Just a little over a week to go. We're already down to counting days, and pretty soon we'll be counting hours.
Most of us have been waiting for the draft for close to four months now, a few of us have been waiting since last April. Be strong my friends. The event we’ve all been drooling over is tantalizingly close.
In less than two weeks, the Dallas Cowboys will welcome eight or so young players into the (CBA-dysfunctional) family. Some of the names called over draft weekend will become key contributors. Some may become franchise cornerstones.
You’ve done your homework. You've devoured every draft publication you could get your hands on. You’ve scoured the internet for every mock draft and prospect evaluation. You think you've got all your pet cats lined up neatly in a row - and then along comes a trade on draft day. All it takes is for one team to mix it up - that includes trading up/down - and all your pet cats scatter like a bunch of pigeons in Central Park.
Two weeks ago, 14 of the 25 mocks I regularly monitor had the Cowboys taking Tyron Smith. Last week that number was up to 17, this week it's at 20. The only other player/team combo with an equally high consensus value is Cam Newton to the Panthers. Doesn't mean either will happen though. After the break, what the draft pundits are saying and who they're picking.
Drafttek.com, 4/20/2011: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
"I'm really not lazy about writing comments -- but this close to the draft, we need to hone in on who we think the teams will actually draft! Yes, Dallas did bring in a number of 1st round OL prospects for visits, which could mean a "compare and contrast" for trading down. However, if Cuzzin Jerruh doesn't get itchy fingers, Dallas takes the best value for the #9 pick (which has to be our assumption for CMD purposes). 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"
Draftcountdown.com (Scott Wright), 4/20/2011: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
"Ideally the Cowboys would like to trade down a bit, but they are clearly interested in adding some help in the trenches and Tyron Smith of USC is reportedly their target. Since the end of the season Smith has emerged as the premier offensive tackle prospect in this class. An impressive physical specimen and terrific all-around blocker who excels in pass protection as well as the run game, Smith actually played on the right side with the Trojans but clearly possesses a left tackle skill-set."
"If for one reason or another Dallas doesn’t land Smith, word is the Cowboys have also taken a liking to Gabe Carimi of Wisconsin. Considering the issues they had in pass coverage last year the Cowboys would be crazy to not strongly consider a cornerback too. Patrick Peterson of L.S.U. is said to be the top overall player on the Cowboys board so they could explore a trade up if he slips out of the Top 5, but Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara is an option as well. With Marcus Spears, Jason Hatcher and Stephen Bowen all due to become free agents the Cowboys could also be in the market for a defensive end and both J.J. Watt of Wisconsin and Cal's Cameron Jordan would be ideal fits in their scheme."
Rotoworld & PFT (Evan Silva), 4/19/2011: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
"Smith was a right tackle only at Southern Cal, but his impressive length and athleticism have generated comparisons to D’Brickashaw Ferguson. With Peterson certain to go in the top seven, Smith will be Dallas’ highest rated player at a position they must upgrade with Marc Colombo on the way out."
SI.com (Peter King), 4/19/2011: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
"Should pick: Anthony Castonzo, T, Boston College. Dallas can take the long-term replacement for right tackle Marc Colombo here, and the choice is between the raw but athletically gifted 20-year-old (Smith) or the proven commodity who is the most versatile lineman in the draft (Castonzo). Smith's not a bad pick, but with a roaming QB in Tony Romo, who's subjected to lots of hits and coming off a season-ending injury, give me the surer thing, please."
NEpatriotsdraft.com, 4/18/2011: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
"If Patrick Peterson isn’t available, and we can’t imagine that he will be, this dancing bear should be the pick. We don’t buy the Mike Pouncey talk for a minute. If Smith is gone, look for a CB to be the choice."
Sportingnews (Russ Lande), 4/17/2011: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
"The Cowboys' need to keep Tony Romo from taking the punishment he has taken in recent seasons and Smith has the size, strength and athleticism to become a very good starter early in his career."
Pro Football Weekly (Nolan Nawrocki), 4/15/2011: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
"To keep Tony Romo healthy, the Cowboys need to improve the edges of their offensive line. OT Marc Colombo is on his last legs, and OT Doug Free struggled last season. Adding more athletic ability to a heavy-legged group helps Jason Garrett the most in his first full year on the job."
A few dissenting opinions:
NFL.com (Charles Davis), 4/18/2011: Cameron Jordan, DE, California
"Jordan's stock has risen steadily in recent weeks, and he fits a big need for the Cowboys. Wisconsin’s J.J. Watt and USC OT Tyron Smith will also be considered here."
Ourlads.com (Dan Shonka), 4/17/2011: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
"Lott Award Winner, Great passion for the game. Will thrive in the four man front and become a fan favorite because of his blue collar lunch bucket hyperactive play. Explosive and athletic. His Combine numbers along with his on field play warrent top pick. 62-T, 7-sacks, 21-TFL, 3-FF, 1-INT, 8-PBU and 3 blocked kicks in 2010. Combine: Huge 11 1/8 " Hands, Long arms-34", BP-34, 40-4.81, VJ-37", SS-4.21, 3/cone-6.88. This Badger is all about work!!!!"
Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft overview
|Site||Date||1st Round||2nd Round||3rd Round||4th Round||5th Round||6th Round||7th Round||7th Round|
|Draft Tek||4/20||Tyron Smith, OT, USC||Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
||John Moffitt, OG, Wisconsin
||Deunta Williams, FS, North Carolina
||Henry Hynoski, FB, Pittsburgh
||Delone Carter, RB, Syracuse
||Blaine Sumner, DT, Colorado Mines
||Orie Lemon, ILB, Oklahoma State
|Walter Football||4/19||Tyron Smith, OT, USC||Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia||Quinton Carter, FS, Oklahoma||Lee Ziemba, OG/T, Auburn||Roy Helu, RB, Nebraska||Vincent Brown, WR, San Diego State||Eddie Jones, OLB, Texas||J.T. Thomas, ILB, West Virginia-|
|Draftsite||4/19||Tyron Smith, OT, USC||Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
Greg Jones, ILB, Michigan State
||Josh Thomas, CB, Buffalo
||Jason Kelce, OC, Cincinnati
||Scott Tolzien, QB, Wisconsin
||Kai Forbath, K, UCLA
||Chas Henry, PT, Florida
|Dallas Cowboys Times||4/18||J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin (Trade down)
||Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
||3a: Clint Boling, OG, Georgia
3b: Will Rackley, OT, Lehigh
|Curtis Marsh, CB, Utah State
Trade #9 and #143 for Rams #14 and #78)
||Colin McCarthy, ILB, Miami
||Noel Devine, RB, West Virginia
||Byron Maxwell, CB, Clemson
Six weeks in a row now, Draftek won the popular vote for the best mock draft. Drafttek cleverly add one of Lissyyyyy's freakish small school players in Blaine Sumner (52 reps!!!) and with their other choices this week, they are clearly the favorites for a seventh consecutive win. Can the Dallas Cowboys Times challenge Drafttek with a trade down scenario or has Walter Football finally got the goods to avoid a seventh consecutive defeat? Who gets your vote?