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Pet Cats For Sale: Potential 2012 Draft Targets (Offense)

On the heels of an exercise in futility, better known as reviewing 2012 mock drafts, let's take a more practical approach. The 2011 NFL Draft saw the Cowboys select eight players they hope to integrate into their team and reap the benefits of said player's abilities. Whenever this lockout is decided and if a salary cap is part of the deal, the Cowboys will attempt to fill some of their remaining needs via other team's free agents, and eligible amateurs that did not hear their names called.

Undoubtedly, as the hypothetical season progresses, we'll start to gain answers for many questions. Did we address 'need X' correctly? Why didn't we fill 'hole Y'? Every spring, teams attempt to correct wayward paths. With that in mind, we look ahead to some of the 2012 draft prospects.

Everyone will have their favorite targets, their pet cats, the guys they think will be magic in a Cowboys uniform. I figured we might as well start to get a jump on the process. We should all remember, how fluid pre-season rankings are. Players either need to maintain their level of activity or meet the increased expectations to remain where they are currently ranked. However, think about what you've heard about DeMarco Murray and Bruce Carter. They were top 15-20 projected before injuries. This is the time when those projections are made. Follow the jump to see who you should be watching come the fall College Football season. At least these players can't be locked out.

For all you amateur draftniks out there, follow the jump for more.

Here is my snap evaluation of the position needs of the Cowboys, per their currently constituted roster and potential free agent fills. I'll be tracking these positions the most over the 2012 collegiate season. My pack leaders aren't the top rated at the position, but the players I feel may fall into one of the numerous Cowboys draftee profiles.

Target Areas:

Offensive Line
Worst case scenario... The Cowboys lose Doug Free to free agency and Tyron Smith is a bust. None of the young guys shows enough promise in training camp to be considered replacements for the aging inside. The Cowboys could be looking at an offensive lineman early again next season.
Interesting Note: Stanford, Alabama, Oklahoma and Ohio State all have 2 each, upper tier 2012 prospects on their offensive lines.
Litter Leaders: OT Mike Adams, Ohio St. (suspended first 5 games of season), OT Jarvis Jones, Oklahoma (recently sustained patella injury that will knock him out into October)


Wide Receiver
If Roy Williams survives this year, he probably wouldn't make it to 2012. Unless of course, Dez Bryant's minor occurrences grow into something more than that. We have question marks behind Austin and Bryant. Who really knows what Dwayne Harris and Kevin Ogletree, or the vast amount of young up and comers, can provide? For now, this projects as a need. And with it being six deep on the depth chart, a wideout should be taken every year.
Interesting Note: The SEC and the Big 12 both sport three upper tier WR prospects.
Litter Leader: T.Y. Hilton, Florida International. Small school slot-receiver type

Everyone that reads BTB knows how much I like Tony Romo as the quarterback for my team. However, next year will probably be the first time I am open to drafting Romo's future successor, with a mid round pick. If we make it to the final four I'd even accept a 2nd round prospect. The top quarterbacks going into the season will sometimes slip to a 2nd or 3rd round grade.
Interesting Note: Lots of big names in this draft. Luck, Jones, Foles, Barkley.. after that, it's a mixed bag for your favorite.
Litter Leader: G.J. Kinne, Tulsa. Depending on his Wonderlic score, the QB is well on his way to meeting the 26-27-60 rule. As long as he stays healthy, those 27 starts aren't going to be a problem at all, and he's currently above 60 percent passing. He has a mean play fake and I will be following his season.


Areas of Minor Concern:

RB - As of right now, I see no chance at an early running back selection. The only way I see this happening is if a stud inexplicably falls down to us. Move along people.

TE - Again, unless something drastic changes, the current and the future of this position don't seem to need to be addressed for the next two years. Martellus Bennett's status may change that.

Here are the top 15 prospects (according the for each of the offensive positions. Find your pet cat, and we'll see how he progresses.

