Just when you think you've heard all the names that could possibly fall within range of the Cowboys' 14th pick in the 2012 draft, somebody comes along and smacks you upside the head with a new name.
This week that somebody is Nolan Nawrocki of Pro Football Weekly. Nawrocki isn't just some dude with an internet access who punches out one mindless mock after another. Nawrocki is one of the big names in the business regularly delivers some of the more accurate drafts come draft time.
Well, Nawrocki just published his first mock of the season last week,and as in any mock worth noting, his contains a couple of interesting surprises, not the least of which is that he has the Cowboys picking Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Obviously, it's way too early to already lock in on which names will be available when in the draft, but Tannehill at 14 does make me wonder a little bit.
After the break, we look at some of the latest mocks out there and look at whether there are some names being proposed that you may not have seen mocked to no. 14 quite as often yet.
ProFootballWeekly, 1/24/2012: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Although Jerry Jones abides by a best-player-available approach, the Cowboys have seen the best of Tony Romo and will struggle to progress if they do not address the QB position soon. Tannehill does not grade out this highly but has more talent than Christian Ponder and could be pushed up draft boards considerably, given the strong need at the position leaguewide.
Football's Future, 2/3/2012: Michael Brockers, DL, LSU
There was a lot of talk about the Cowboys liking JJ Watt last year, so they could be in the market to add some youth to their defensive front. Brockers has a load of talent but is a work in progress. That likely won't scare off Jerry Jones, who has no problem going for the home run.
ESPN (Todd McShay), 2/2/2012: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Corner is clearly the Cowboys' top need area, and Jenkins proved at the Senior Bowl that he's still an elite cover corner after spending a year at the Division II level. Dallas will need to get comfortable with his character issues, though, including legal issues that led to his dismissal from the Florida program.
Givemethe411.net, 2/2/2012: Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
The 6'2", 265-pound pass-rusher can help a quickly aging Cowboys defense instantly. Upshaw made an immediate impact at ‘Bama as a freshman and has shown steady improvement throughout his entire collegiate career. The defensive MVP of the 2012 championship game and second-team AP All-American will be able to start from the first day of training camp because of all his experience and SEC pedigree with Nick Saban’s system. ‘Bama is turning into the new Linebacker U.
He is one of the most NFL-ready players in this entire draft and will be the 2012 version of Von Miller. There is no question he is the best linebacker in the class and would be a steal for Dallas at No. 14.
NFLSoup, 1/2/2012: Nick Perry, OLB, USC
Perry has really impressed me over the last season and a half at USC. His athleticism is outstanding, and while he is still somewhat of a raw pass rusher, he will develop.
Many considered Aldon Smith to be a bit raw as well, strictly using speed at Missouri, but he stepped in immediately for the 49ers and made a huge impact.
Playing opposite of DeMarcus Ware would really help Perry make an impact from the other position outside and let him grow into a true 3-4 outside linebacker.
Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft overview (min. two rounds deep)
|Site||Date||1st Round||2nd Round||3rd Round||4th Round||5th Round||6th Round|
|Draft Tek||2/1||Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama||Brandon Washington, OG, Miami||Kheeston Randall, DE, Texas
||Keenan Robinson, LB, Texas
||Nicolas Jean-Baptiste, DT, Baylor||Charles Brown, CB, North Carolina
|Draft Site||2/2||Mark Barron, S, Alabama||Kelechi Osemele, OG, Iowa State||Nick Foles, QB, Arizona||Frank Alexander, DE, Oklahoma||Philip Blake, OC, Baylor||Carmen Messina, ILB, New Mexico|
|Walter Football||2/1||David DeCastro, OG, Stanford||Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama||Tank Carder, ILB, TCU||Michael Brewster, C, Ohio State||- -||- -|
|Mocking The Draft||2/2||David DeCastro, OG, Stanford||Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida||Ben Jones, OC, Georgia||Logqan Harrell, DE/DT, Fresno State||Keenan Robinson, LB, Texas||- -|
|Sideline Scouting||1/29||David DeCastro, OG, Stanford||Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
||Leonard Johnson, CB, Iowa State
||Omar Bolden, CB, Arizona State||Trenton Robinson, S, Michigan State||Darius Fleming, OLB, Notre Dame|