One more month to go. You still can't stay away from those mock drafts, they're still too much fun. But by now you are beginning to notice the names of some of the sites featuring mock drafts. And you begin to wonder whether they really are the bastions of journalistic integrity that you've always thought they were.
Mock drafts are a dichotomy. On one hand a mock is supposed to be an accurate representation of something else, as in a mock-up. On the other hand, to mock is to imitate in a derisive or unflattering way, to make fun of. They're begging to be ridiculed by their very name.
Regardless, mock drafts are still 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 during a lockout. As always, we've collected quotes on who some draftniks think the Cowboys will take with their first pick. We welcome some late-comers to the 'Tyron Smith to Dallas Campaign' and wonder whether the burgeoning "J.J. Watt To Dallas Movement" is already wisely anticipating a trade down.
Drafttek.com (Long Ball), 3/26/2011: Tyron Smith, OT, Southern California
"Dallas needs to replace Columbo at ROT -- Tyron Smith played ROT at USC. Dallas needs value for the #9 pick - Smith can play LOT and Free can play ROT if they decide to switch in the future. Smith showed up at the Combine with a chiseled 307 lb physique, takes the bar in his 11" hands and presses 29 reps with his 36-3/8" arms - I'm sure his Pro Day will be equally impressive! Old Long Ball has it on good authority from 2 different sources that the Cowboys have requested more game film from USC on Smith than any other team. Finally, as deep as the DE class is, I believe a quality DE34 will fall to #40 - I'm not so sure that can be said for OT prospects."
DraftAce.com (Ryan McCrystal), 3/28/2011: Tyron Smith, OT, Southern California
"The Cowboys would love to land Prince Amukamara, and would probably consider trading up for him or Patrick Peterson if the opportunity presented itself. But with both top corners off the board, the Cowboys have to reach to fill another position of need. Tyron Smith played right tackle at USC, but has demonstrated this offseason that he has the athleticism and the size to easily shift over to the left side. This is definitely a risky pick, but the Cowboys don’t have many other options."
SB Nation (Brian Galliford), 3/7/2011: Tyron Smith, OT, Southern California
"The more time passes pre-draft, the more this Smith-to-Dallas idea makes sense. Smith is awfully unproven in that it's not yet clear he'll be able to sustain his weight, but he's also awfully talented - and Dallas has a need at tackle."
Rotoworld (Evan Silva), 3/28/2011: Tyron Smith, OT, Southern California
"The Cowboys are known to have Peterson atop their draft board, and might trade up once they see him slip a few spots. If not, Jerry Jones should be happy to "settle" for one of the draft's most athletic, longest offensive linemen. Smith would start in place of Marc Colombo at right tackle."
Walter Football, 3/29/2011: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
"Jay Ratliff and Stephen Bowen figure to start on Dallas' defensive line for a long time. Ratliff will continue to man the nose tackle position, but there is still a void at right end, currently occupied by an ineffective Igor Olshansky.
J.J. Watt's draft stock is continuing to gain steam, and it looks like he'll be selected near the bottom of the top 10. Mike Mayock went as far to say that Watt is the best five-technique he's ever seen. Mayock also stated that he's better than Tyson Jackson (I should hope so), who went No. 3 overall."
NFL.com (Steve Wyche), 3/29/2011: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
"The Cowboys got handled a lot up front last season, and Watt could give them an anchor end who can help free up the OLBs and take heat off NT Jay Ratliff."
NFL.com (Pat Kirwan), 3/28/2011: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
"It's time for the Cowboys to move away from the idea of a cornerback and focus on the big players. A top offensive tackle would be a solid pick here and all will still on the board. But Watt has the size and aggressive style that Rob Ryan is looking for in his version of the 3-4 defense. Watt has been moving up draft boards for weeks now and should crack the top 10."
Football's Future (Robert Davis), 3/22: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
"Prince Amukamara will be attractive, but you win with talent up front. Watt brings a toughness and attitude to the defensive line that will help the Cowboys from the get go."
Pro Football Weekly (Nolan Nawrocki), 3/25/2011: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
"Despite having been a wrecking ball as a junior despite finishing the season with ligament damage in his knee, Bowers could fall out of the top five, potentially even the top 10, as a result of concerns about the injury. Regardless of how he fares at his pro day on April 1 or whether he clears medically at the Combine re-check, some NFL teams already have considerable concerns that could affect his draft status. Nonetheless, Jerry Jones has a pressing need to fill on his defensive line, and Bowers' game is best suited for power. He can stack the edge and upgrade a pass rush that has not been able to create with the front three since Chris Canty departed."
NE Patriots Draft, 3/28/2011: Cameron Jordan, DE, California
"The Cowboys are reportedly in love with Patrick Peterson, although we don’t think there is any way he drops this far. If the Cowboys aren’t enamored with Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara, they might look towards the DE position. An at times dominant defender that can play the run and the pass, Jordan can play in multiple sets and sub packages. Already fluent in the 3-4 defense from his time at Cal. Jordan was the best player on the field for the majority of the Senior Bowl. He has the ability to play OLB, although he hasn’t been asked to play that position so far in his career."
Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft overview (min. five rounds deep)
||1st Round||2nd Round||3rd Round||4th Round
||5th Round||6th Round||7th Round
|Draft Tek||3/26||Tyron Smith, OT, USC||Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State||Danny Watkins, OG, Baylor||Tyler Sash, FS, Iowa||Cortez Allen, CB, Citadel||Tom Keiser, OLB, Stanford||Terry Griffin, DT, Elizabeth City State||Mike Mohamed, ILB, California|
|Walter Football||3/29||J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin||Brandon Harris, CB, Miami||Joseph Barksdale, OT, LSU||Deunta Williams, S, North Carolina||Lee Ziemba, G/OT, Auburn||Darren Evans, RB, Virginia Tech||- -||- -|
|NFL Draft Blitz||3/25||J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin||Rahim Moore, S, UCLA||Chris Haiston, OT, Clemson||Akeem Dent, MLB, Georgia||Julian Vandervelde, G, Iowa||Graig Cooper, RB, Miami||- -||- -|
|Draft Site||3/28||Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska||DeAndre McDaniel, S, Clemson||Marcus Cannon, OT, TCU||, OLB, Connecticut||Jake Kirkpatrick, OC, TCU||Scott Tolzien, QB, Wisconsin||Alex Henery, K, Nebraska||Pierre Allen, DE, Nebraska|
|New Era Scouting||3/28||Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska||Marvin Austin, DE, North Carolina||Quinton Carter, FS, Oklahoma||Marcus Gilbert, OT, Florida||Greg Salas, WR, Hawaii||Shiloh Keo, SS, Idaho||Zach Williams, OG, Washington State||Jarriel King, OT, South Carolina|
Once again, you can now vote on which mock you like the best. Draft Tek has walked away with the victory for three consecutive weeks, can one of the other mocks take the crown this week without Tyron Smith as the first pick?