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Cowboys Draft 2012: The Big Board 5.0

LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne rises on the big board.
LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne rises on the big board.

We are only a few weeks away from the draft. I think we all might be relieved once it is finally here because while it is a fun time, it is stressful. The smokescreens are in full effect now, and Jerry Jones is a pro at it. This is the most frustrating part of the draft for me. I spend months breaking down and analyzing prospects for the Cowboys to draft, but this year is totally different.

The last two years we had a better idea of who the Cowboys are interested in. This year I couldn't tell you with certainty who will be the next first-round draft pick for the team. We know where the holes are, so at least we have an idea of the positions they will be targeting. Defensive line, guard, cornerback and pass rusher should be at the top of the draft priority list.

Usually when I write this board up, I attempt to stay unbiased and make it non Cowboys related. When I began writing this update, I found it difficult to steer away from not thinking about a board that made sense for Dallas. That is why you will see certain positions and players rated the way they are. Secondary, defensive line, pass rushers and offensive lineman all make sense for the Cowboys. With that in mind, I altered my rankings accordingly.

One player you will see with a very high ranking for the first time is offensive guard Brandon Brooks. The more I examine him, the more I like him. He is a tank that would really bring a much needed physical element to the Cowboys offensive line. At one point he looked like a reach with the 45th overall pick, but I think he would be a great pick for us in the second round.

Besides offensive line, the offense for the most part is set. This should be a draft that allows defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to upgrade his personnel. Fortunately for the Cowboys, this is a draft class stocked with defensive talent. Last year we saw a dedication to the offense, hopefully this year we see the draft picks go to the other side of the football.

So have at it folks, comment and leave your feedback below. This will be one of my last big board updates for the year. I will release one right before the draft, with a few mocks in between then for some good old fashioned fun.

The Top 50

Rank Previous
Player Position College Change Trend
1 1 Andrew Luck QB Stanford n.c.
2 2 Robert Griffin III QB Baylor n.c.
3 5 Morris Claiborne CB LSU 2
4 4 Matt Kalil OT USC n.c.
5 3 Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State -2
6 6 David DeCastro OG Stanford n.c.
7 7 Trent Richardson RB Alabama n.c.
8 8 Melvin Ingram DE South Carolina n.c.
9 9 Luke Kuechly LB Boston College n.c.
10 15 Quinton Coples DE North Carolina 5
11 10 Janoris Jenkins CB North Alabama -1
12 29 Mark Barron S Alabama 17
13 11 Nick Perry DE USC -2
14 12 Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama -2
15 13 Dontari Poe DT Memphis -2
16 14 Michael Brockers DT LSU -2
17 20 Fletcher Cox DT Mississippi State 3
18 18 Cordy Glenn OG Georgia n.c.
19 16 Riley Reiff OT Iowa -3
20 17 Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame -3
21 19 Jonathan Martin OT Stanford -2
22 21 Don'ta Hightower LB Alabama -1
23 28 Stephon Gilmore CB South Carolina 5
24 24 Courtney Upshaw LB Alabama n.c.
25 33 Whitney Mercilus DE Illinois 8
26 40 Coby Fleener TE Stanford 14
27 22 Devon Still DT Penn State -5
28 23 Ryan Tannehill QB Texas A&M -5
29 NR Brandon Brooks OG Miami Ohio - -
30 30 Kendall Wright WR Baylor n.c.
31 27 Bruce Irvin LB West Virginia -4
32 25 Mike Adams OT Ohio State -7
33 31 Vinny Curry DE/OLB Marshall -2
34 34 David Wilson RB Virginia Tech n.c.
35 32 Brandon Thompson DT Clemson -3
36 26 Alameda Ta'amu DT Washington -10
37 37 Kendall Reyes DL Uconn n.c.
38 38 Lamar Miller RB Miami n.c.
39 45 Andre Branch OLB Clemson 6
40 28 Alshon Jeffery WR South Carolina -12
41 36 LaMichael James RB Oregon -5
42 41 Zach Brown LB North Carolina -1
43 NR Kevin Zeitler OG Wisconsin - -
44 44 Josh Robinson CB Central Florida n.c.
45 42 Orson Charles TE Georgia -3
46 NR Peter Konz C Wisconsin - -
47 35 Mohammed Sanu WR Rutgers -12
48 47 Jerel Worthy DT Michigan State -1
49 49 Dwayne Allen TE Clemson n.c.
50 NR Amini Silatolu OG Midestern State - -
39 Brandon Washington OG Miami
43 Kelechi Osemele OG Iowa State
46 Mychael Kendricks LB California
48 Chandler Jones DE/OLB Syracuse
50 Jared Crick DE Nebraska
40 Jonathan Massaquoi DE/OLB Troy
45 Chase Minnifield CB Virginia
49 Vontaze Burfict LB Arizona State

Here's how the Top 50 board splits out by position groups

Andrew Luck Justin Blackmon Coby Fleener Trent Richardson Matt Kalil David DeCastro
Robert Griffin III Michael Floyd Orson Charles David Wilson Riley Reiff Cordy Glenn
Ryan Tannehill Kendall Wright Dwayne Allen LaMichael James Jonathan Martin Brandon Brooks
Alshon Jeffrey Lamar Miller Mike Adams Kevin Zeitler
Mohammed Sanu Peter Konz
Amini Silatolu
Dontari Poe Melvin Ingram Luke Kuechly Morris Claiborne Mark Barron
Michael Brockers Quinton Coples Don'ta Hightower Janoris Jenkins
Fletcher Cox Nick Perry Courtney Upshaw Dre Kirkpatrick
Devon Still Whitney Mercilus Zach Brown Stephon Gilmore
Brandon Thompson Bruce Irvin Josh Robinson
Alameda Ta'amu Vinny Curry
Kendall Reyes Andre Branch
Jerel Worthy

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