Since we're in the middle of doing our own mock draft here at BTB, I thought I check out other SB Nation NFL blogs to see what they're doing about mock drafts. Specifically, I wanted to see who they're giving the Dallas Cowboys at the #9 pick. What's interesting is how much the picks vary, some of that is different understandings of what the Cowboys needs are, and part of it is how the previous eight picks fall. Players they might have wanted to give to the Cowboys had already been drafted.
A quick round-up of some that I came across below...
9. Dallas Cowboys: J.J. Watt, DE, Winconsin - The 'boys were pretty bad on defense last year, for two reasons: an overrated secondary and an aging defensive line. No DB's are worth the pick here, but Watt can develop into an excellent 5-technique, a position that is very difficult to find these days.
They gave us OT Nate Solder, and had us passing on Von Miller.
9. Dallas Cowboys - Gabe Carimi OT, Wisconsin
Analysis: The Cowboys biggest needs are at OT, CB, FS, and DE. Free Safety Alan Ball is decent but certainly not spectacular. At CB, Mike Jenkins was terrible all year and has become a pass-interference machine, and Terrence Newman will be 33 years old before the start of the 2011 season. Prince Amukamara would be great to fill the deficiencies in the secondary. Unfortunately with Andrew Luck going back to school all of the elite talent has shifted up one spot which leaves Dallas out in the cold as far as getting someone to fill a position of need in the secondary.
Cal's Cameron Jordan would be an option to replace Igor Olshansky at DE. Doug Free is marginally good at LT and Mark Colombo is dreadful at RT and even though I think it's a reach here they will probably take Carimi. Unlike most of the other OT's with first round grades Carimi is built to start right now and would immediately take Colombo's place on the right side. I've thought of giving them Nate Solder but after watching him get beat by Sam Acho and Brooks Reid at the Senior Bowl I'm convinced he's only a fringe-first round pick. With Amukamara and Dareus both off of the board Dallas would be wise to either trade up for one of them, or trade back to get better value for their selection.
Nick Fairley (ed.note from Dave: surprised to see a draft with him falling that far)
The Cowboys had a total of 39 sacks last year with 16 of them coming from DeMarcus Ware. They simply need to get after the quarterback more. Their Defensive Line accounted for a total of 8 of the remaining sacks for the team. Fairley had 12 sacks and 59 tackles in a very strong SEC conference. Igor Olshansky was a huge bust in Dallas and a quicker and stronger player like Fairley could easily step in and replace him or Stephen Bowen. Fairley was a DT at Auburn but can easily transition to an End in a 3-4 scheme in Dallas which is the defense Ryan loves to run.
They held a community vote over there and gave us Von Miller over Tyron Smith and Cam Jordan.
I think the Cowboys really wanted to go with Amukamara here, so the Lions GM made a great move in moving up ahead of them. Interesting that the Cowboys would be selecting Quinn because he has drawn a lot of comparisons to current Cowboys pass rusher DeMarcus Ware. Quinn is a fantastic athlete and is very young. He has a ton of pass rushing skill, and would likely start off in a rotation for Dallas. The Cowboys could probably go a number of directions with this pick, and adding a pass rusher is not a bad idea.