Dallas Cowboys Draft Central: Seven Round #Mockthree Draft

 The Boys over at mockone.net have done it again. Running a #mockthree full seven round draft to follow up #mockone and #mocktwo couldn’t have been more exciting for us in the dratnik community. The war room edition was full of plenty of twists, turns and all out surprises. Running the whole mockthree via website and in conjunction with twitter makes the talking and elaboration on picks and team needs makes the mock draft all the more comprehensive.

Coming into the draft we have already elaborated on the desire to have Fletcher Cox or Melvin Ingram fall to the Dallas Cowboys at the number fourteenth spot but also understand that this scenario isn’t very likely to happen. Jerry Jones trading up in order to acquire one of the premium position players will likely be the only way the team is able to address the interior need with a player of either defensive lineman’s caliber.

January 28, 2012; Mobile, AL, USA; South Squad defensive lineman Courtney Upshaw (41) takes a bow after making a quarterback sack during the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-US PRESSWIRE

Our keen draftnik powers of perception didn’t seem to let us down. With both Cox and Ingram off the board by the time the Cowboys selection timer began to tick away trading down with this group of draftniks isn’t as easy as we would have liked. We have a feeling many more NFL teams will be more inclined to trade up into the fourteenth spot once draft day rolls around, thus allowing Dallas to choose a player at a more valued slot within the 2012 NFL draft.

Nonetheless at the fourteenth overall spot we indeed did go with one of three debated Alabama Crimson tide defenders to shore up the defensive side of the ball and thus making defensive coordinator Rob Ryan a happy man on draft day.

14th overall Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama – At 6’2″ and 272 pounds the mammoth of a man is easily a borderline top 10 talent and a good value at fourteen although we would have like to have had a trading partner that would have allowed us to move back a few spots. Upshaw has incredible lower body strength, experience in pro style offense and if Anthony Spencer is gone after this franchised year then Upshaw also provides a viable replacement along with adding depth in the mean time.

2.13 45th overall Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana – another 6’2″ player but weighing much less than the Cowboys round one selection, Johnson weighs in at 202 pounds but has demonstrated shutdown corner capabilities along with the versatility to play the safety position if coach Ryan deems necessary. Mike Jenkins will be a free agent after the 2012 season and once again Johnson can be looked at as an insurance policy while coming in and learning the system. The Cowboys didn’t bring Johnson in for a visit to Valley Ranch but could still be an apple in their eye assuming he is available whenDallas’ time is up on day two.

3.09 72nd overall Kendall Reyes, DT, Connecticut – With Kendall Reyes still on the board at this point the crew behind the curtain of the Cowboys mock draft decided to trade-up in order to select the defensive tackle from UConn. Essentially giving up only a fifth round and swapping places with the Miami Dolphins in the third round Reyes was there for the picking. 

Kendall Reyes played both defensive end and defensive tackle at UConn. Ecstatic that Reyes fell this far and considering the defensive tackle was one of the options we liked earlier in the second round we felt like it was a no brainer to trade up ten slots in order to get Reyes after he fell. Reyes is a perfect fit for Rob Ryan’s traditional 2-gap 3-4 defense. Reyes would have been a steal for the Cowboys in the 2nd yet we felt the secondary was more of a priority. Value is huge here with this guy in the 3rd and Reyes wouldn’t have stayed on the board much longer. Ryan gets the big man in the middle thatDallasdefensive coordinator craves by drafting Reyes. We absolutely love this selection.

4.40, 135th overall Michael Egnew, TE, Missouri – Trading back out of the 4.18 to the 5.10 spot later on with the  Miami Dolphins gave us a 2013 3rd round pick and allowed us to seek better value at the center and tight end position that we had planned to do all along. Needing to address the Marty B departure in Big D. Jason Witten isn’t getting any younger and who better to learn from than one of the best in the business. In 2010 Egnew led the nation’s tight ends with 90 receptions for 762 yards and 5 touchdowns. The 2011 All-Big XII Football First Teamer will likely be third string at start of season behindWitten and John Phillips but that just allows him time to grow while contributing on special teams.

5.10, 145th Quentin Saulsberry, C, Mississippi State – Overall we would of loved to have grabbed Phillip Blake here but are just as excited about Saulsberry. If not for trading back from 4.18 into the fifth round we would have been able to grab, Phillip Blake, the Baylor Bears center but we gambled and it obviously didn’t pay-off. Nonetheless the young offensive lineman from Mississippi State is a steal if not for the knock on him due to his height. Standing only 6’2″ Saulsberry is the only player in Mississippi State history to play and start in every one of his games as a Bulldog.

Saulsberry seems to be the type of player Jason Garret and Dallas likes late. He played right tackle, moved inside to guard, and then played games at Center also while atMississippiState. The versatility & durability is huge here along with his tenacious playing style and feisty, competitive attitude, and also takes pride in finishing blocks. Best suited as an NFL center and that’s the position at which he’ll compete for with the Dallas Cowboys.

As a reminder to fans, only two centers are currently on the Dallas Cowboys roster. Phil Costa and Kevin Kowalski will definitely see some competition from a rookie draft choice during training camp. What remains to be seen is exactly when the Dallas Cowboys will draft a center. Don’t be surprised to see the team trade back up into the end of the first round to select Peter Konz fromWisconsin.

6.16, 186th overall Kelcie McCray, SS, Arkansas St – Kelcie McCray has the ideal size, speed, and athleticism that NFL teams covet. Solid coverage skills and is an excellent aggressive tackler. McCray started all 36 games over the last 3 years and was a 2011 First Team All-Sun Belt selection after logging 70 tackles, 4 interceptions and 4 pass break-ups. McCray could turn out to be a bit of a project but should be able to contribute on special teams and who knows if he could eventually be the Dallas Cowboys Strong Safety of the future once the Cowboys feel comfortable that the young safety can handle the responsibilities that come with playing the position in the NFL.

7.08, 215th overall, Chandler Harnish, QB, Northern Illinois – This pick was acquired from the Miami Dolphins in our round three trade which actually moved us up from 222 overall. We were hoping Jordan White would fall to us here but he didn’t. Obviously losing Laurent presents a need, sometime later in the draft, at wide receiver.

We could of went several different routes and one would of been to draft Dom Hamilton from Missouri to add depth going into training camp at the interior line but instead decided to go QB which is what the Cowboys will do late either in the 7th or invite one as an UDFA. Another option isArizona’s wide receiver David Douglas. Douglas quietly made an impression on scouts atArizona’s pro-day and out performed expected second day draft prospect and teammate Juron Criner.Douglasis 6’0″, weighs 206 pounds, runs 4.46 and has excellent route running ability.

We feel like with the recent addition of Rudy Carpenter off of waivers that the Dallas Cowboys could be cutting ties with third string back-up QB Stephen McGee and could wait to bring in an undrafted free agent like C.J. Kinne here instead of drafting a QB like Harnish. Earlier we would have probably selected DIII standout, cornerback, Chris Greenwood in round six instead of Kelcie McCray but he was not an available prospect in mock three draft pool. IfGreenwoodwould have been available then that’s most certainly what would have happened and then McCray would have been our seventh round selection dependant upon his availability of course.

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Topics: Courtney Upshaw, Dallas Cowboys, Jason Witten, Kelcie McCray, Kendall Reyes, Laurent Robinson, NFL Draft, Peter Konz, Phillip Blake

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