Last night, ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper made his final draft projections for the 2011 NFL Draft. As is his custom, he does not project trades, but he does mention if he feels that a team might decide to move up or move down on Draft Day.
After sending either OT Tyron Smith or CB Prince Amukamara to Dallas in several of his previous mock drafts, Kiper settles on Cal DE Cameron Jordan as the 9th pick:
A shift from the previous mock, where I had the Cowboys targeting a corner. This is a team that needs to find solutions on front seven and Jordan offers a lot of versatility. Think about lining up a dynamic pass-rusher who can take on double-teams as a 3-4 defensive end and forcing the offense to make a decision on doubling him or DeMarcus Ware. There are questions in the Dallas secondary, but we know so much of what gets exposed down the field starts with what you're not doing up front. I can see Dallas moving off this pick, but I like Jordan if the Cowboys stay put.
Cameron Jordan has been all over the place in many recent mock drafts, and was mocked anywhere between 12-20, with the Vikings, Rams, Jaguars and Patriots seen as the most likely candidates. Only two other mocks (Charles Davis of the NFL Network and Al Fronczak of EastCoastSportsNews.com) currently have Jordan going to the Cowboys. Might this be an indication that Kiper is already projecting a trade down for the Cowboys?
As Kiper mentions the possibility of a move down for the Cowboys, here's where some of the other prospects potentially on the Cowboys' radar ended up in Kiper's mock: Robert Quinn goes to the Redskins, Aldon Smith to the Texans, Tyron Smith to the Lions, Watt to the Chargers, Castonzo to the Giants and Amukamara to the Buccaneers..