Version four, although this is only the second one posted here. The first was in January
. I'm staying true to my original second and third round picks, though their order has changed. I don't think the Boys draft for need in round one this year. And even though I think WRs tend to be overvalued by most fans, that doesn't mean the position should be ignored if there's value in the pick. I'm convinced the reason there are so many first-round busts among WRs is an overemphasis on 40 times. Four months ago Dwayne Jarrett was a sure-fire top-20 pick, many thought top-10 or top-15.
1. Dwayne Jarrett, WR, USC
I favor a trade down, but if that's not possible, the Cowboys should look for a potential playmaker. Jerry Jones has hit the mark before with a skill position player who dropped because of a sub-par 40 time. Most WRs don't make an impact in their rookie season, and with Terrell Owens (age 33), Terry Glenn (soon to be 33), and Patrick Crayton (age 28), on the roster, Jarrett won't have to contribute right away. Jones is a gambling man, and with a solid roster already, the Boys can afford to gamble on a boom-or-bust prospect.
Pick instead, if he's still on the board: Darrelle Revis, CB, Pittsburgh
. The most complete DB in the draft. I just don't think he'll be available.
Avoid: Aaron Ross, CB, Texas
, Two years ago, Justin Miller's timed speed and return ability made him a first rounder in most mock drafts; but, when the real GMs were on the clock, he fell to the late second. Ross just has too many areas to improve on to be worth the 22nd pick.
2. Jonathan Wade, CB, Tennessee
Still a little raw, but Wade has shown enough that, if selected, he could be the man to replace Aaron Glenn in the nickel by 2007's end. Like TNew, Wade was a track guy, but he's not just about speed, finishing the 2006 season tied for the SEC lead in passes defended. He also displays a willingness to help out against the run, though he needs to improve his tackling. As a prospect, I think he compares to Asante Samuel, a mid-round pick of similar stature who needed a couple of years to develop into the fine all-around CB he is today.
Avoid: Tank Tyler, NT, NC State
, I know a number of people on this board like him, so I won't knock him too much. I'm just not sure he has enough explosion to play the nose in the Phillips 34. It would also be nice if he were a smarter player, or at least had a better intuitive "nose" for the play. Beyond that, I still have to question whether the kid gets it. For my tastes, he's too big a risk for the second round.
3. Josh Beekman, G/C, Boston College
Started 10 games at right guard and 3 games at center. A big lineman with good feet, strong drive, and who blocks well on the move. His stock took a hit after a mediocre workout at the combine and up-and-down moments at the Senior Bowl. But film doesn't lie, and like Marcus McNeil for the Chargers in 2006, Beekman has the makeup of an NFL starter.
Avoid: Mason Crosby, K, Colorado
, One might think this should go without saying, but Scott Wright
has had the Boys picking Crosby for at least a month now. Kickers shouldn't be taken on day one, especially when they have questions to answer as Crosby does.
4. Anthony Waters, ILB, Clemson
Injury history is the only thing that could keep Waters out of day one. He has a good football mind and is not likely to struggle with the mental part of the game the way Bradie James has. To quote a quote from a Pat Kirwan article on 3-4 prospects: "As one scout said, 'This guy (6-2, 245) is ideal for the strong inside backer spot.'"
If he's still on the board: Courtney Brown, CB, Cal Poly
, Regardless of what CB they take in the first three rounds, if Brown is still there in round 4, he should be scooped right up.
5. Jacob Ford, OLB, Central Arkansas
Athletic, small-school tweener to add pass-rushing depth to the linebacking corps. The Boys have done well the past two years with small-school defensive selections, DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher.
If he's still on the board: Zak DeOssie, LB, Brown
, DeOssie's impressive performances at the Shrine game practices and at the Combine have him on the cusp of being a first-day pick. He has the size, smarts, and skills to eventually start inside or outside in the 3-4. Could fill the special teams void left by Ryan Fowler's departure.
6. (from Jets, for Hunter) LaRon Harris, NT, Northwest Oklahoma St.
One-time Tennessee Vol "ran a 1.7 ten-yard shuttle, did 33 bench press reps, displayed a 33.5" vertical leap and ended it all with a back flip at 345 pounds." More about him in this ESPN.com article,
or see a summarized version at Scout.com.
Keith Jackson, Jr., DT, Arkansas, Son of the former All-Pro tight end. Undersized nose tackle who could be a solid backup and future starter, though probably not in a 3-4 defense.
6. Le'Ron McClain, FB, Alabama
McClain's stock took a bit of a hit after poor workouts, but he's still the top-rated fullback on most draft sites, and the Boys have the luxury of being able to use a pick on one. Another possible point in McClain's favor: the Boys have had a thing for team captains the past few drafts, although that might have been BP's influence.
Alternate: Jesse Allen, FB, Virginia Tech
7. Josh Swogger, QB, Montana
Played parts of two seasons at Washington State before suffering a foot injury. With prototypical size and a good mind for the game, Swogger could develop into a solid backup.
7. (from Jets, for Ryan) Melvin Bullitt, S, Texas A&M
Already brought in to Valley Ranch for a closer look. Bullitt was a Combine "snub" who showed off his athleticism at his Pro Day.
7. (from Saints, for Shanle) Jonathan Palmer, T/G, Auburn
An ability to play anywhere on the line might be enough to get Palmer drafted. It would be nice if he could turn out to be as solid a backup as another Tiger, selected in the seventh round by the Boys two years ago, Jay Ratliff.