another freak, JJ Watt, to improve the D-line."

"That's why we're going with conventional wisdom and history instead of common sense and potential here. Give me Prince Amukamara. You know the scouting. He's the top corner in the draft after Peterson, he's consensus top-ten talent. He gives us potential and leverage to deal with the salary demands of an established vet like Newman, and should immediately put pressure on all three of our corners that their spot is in jeopardy. More so than a JJ Watt or a Tyron Smith, I expect to see this guy on the field in week 1. - - [Simms-McConkey]"

Behind The Steel Curtain, representing the Steelers (3/17/2011): Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska.

"I'll pass on doing much of a write up, but the Cowboys almost certainly will try to stock up on defensive talent in this year's draft. Dallas could maybe look at one of this year's better pass rushing prospects, but I think they'd be more wise to take one of the few players that I feel is an absolute 'slam dunk' to contribute right away and for years to come. That would be Nebraska's incredibly athletic and versatile Prince Amukamara. - - [Michael Bean]"

The members of the Vikings blog, The Daily Norseman (3/25/2011) voted for Tyron Smith, OT, USC

"So the first OT is off of the board now, and perhaps the Cowboys will be keeping their QBs a little more upright in the future thanks to it. Smith beat out his OT competition Anthony Castonzo, and in general took the vote with 33%. In second place was DE DaQuan Bowers, raking in 17%. - - [Eric J. Thompson]"

The Jets blog, Gang Green Nation (3/25/2011): Tyron Smith, OT, USC

"With the 9th pick in the Draft, the Cowboys select OT Tyron Smith. Many draft experts weighed in on Smith and some have come to the conclusion that he may be a work in progress, but after watching some footage and reading other news about him, perhaps the best person to compare him to that we all know is the one and only, D-Brick. Smith, just like Brick was a highly touted lineman, with the ability and talent to be the top OL pick in the draft. As we all know, Brick's career probably didn't start off as we all hoped, but he is currently one of the best tackles in the NFL, mainly due to his highly athletic frame and high flexibility."

"Smith is known for these same attributes and probably will need at least a year to mold into the lineman everyone is predicting him to be. While some question his entering the draft instead of returning for another year to USC, Smith can be and will be a great project for a team so desperate for OL help, such as a the Cowboys. The Alex Barron Experiment was a huge failure (as evidenced by the terrible loss to the Redskins in 2010), and the Cowboys need a stable OL unit for the further success of their powerful offensive weapons in Tony Romo and Felix Jones. His success would especially be key to the further development of Felix Jones, a speedster that can split defenses and requires a moving, athletic line. Perhaps another solid choice would be the Pouncey brother, but being rated lower than his brother and not as athletic does not help the Cowboys make a decision in his favor."

"While the Cowboys may have other needs as well to fill from the draft, such as safety, cornerback and defensive end, grabbing Tyron Smith as lineman of the future is a high priority, especially with such a offensive minded coach as Jason Garrett. - - [ThomasU]"

The Chiefs prolific blog, Arrowhead Pride (3/26/2011): Marcell Dareus, DL, Alabama

"Marcell Dareus should and probably will be a top 5 pick, but if a slide like this were to happen Dallas would steal him in an instant. With Stephen Bowen, Jay Ratliff and Igor Olshansky all on the defensive line I wouldn't say that D-line is a huge priority, except that unit only registered 5 sacks and Jerry Jones is going to take a stud and BPA. Dareus is easily the most versatile defensive lineman in the draft because he can play in the 4-3 and he can play end and rotational NT in the 3-4."

"I would say that CB is a bigger need but I don't see anybody that brings even close to the BPA quality that Dareus does. He would allow the whole defensive line to be fresh at all times in the game because of his versatility."

"While I don't believe he really will be here on draft day, if this is how it was to fall, Dareus would be gone in an instant. - - [IamtheGreatest]"

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