Over the last few weeks, we've had a running series at Blue Star designed to introduce you to the college players who could potentially become Cowboys in the first round of April's draft. We're breaking from the format this week to instead look at who others think are likely picks when the Cowboys send their notecard up to the podium with the ninth overall selection.
The consensus of the eight mock drafts reviewed for these purposes is that the Cowboys will be adding a defensive player. Seven of the eight have players from that side of the ball, with four of them opting for help in the front seven and the other three going with cornerbacks. The one outlier is Chad Reuter of CBSSports.com who projects that Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod will be a Cowboy come April.
Such a pick would definitely fill a need. The Cowboys need to get younger and more talented up front on offense and there's no player more ready to be put out to pasture than Marc Colombo. The only problem with the pick seems to be that there isn't anyone else who thinks Sherrod is worth such a high draft position.
Many of the other prognosticators concede that the Cowboys need offensive line help, but then turn their eyes to the defense because of the lack of standout options among the offensive linemen. Sherrod doesn't appear higher than 13th on any other draft board and falls behind various other tackles.
The only players who pick up multiple nods are Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara and Alabama defensive lineman Marcell Dareus. Amukumara (picked by SI.com and Walter Football) was part of our series on draftees and would be a fine addition to a secondary in flux thanks to Mike Jenkins's regression and the poor play of the safeties. Dareus (the choice of FoxSports.com and FootballsFuture) fills less of a need, but he'd certainly fall under the best available player banner that is always useful on draft day.
So do players like LSU corner Patrick Peterson, picked by FanHouse and the nation's top cornerback, and Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers. Bowers was the choice of Reuter's colleague Rob Rang, but, like Peterson, he feels like a highly unlikely pick given how talented he is and how much hype he's received during the 2010 season.
There's definitely a chance that they take a tumble, however, and that brings us to the big caveat of munching on mock drafts in January. There are still scouting combines, campus workouts and assorted other offseason machinations, not to mention underclassmen actually throwing their hats into the ring, to run through before we get anywhere close to draft day. Maybe Sherrod or some other tackle becomes a no-brainer or there could be a trade that shakes up the order and delivers Peterson to the Cowboys.
The nice thing about having the ninth pick is that however things wind up progressing, you've got a team with enough needs to guarantee you'll have a place for whatever player slips into your hands.
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