Retrospective: Grading the Dallas Cowboys 2011 NFL Draft Class

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2nd round (40th overall) – Bruce Carter; Linebacker, North Carolina

An ACL injury limited Bruce Carter’s grading scale tremendously this year. But rumors out of Valley Ranch say that this kid is smart, athletic, fast has the potential to be a good pass rusher. But “potential” is the key word here. Last year, Sean Lee had similar question marks as a second round draft pick coming onto the club with an injury. But Lee showed glimpses of what was to come this season, in the final few games of his rookie year. Carter did not. The former Tar Heel played just 41 defensive snaps this season after debuting in Week Eight. This guy is a project and until he shows something more on the field, he should be viewed as such. Grade: D

3rd round (71st overall) - DeMarco Murray; Running Back, Oklahoma

Murray emerged as the best rookie running back in the draft this season. Despite only starting in seven games, Murray racked up an astounding 897 rushing yards. Against the St. Louis Rams in Week Seven, the former Sooner ran for 253 yards and a score. Murray showed that he could be the consistent 20+ carry running back Dallas has needed for the longest time. That consistency is one of the main reasons the Cowboys went on a four game winning streak mid-season. Unfortunately, injury ended Murray’s remarkable season early. But things have never looked brighter in the offensive back-field then they do now. Grade: A+

4th round (110th overall) - David Arkin; Guard, Missouri State

Arkin’s play in the preseason was one of the reasons why the Dallas Cowboys felt comfortable in releasing veteran guard Montrae Holland. But the former Missouri State Bear was inactive for the entire season, hence whatever confidence they had in him early on faded away. The Cowboys later resigned Holland, who played very well while Arkin sat the pine. But former offensive line coach, Hudson Houck, believed Arkin could develop into a good NFL player, but he just needs more time. Yet another project. Grade: D

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Tags: 2011 NFL Draft Bill Nagy Bruce Carter Dallas Cowboys David Arkin DeMarco Murray Dwayne Harris Josh Thomas Mel Kiper Jr. NFL Draft Shaun Chapas Tyron Smith

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