If the 2010-11 NFL season were to end today, the Dallas Cowboys would be selecting in the top ten for the first time since 2003 when they selected Kansas State cornerback Terrence Newman with the fifth overall selection.
Dallas currently holds firm at the sixth overall spot in the current draft order. Of course, nothing is final this early in the season so the draft order is determined by team record. If teams are tied, strength of schedule determines who would pick first. The top five would be the Carolina Panthers, Detroit Lions, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills and Arizona Cardinals. Next up are our Cowboys.
What could Dallas do with the sixth overall pick?
There is no question that Dallas needs help in the secondary and offensive line, but the top half of this draft class is loaded with defensive line talent. Could Dallas bolster their defensive line? It’s very possible, especially since Marcus Spears, Jason Hatcher and Stephen Bowen are all due to become free agents.
When you look at who is currently selecting ahead of the Cowboys, it looks like Quarterback would be the focus for Carolina, Buffalo, and Arizona. Cincinnati and Detroit could look to improve their defenses with guys like Da’Quan Bowers and Patrick Peterson, so who is left for Dallas?
Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara, Alabama defensive lineman Marcell Dareus, and North Carolina defensive lineman Robert Quinn look to be the best options. There are simply no offensive lineman that are rated high enough to gamble on in the top ten.
Amukamara has incredible size for a corner. He stands at 6’1, 205-pounds and his presence is always felt on the field. Opposing quarterbacks rarely look in his direction, but when they do he has a team-leading seven pass break ups. Amukamara could step into the secondary and develop into an impact NFL corner.
Dareus was awarded the 2010 BCS National Championship Defensive MVP. He plays inside in college, but could bump out to a 3-4 defensive end in the pros. Dareus is a very strong, versatile defensive lineman and despite being suspended two games by the NCAA for receiving improper benefits he will be one of the top defensive linemen selected in the upcoming draft.
Quinn is an athletic guy who could make the transition to 3-4 outside linebacker. He has been compared to DeMarcus Ware due to his freakish athleticism and ability to attack the passer. Even though he wouldn’t help at defensive line or the secondary, the pass rush that he could add to the team would in turn improve the secondary. He would give the opposing quarterbacks less time to find the open receiver. A pass rushing combo of DeMarcus Ware and Robert Quinn could prove to be deadly for the Cowboys opposition. The only knock on Quinn is that he is still a bit raw and was one of the UNC players that was kicked off of the team for receiving benefits from an agent.
Who would you like to see the Cowboys target in the 2011 NFL Draft?