Last week, it was Tony Pauline of Sports Illustrated passing on a draft rumor linking Tyron Smith to the Cowboys on his Draftinsider.com blog, this week Peter King and Gil Brandt weigh in. King wrote the following in his latest MMQB:
Dallas does love 20-year-old USC tackle Tyron Smith and is seriously considering taking him at nine.
Gil Brandt had this to say about the Cowboys draft plans in a chat with football fans yesterday:
If you take the best player -- provided you are not getting out of a plateau -- they probably take Tyron Smith, a fine offensive tackle from USC who is going to play a long time, or J.J. Watt. I don't think they will take a DB with that pick. Again, I think the value is going to be much greater in the second round for a defensive back.
Well, all of this makes looking at mock drafts kind of boring. But boring is good, right? Especially if it finally gets you a (potentially) elite offensive lineman. So today, in an effort to convince the skeptics that Tyron Smith is the right choice for the Cowboys, we'll look at whether the draftniks have anything to say about Smith beyond "potential upside".
Of the 25 mock drafts we regularly monitor, 17 (68%) have the Cowboys taking Tyron Smith, up from 14 last week. Here's what some of them had to say:
Drafttek.com, 4/12/2011: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
"I know, I know, it's getting old -- but did you see the number of 1st round OL prospects Dallas brought in for visits? Now, that could mean a "compare and contrast" for trading down -- but unfortunately, we have to stay right where we are for the CMD. If Cuzzin Jerruh doesn't get itchy fingers and trade up (Peterson) or trade down (for more picks & Carimi), Dallas takes the best value for the #9 pick. Smith can play LOT and Free can play ROT if they decide to switch in the future. 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. - Long Ball"
NFL.com (Steve Wyche), 4/11/2011: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
"The Cowboys aren’t hiding their interest in the powerful tackle. Smith could plug in at right tackle right away, which wouldn’t be out of the norm for recent high OT selections."
DraftAce.com (Ryan McCrystal), 4/11/2011: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
"The Cowboys need to upgrade their aging offensive line and Smith clearly has the highest ceiling of any prospect in this class. 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. If Smith isn’t high on their board, they will probably try hard to trade down."
Walter Football, 4/11/2011: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
"First of all, Jones has to make sure that his biggest investment, Tony Romo, is protected. Dallas lost all hope when Romo was knocked out for the year against the Giants. Marc Colombo is a sieve at right tackle, so Dallas must find an upgrade at the position to keep Romo healthy.
Second, Tyron Smith is arguably the top player available. Billed as the next D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Smith had a phenomenal Pro Day, weighing in at 310 pounds and carrying his new bulk well.
And third, there's been a lot of buzz about Smith being Dallas' pick at No. 9. It could be a smokescreen, but then again, the pick does make a ton of sense."
DraftKing.com (Lou Pickney), 4/8/2011: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
"Smith went mostly overlooked on many draft boards going into the 2010 season at USC, which was understandable considering that he was a junior playing right tackle. But he performed very well for the Trojans last year, attracting the attention of scouts and NFL general managers.
Smith has been linked to Dallas at this spot in multiple media articles, and while I would normally brush off speculation linking Smith to the Cowboys here as a smokescreen, Jerry Jones is rather fearless about letting his intentions for his top pick become common knowledge. This isn't to say that Smith is a lock for this position, but I feel better about this projection than I do about most of the others."
ESPN.com (Todd McShay), 4/6/2011: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
"This is not a splash pick but the Cowboys have a big need at offensive tackle and this is the area where the run on the top OTs will likely begin. And it's always better to be on the front end of a run than chasing it from behind. Dallas needs to protect QB Tony Romo and it appears current RT Marc Colombo is on his last leg, making Smith a good fit. He has the ability to play on either side and Smith's upside is greater than any other tackle in this draft."
ESPN.com (Mel Kiper), 4/6/2011: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
"A number of times this year, I've noted how Dallas might look to trade down. After all, picking in the top 10 of this draft wasn't likely to allow them to get full value if they targeted an offensive tackle, something many wish Jerry Jones would have done in 2010. Well, in Smith, they have the option of taking a player who projects as a future blindside tackle, and he's in a perfect spot in terms of value, having risen all the way to No. 9 on the Big Board. It's a need pick, and a player who could help Dallas in short order."
Mocking The Draft (Dan Kadar), 3/30/2011: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
"When the actual draft takes place, it won't be a surprise to see Dallas trade out of this pick. They could move up to take Patrick Peterson or down to get more value for an offensive lineman. If the pick is Smith, it's a good one. It was a surprise when he entered the draft because many considered him to be a top five pick in the 2012 draft. So to get him a year early would be a shrewd move. If Dallas really wants Smith, they may have to do so with the ninth pick because he may be a target for Washington with the 10th pick."
A few dissenting opinions:
Pro Football Weekly (Nolan Nawrocki), 4/8/2011: Marcell Dareus, DL, Alabama
"Jerry Jones is a value-driven decision maker who has loaded his roster with talent by selecting the best player available. If Dareus happens to fall to No. 9 because teams ahead of him are focused on filling needs, it would allow Jones to fill a great need of his own and also land great value. Dareus is capable of playing anywhere along a 3-4 front and could make the Cowboys' pass rush even more daunting than it already is with DeMarcus Ware, the best pass rusher in football."
Draft Season (Eric Falk), 4/11/11: Prince Amukamara CB, Nebraska:
"The Cowboys need help at defensive end & offensive line too, but would be money ahead by grabbing the second best corner in the draft. Taking one of the tackles could be a reach, and defensive end is pretty deep this year."
NEpatriotsdraft.com, 4/12/2011: 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)
|Site||Date||1st Round||2nd Round||3rd Round||4th Round||5th Round||6th Round||7th Round||7th Round|
|Draft Tek||4/12||Tyron Smith, OT, USC||Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
||John Moffitt, OG, Wisconsin
||Chris White, ILB, Mississippi State
||Jalil Brown, CB, Colorado
||Anthony Gray, DT, Southern Miss
||Jaiquawn Jarrett, FS, Temple
||Kenny Rowe, OLB, Oregon
|Walter Football||4/11||Tyron Smith, OT, USC||Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia||Quinton Carter, FS, Oklahoma||Jason Pinkston, OG, Pittsburgh||Roy Helu, RB, Nebraska||Vincent Brown, WR, San Diego State||- -||- -|
|NFL Draft Blitz||4/8||Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU||Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor||Kendall Hunter, RB, Oklahoma State||Mark Herzlich, LB, Boston College||Ahmad Black, S, Florida||T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina||Akeem Dent, LB, Georgia||Ryan Winterswyk, DE, Boise State|
|Russ Lande (Sporting News)
||4/11||Tyron Smith, OT, USC||Jerrard Tarrant, S, Georgia Tech||Jerrell Powe, NT, Mississippi||Alex Henery, PK, Nebraska||William Rackley, OG, Lehigh||Joshua Bynes, LB, Auburn||Evan Royster, RB, Penn State||Dwayne Harris, WR, East Carolina|
Last week, Drafttek again walked away with the victory in our poll of which mocks BTB readers like the best - for the fifth consecutive time, and each time with a different mock. Once again, you can now vote for one of the mock drafts above. This week Walter Football and NFL Draft Blitz challenge hard for the win: Walter Football ups the ante by going O-line and secondary and adding a highly intriguing back, while Draft Blitz goes all in for the win with two top picks that are both highly unlikely to be there when the Cowboys are on the clock. We also have mainstream draftnik Russ Lande joining the fray. Who gets your vote?