Finally, here is the Offensive grid, where we look at the top 15 prospects, per position, according to

Andrew Luck, Stanford (Jr.) Trent Richardson, Alabama (Jr.) Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina (Jr.) Michael Egnew, Missouri Matt Reynolds, BYU Ryan Miller, Colorado (OT) Peter Konz, Wisconsin (Jr.)
Landry Jones, Oklahoma (Jr.) Knile Davis, Arkansas (Jr.) Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M Dwayne Allen, Clemson (Jr.) Mike Adams Ohio State Stephen Good, Oklahoma Ben Habern, Oklahoma (Jr.)
Nick Foles, Arizona LaMichael James, Oregon (Jr.) Michael Floyd, Notre Dame David Paulson, Oregon Nate Potter, Boise State David DeCastro, Stanford (Jr.) Michael Brewster, Ohio State
Ryan Lindley, San Diego State Cyrus Gray, Texas A&M Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State (Jr.) George Bryan, NC State Jonathan Martin, Stanford (Jr.) Brandon Washington, Miami (Jr.) David Molk, Michigan
Tyler Wilson, Arkansas (Jr.) Chris Polk, Washington (Jr.) Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma Orson Charles, Georgia (Jr.) Levy Adcock, Oklahoma State Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State William Vlachos, Alabama
Matt Barkley, USC (Jr.) Kenjon Barner, Oregon (Jr.) DeVier Posey, Ohio State Anthony Miller, California Elvis Fisher, Missouri Barrett Jones, Alabama (OT) (Jr.) Sam Robey, Florida (Jr.)
John Brantley, Florida Jeff Demps, Florida Greg Childs, Arkansas Philip Lutzenkichen, Auburn (Jr.) Bobbie Massie, Ole Miss (Jr.) Cordy Glenn, Georgia Moe Petrus, Connecticut
Kellen Moore, Boise State David Wilson, Virginia Tech (Jr.) Juron Criner, Arizona Coby Fleener, Stanford Blake DeChristopher, Virginia Tech Joel Foreman, Michigan State Philip Blake, Baylor
Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State Jason Ford, Illinois Chris Owusu, Stanford Rhett Ellison, USC Trinton Sturdivant, Georgia Rokevious Watkins, South Carolina T-Bob Hebert, LSU
Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State Daniel Herron, Ohio State Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers (Jr.) Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette Riley Reiff, Iowa (Jr.) Larry Warford, Kentucky Graham Pocic, Illinois (OT) (Jr.)
Kirk Cousins, Michigan State Andre Ellington, Clemson (Jr.) Russell Shepard, LSU (Jr.) Kevin Koger, Michigan Tyler Love, Alabama (Jr.) Chris Jacobson, Pitt Mario Benavides, Louisville (Jr.)
Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M Doug Martin, Boise State Nick Toon, Wisconsin Deangelo Peterson, LSU Mike Ryan, Connecticut Ken Plue, Purdue (OT) Ben Burkett, Northwestern
G.J. Kinne, Tulsa Ed Wesley, TCU (Jr.) Erik Highsmith, North Carolina (Jr.) Josh Chischester, Louisville Andrew Darko, Florida State Lonnie Edwards, Texas Tech Grant Garner, Oklahoma State
Robert Griffin, Baylor (Jr.) Onterio McCalebb, Auburn (Jr.) Denard Robinson, Michigan (QB) (Jr.) Jake Stoneburner, Ohio State (Jr.) Jarvis Jones, Oklahoma Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina (OT) (Jr.) Ben Bojicic, Bowling Green
Geno Smith, West Virginia (Jr.) Montel Harris, Boston College TY Hilton, FIU Brian Linthicum, Michigan State Matt Kalil, USC (Jr.) Jaymes Brooks, Virginia Tech (OT) Jeremiah Hatch, Kansas

Coming Soon: 'Pet Cats Part II, Defense' and 'The Pet Cat Sandbox: 10 Juicy 2012 Matchups To Follow'

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