Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Cowboys in six-way tie for draft spot
By Calvin Watkins
IRVING -- The Vikings' loss to the Bears created a six-team logjam for the No. 7 spot in the 2011 NFL draft.
The Cowboys, Browns, Texans, Redskins, Vikings and Titans are all tied with 5-9 records.
Next up for the Cowboys: The Arizona Cardinals, who are in a three-way tie with the Lions and Bills for the No. 4 spot in the draft.
The more the Cowboys win, the lower they'll draft in the first round. We believe that the Cowboys will be looking to draft a defensive back or offensive lineman -- both pressing needs -- in the first round.
Todd McShay ranked these corners with the highest grades before the start of the year: Nebraska's Prince Amukamara (95), Virginia's Ras-I Dowling (93) and Janoris Jenkins of Florida who got a 92.
Mel Kiper's Big Board, released earlier this month, had Amukamara at No. 5 and LSU's Patrick Peterson at No. 4.
At offensive line, McShay has Colorado tackle Nate Solder with the highest grade at 93. He's followed by Florida center Rodney Hudson (92) and Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi (91).
Carimi is No. 21 on the Big Board.
Here's what McShay had to say on our Insider Blog about Carimi: "He's a better overall player now than the one I saw during preseason film evaluation. Carimi continues to improve his technique, especially his hand use, and he playing more under control and with better balance. In terms of athleticism in pass protection he's a notch below Jake Long when Long came out of Michigan, but Carimi is a very strong run blocker and at the very least will be a starting right tackle as an NFL rookie."
We're not saying the Cowboys can get any of these players, it's just interesting to know what's out there -- especially if the Cowboys finish at 6-10.
Last year, the Bills finished 6-10 and had the ninth pick of the draft and got running back C.J. Spiller.
What's available if the Cowboys should win their remaining two regular-season games and finish 7-9? Last year's case example: the Dolphins, Jaguars and Bears.
The Bears gave up their pick in the Jay Cutler trade to the Broncos, which picked 18th. The Dolphins would have drafted 12th, but they traded down. The Jags picked 10th.