The playoffs aren't even over yet, and it's already mock draft time. Love 'em or hate 'em, we just can't resist them. We know they mean absolutely nothing, and that the guys making the mocks have about as much insight into who the Cowboys will draft as we do. Still, once the season is over - we like free-agency, but we love the draft.
The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the 2012 NFL Draft is tomorrow. But that hasn't deterred most draftniks from posting their early mock drafts, particularly since most of the expected prospects have already announced their intentions to play for an NFL team this year.
And with all the early talk about David DeCastro being a target for the Cowboys, you would have thought that there won't be a lot of variety in the mock drafts littering the interwebs - but far from it: ten mockers offer ten different players for the Cowboys to take in the fourteenth spot.
After the break, you'll find choice quotes on which players some mock drafts like as the No. 1 pick for the Cowboys. So without further ado, let's take a spin around the Cowboys mock draft world.
Drafttek.com, 1/12/2012: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama.
For the 2nd consecutive week, Dre Kirkpatrick is the selection for Dallas. If he falls this far, I will be ecstatic. Terence Newman will turn 34 at the beginning of next season (and looked much older against the Giants), Mike Jenkins is set as one starter, and Orlando Scandrick is best on the slot. Then there's Alan Ball and Frank Walker - that roll call does not match up well with multiple WR sets.
Dre Kirkpatrick is one of the biggest, most physical CB's in this year's draft class, yet his athleticism and fluid hips allow him to excel in coverage. At 6'3" he has the height to match up with the taller receivers in the league and win his share of jump balls - his hands are not the best, but Dallas needs a physical attitude in their defensive backfield. The only CB currently on the Dallas roster that is at least 6' is Alan Ball ('nuff said!). CB's are like closets in a house - you can never have enough of them!
Walter Football, 1/11/2012: David DeCastro, G, Stanford.
Draftking.com, 1/12/2011: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
I'm not necessarily as high on Coples as some other prognosticators out there are, but there is no doubting his size and that he'd be an ideal fit as a 3-4 DE.
Nepatriotsdraft.com, 1/10/2012: Alfonzo Denard, CB, Nebraska.
This Cornhusker can play corner or safety – very smooth and fluid – and brutally physical. We had him rated higher than teammate Prince Amukamara last year. The Cowboys would love one more corner to solidify their defensive backfield.
Newnfldraft.com, 1/10/2012: Luke Kuechli, ILB, Boston College.
The Cowboys get the top Inside Linebacker in this 2012 NFL Mock Draft. Vontaze Burfict is the player I previously had them selecting when they were picking later in the first round of the 2012 NFL Mock Draft. Additionally I think the Kuechly has the ability to play both inside and out with his skill set. Additionally I think that he will fit into their scheme.
Nflsoup.com, 1/4/2012: Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois
Mercilus has been improving on a weekly basis for the Fighting Illini, and has a high ceiling to become a legit pass rusher. Anthony Spencer hasn’t been bad, but he’s inconsistent and lacks a high motor.
Mercilus is a quick edge rusher who gets up field in a hurry and has very good size.
Draftace.com, 1/4/2012: Mark Barron, S, Alabama
The Cowboys have some serious issues on the defensive side of the ball, especially in the secondary. Unfortunately, there aren’t many great options once Claiborne and Kirkpatrick are off the board. Alfonzo Dennard may be a popular choice, but he’s terribly overrated and I expect his stock to fall. The safe route may be to upgrade at strong safety with Barron.
Sidelinescouting.com, 1/3/2012: Janoris Jenkins, CB, N. Alabama
Off-field trouble at Florida forced this ball-hawking corner to start over new at Northern Alabama. Despite those issues though, there is no denying that this guy has top ten talent, and if it weren't for leaving Florida and the resulting lower profile, he would be high on every teams list. Thankfully the Cowboys don't seem to worry as much about character and hinge their stock on production. Jenkins has the potential to be a game-changer in the NFL, and he's well worth the risk. Many considered him to be one of the best corners in the country during his time with Florida.
Newerascouting.com: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
Rob Ryan wanted new cornerbacks before the season. If he’s still around, Dallas will get him the upgrade he needs.
The Great Blue North Draft Report doesn't provide any commentary, but their January 3 mock has the Cowboys picking: Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama.
Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft overview (min. two rounds deep)
|1st Round||2nd Round||3rd Round||4th Round ||5th Round|
|Draftsite||Alfonzo Denard, CB, Nebraska||Baccari Rambo, S, Georgia||Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State||Joel Foreman, OG, Michigan State||Donte Paige-Moss, DE/OLB, North Carolina|
|Walter Football||David DeCastro, G, Stanford||Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida||Kendall Reyes, DE/DT, Connecticut||Donte Paige-Moss, DE/OLB, North Carolina|
|Drafttek||Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama||Vinny Curry, OLB, Marshall||Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas State|
|Draftace||Mark Barron, S, Alabama||Brandon Washington, OG, Miami|
|Sidelinescouting||Janoris Jenkins, CB, N. Alabama||Markelle Martin, S, Oklahoma State|