Hard to believe, but we've only had four days of free agency so far. And what a ride it's been.
From Tuesday through Thursday, we counted a record-setting 400,000 page views on Blogging The Boys. We've recorded 14,000 individual comments during the time. Our writers were working double overtime to write story after story to accommodate all those comments in almost thirty front page posts. What a rush.
A lot has changed since the new league year kicked off free agency on 4:00 pm on Tuesday. The Cowboys got busy and have signed seven free agents so far. The competitive landscape across the league has irrevocably changed with free agent signings and player releases. Just about the only thing that hasn't changed is that Peyton Manning still hasn't found a team, and apparently, the people glued to ESPN still care about that.
What has also irrevocably changed with free agency are all the mock drafts out there. Free agency is shaking up team needs, as some teams are addressing needs while others watch as players depart and new holes open up on their old teams' rosters.
And while draftniks across the country are scrambling to update their mocks to reflect the latest moves in free agency, a handful of mock draft sites have released their newest mock drafts today. And with the amount of moves the Cowboys have made in the last couple of days, it might be interesting to see how this has impacted the latest mock drafts.
Drafttek, 3/16/12: Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
Brandon Carr's signing doesn't mean Dallas won't draft CB's . . . just not in the 1st round. A secondary is only as good as the pass rush, and Upshaw brings that ability in spades . . . just ask SEC quarterbacks!
Bucky Brooks, NFL.com, 3/16/12: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
Jerry Jones would be ecstatic if the board shook out this way with one of the top defensive ends falling out of the top 10. Coples is an ideal five-technique with the size and athleticism to wreak havoc on the interior. Although questions about his motor need to be addressed, Coples could be a star in Rob Ryan's 3-4.
Peter Schrager, Foxsports, 3/16/12: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
The Brandon Carr deal was big, and I think it’s one of the better signings of the week.
Carr’s an underrated cornerback, worthy of Pro Bowl consideration a year ago. I don’t think Dallas is done with cornerback. A 6-foot defensive back with top-flight speed (think Patrick Peterson speed), Alabama’s Kirkpatrick is the rare tall cornerback who can keep up with the game’s fastest receivers.
I wouldn’t be shocked if Dallas went O-Line or picked up another pass rusher — but in this new era of pass-heavy offenses, you can’t go wrong with another stud at the cornerback spot.
NFL Draftroom, 3/16/12: Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
Massive (6,2 265lb) middle linebacker with big hit ability. Reads the defense well, attacks the ball carrier and can really get after the QB.
Dan Shonka, Ourlads, 3/16/12: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
DeCastro is the best guard we've evaluated since Steve Hutchinson in 2001. DeCastro is intense, explosive, patient, and has excellent recoverability in pass protection. Jerry Jones brought in Bill Callahan to coordinate the running game offense. DeCastro helps solidify the line in pass protection and in the running game.
WEII.com, 3/16/2012: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
The Cowboys need help at both center and guard, so they can address their weakness early with the best interior offensive lineman in the draft. Jenkins previously seemed to be a good fit and still may be, but the signing of Brandon Carr makes corner less of a pressing need.
National Football Authority, 3/16/12: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Jerry Jones loves athletes and after Claiborne, Jenkins is the most talented CB available who can cover, run fast and cause turnovers. Even though the Cowboys signed Brandon Carr to a big deal, they still need more support in their secondary.
Sportshoundblog, 3/15/12: Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
The Cowboys just signed Brandon Carr after the release of Terrence Newman. One starting spot in the secondary is fixed, now Barron is an upgrade over both Sensabaugh and Elam.
Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft overview (min. three rounds deep)
|Site||Date||1st Round||2nd Round||3rd Round||4th Round||5th Round||6th Round||7th Round|
|Draft Tek||3/16||Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
||Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
||Philip Blake, OC, Balor
||Josh Norman, CB, Coastal Carolina
||Tommi Streeter, WR, Miami
||Ishmaa'ily Kitchen, DT, Kent State
||Dominique Hamilton, DE, Missouri
|Draftsite||3/16||David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
||Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida||Billy Winn, DT, Boise State
||Brandon Lindsey, DE, Pittsburgh||Ryan Lindley, QB, San Diego State||Aaron Henry, S, Wisconsin
||Nelson Rosario, WR, UCLA
|New NFL Draft||3/16||Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama||Bobby Wagner, LB, Utah St||Bobby Massie, OT, Ole Miss||Brock Osweiler, QB, ASU||Tydreke Powell, DT, UNC||Bob Hebert, C, LSU||Roy Roundtree, WR, Michigan|
|Great Blue North||3/14||Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama||Jared Crick, DE, Nebraska||Amini Silatolu, OG, Midwestern State|