Kiper's got Cowboys taking care of secondary

With eight picks of the 2011 draft, the Cowboys should have enough opportunities to fill some needs.

Mel Kiper, ESPN's NFL Draft expert, has the Cowboys doing that in the first three rounds of the draft.

In his latest Mock Draft, he's got Dallas taking tackle Tyron Smith from USC and the next two selections address major concerns. With the 40th pick, second round, Miami corner Brandon Harris goes to the Cowboys. In the third round, Da'Norris Searcy, a safety from North Carolina, is the 71st pick.

So in three rounds, the Cowboys found a new starting right tackle (replacing Marc Colombo), a fourth cornerback who seems physical and a safety who could move into the starting lineup as a rookie.

Of these three picks, Searcy and Harris are the players who might not make an impact in their first year, but Scouts Inc. and NFL Draft Scout has some good things to say about each.

You have to be an ESPN Insider to read the full report, but here's a little of what it has to say.


Scouts Inc. on his intangibles: "Flashes a strong punch and the ability to get off receiver's blocks when lined up over the slot but inconsistent in this area. Not a downhill run stopper. Appears to shy away from contact and a bit of a pile inspector."

Rob Rang of NFL Draft Scout had this to say about him: "May be a bit of a 'tweener. Questionable range to handle the conversion to free safety and isn't the big, physical safety most teams are looking for in a classic strong safety. Gets the ballcarrier to the ground, but isn't an intimidating hitter."


Scouts Inc. on his cover skills: "A very good natural athlete with quick feet, great balance and fluid hips. Could be more compact in his pedal but shows good burst out of it and excellent closing speed when the ball is in the air. Does a nice job of wrapping up and limiting yards after catch. Is physical enough to hold up in bump-and-run coverage in the NFL, but needs work on technique and more game reps."

NFL Draft Scout had this on Harris' tackling skills: A reliable open-field tackler, but isn't always pretty doing it. Has a tendency to lead with his shoulder and/or lunge at the defender, resulting in some precarious tackles. Flashes the ability to deliver a pop, but relies too much on arm tackles. Has to do a better job of wrapping up the ballcarrier, though important to note that he did not miss a tackle on the games reviewed. Occasionally asked to blitz off the edge. Times the blitz well, shows good closing speed and the wherewithal to strip the football. Did take a terrible angle on a big play by Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd in the Sun Bowl.