The two most glaring needs for the Dallas Cowboys going into this month’s 2011 NFL Draft, according to just about everyone, is help at offensive line and secondary. According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft, they will spend the first three rounds addressing just these needs.
Kiper has the Cowboys taking USC tackle Tyron Smith in the first round, before grabbing Miami cornerback Brandon Harris and University of North Carolina safety Da’Norris Searcy in the second and third rounds, respectively.
Smith is thought by many to be the best offensive lineman in the 2011 class, capable of making an immediate impact in the NFL. Harris and Searcy are more raw--good natural athletes who will have a steeper learning curve in the NFL, as they refine their technique both in coverage and tackling, than will Smith.
In any case, this latest mock seems another piece of evidence in favor of what the list of the Cowboys’ pre-draft visits has suggested--that they will target the offensive line in the first round. In most of the first crop of mocks, Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara most often went to Dallas at ninth overall.
As the team’s offensive lineman-heavy list of visitors came to light, this has changed however, and it appears that the team will wait to address their shortcoming in the secondary until after the first round.
Or maybe not. Amukamara will visit this week and, we suppose, could impress the team, and throw a wrench into the still-primitive science of mock drafting.
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