Jan 2, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck (12) throws to tight end Coby Fleener (82) during the second half against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the 2012 Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Oklahoma State Cowboys beat the Stanford Cardinal 41-38 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Tales of the Unmocked: Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

‘Tales of the Unmocked’ is a series that I will be featuring until the draft.  In this series we’ll take a look at appealing prospects that have rarely or never been mocked to the Dallas Cowboys in this draft.

So without further ado, with the 14th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft the Dallas Cowboys Select… Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford.

Ok, this is probably not going to happen.  However, what if the Cowboys traded down a time or two to stockpile picks.  Say hypothetically the Cowboys end up with 3 second round picks and a late first rounder.  Would Fleener be so farfetched?

The Dallas Cowboys move into the 2012 season with questions at the tight end position.  Jason Witten remains one of the elite tight ends in the league but is pushing 30 years old.  Behind Witten the Cowboys have realistically no one.  John Phillips has been a promising prospect but has dealt with injuries.  This void leaves the Cowboys in the market to look for an upgrade in the draft.

With the emergence of the two tight end offense coupled with the evolution of the receiving tight end position Dallas could benefit with a prospect like Fleener.   At 6-6 and 244 pounds Fleener has ideal size for the types of tight ends the Cowboys target.

Fleener had a very productive season and career at Stanford, although some would attribute some of his success to having Andrew Luck throwing him the football.  In 2011, Fleener posted 34 receptions 667 yards and 10 touchdowns.  Fleener is quick off the line and has good top end speed.  He is a reliable target in the passing game and can be effective all over the field.  Besides his excellent hands and pass catching ability Fleener is a strong blocker and wouldn’t be a liability when blocking pass rushers.

Fleener projects as a well-rounded NFL starter.  He’ll use his work ethic, intelligence, and natural ability to be productive anywhere he lands.  The real question is does he fit with the Dallas Cowboys?

The Dallas Cowboys would find themselves in a tough position if they were picking in the lower part of the first round.  There won’t be any “can’t miss” prospects and Fleener would grade out as one of the best players left on the board.  Fleener reminds me a good bit of Jason Witten and could offer a great addition for Tony Romo and the offense.

I can’t honestly say that I would love this pick if the Cowboys found themselves in this situation.  However, I think it would be a smart pick in terms of benefiting the team in the future. Fleener isn’t a popular choice but it would be nice to offer Tony Romo another elite tight end that could torment NFC East defenses.

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