Bill Jones, CBS 11 Sports

Over the course of the next week leading up to Thursday’s start of the NFL Draft, we’ll provide six different options of how the Cowboys’ draft might go.

You’ll see nightly Cowboys Mock Drafts on TXA 21’s The Fan at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, and on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week.

We start with Cowboys Mock Draft 1.0, which is my “Dream Draft”, one that goes against conventional thought that the Cowboys need to draft a defensive front seven player in the first round.  I contend that the team shouldn’t be tied to a specific position.  Rather, they should draft a player who will have the biggest impact on the team, both short-term and long-term.

As I detailed in an earlier blog, The Case For Coby Fleener, I don’t believe a surefire impact defensive player, like Mississippi State DE Fletcher Cox, will be available when the Cowboys select at #14 in the first round.  Furthermore, I don’t see a DeMarcus Ware-type edge rusher, or an Ed Reed-type safety, or even a Terence Newman-type cornerback in this draft.  However, I do see a Jason Witten-type tight end.  So, that’s the direction I believe the Cowboys should go with their top pick.

So here it is:

Cowboys Mock Draft 1.0

1st Round:  Cowboys trade down…send 1st and 2nd round picks (#14 and #45) to Cleveland for the Browns’ 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round picks (#22, #37, and #67).  Cleveland’s motivation to move up would be to acquire a QB.  I believe they want Brandon Weeden, who, even at age 28, will compete immediately with Colt McCoy for the starting job.  The Browns have 13 choices in this draft, so losing a 3rd round pick is worth the price to ensure they can acquire a player they think could be their starting QB.  The Cowboys can move down 8 spots in the 1st round and still get the best impact player on their board, and by moving up 8 spots in the 2nd round they position themselves much better in that round.  The acquisition of the 3rd round pick gives them four of the top 81 players in the draft.

1st Round – #22 – COBY FLEENER – TE – Stanford

Think Jason Witten with 4.45 speed…averaged 19.6 yards per reception his senior year…can be used as an in-line tight end, slot receiver, flanker, or h-back…teamed with Witten, Fleener can be everything Martellus Bennett was supposed to be but wasn’t…will present extreme matchup problems and provide a strategic advantage as defenses won’t be able to determine through personnel on the field whether the Cowboys are going to run or pass the ball when they break the huddle…a Cowboys version of the Gronkowski-Hernandez TE tandem that produced 169 receptions and 24 TDs for the Patriots last season…smart, hard worker, strong, athletic…clearly, the top tight end in this draft…”you can’t have enough Jason Witten’s” on your team.

2nd Round – #37 – BRANDON BOYKIN – CB/KR – Georgia

Winner of the Paul Hornung Award as the most versatile player in college football…returned 4 kicks for TDs and was even used at times as a RB and WR in Georgia’s offense…Georgia Defensive Coordinator Todd Grantham (a former Cowboys assistant) on Boykin:  “has mental toughness, leadership qualities, took control of our team, the kind of guy you want in your locker room”…Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt:  “He’s a dynamic player and a great person, a guy who loves his team, loves Georgia and loves football.”  Boykin suffered a small fracture of his lower leg during Senior Bowl workouts and wasn’t able to work out at the Scouting Combine.  Plays bigger than his 5-10, 182 frame… has great leaping ability, winning a national AAU slam dunk contest in high school…a bright eyed, enthusiastic, confident leader.

3rd Round – #67 – DEREK WOLFE – DE – Cincinnati

A real rarity for the Cowboys, a defensive end who may actually have some pass rushing ability…Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year…70 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, and 9.5 sacks his senior season…at 6-5, 295 pounds, Wolfe has the ideal frame to play a 3-4 DE…strong and agile…33 bench reps, 33.5 vertical, a 4.94 forty with a 1.69 10-yard split…7.26 cone drill quicker than Jay Ratliff’s 7.35 at the 2005 combine.

3rd Round – #81 – RYAN BROYLES – WR – Oklahoma

The NCAA’s all-time leading receiver, Broyles (5-11, 192) has quickly rebounded from an ACL injury suffered in early November…ran a 4.57 for pro scouts last week, just 150 days after knee surgery…high character, competitive, tough player who runs great routes and has very reliable hands…quicker than fast, ideal slot player but able to play on the outside as well…returned over 100 punts in college, averaging 11.1 yards per return…quick rehab from ACL shows his work ethic as does his 21 bench press reps of 225 pounds…was projected to be early 2nd round pick if not for injury.

4th Round – #113 – PHILIP BLAKE – C – Baylor

1st team All-Big 12 center who fits the mold of what the Cowboys are looking for in a player…6-3, 311…started at right tackle in 2009 before becoming starting center his last two years at Baylor…a native Canadian, he started his collegiate career at Tyler JC…earned Sociology degree last August…older, mature player (turns 27 in November)…should be able to compete for starting center position immediately.

4th Round – #135 – JAKE BEQUETTE – OLB – Arkansas

Another highly productive player who fits the profile of the type players the Cowboys have acquired since Jason Garrett became head coach…6-5, 274…registered 17 sacks his last two years at Arkansas…1st team All-SEC…a hand on the ground DE who looks like he can convert to SAM LB in 3-4…4.75 forty with a 1.67 split…4.07 shuttle and 6.90 cone drill numbers compare to DeMarcus Ware’s 4.07/6.85 at 2005 combine.

5th Round – #152 – KEITH TANDY – CB – West Virginia

A two-time 1st team All-Big East cornerback, the 5-10, 203 pound Tandy probably projects as a free safety in Rob Ryan’s defense…13 career interceptions, 24 passes broken up, Tandy is smart, hard working, vocal, and confident.  WVU Defensive Coordinator Jeff Casteel:  “He’s like having a another coach on the field, the best leader on our defense”…academic honor roll, big hitter, gunner on punt coverage…ran 4.43 at his Pro Day with a 35 vertical and 6.91 cone drill.

6th Round – #186 – TERENCE GANAWAY – RB – Baylor

1st team All-Big 12 running back who rushed for 1500 yards and 21 TDs for the Bears last year…began career at University of Houston before following Art Briles to Baylor…6-0, 239…can be short yardage back the Cowboys haven’t had since the early days of Marion Barber’s career…Dean’s List…graduated in December, 2010…one of the more enthusiastic members of team….37.5 vertical…4.67 forty at 240 pounds with good quickness (4.25 shuttle/7.15 cone).

7th Round – #222 – COREY WHITE – S – Samford

Another playmaking college cornerback who had a sensational workout at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis…6-0, 206…ran a 4.4 forty at his Pro Day with a very athletic 41.5 vertical, 10-6 broad jump, and a 6.72 three-cone drill.  Those are numbers that compare favorably to any defensive back in this draft.

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