Potential Cowboys’ Third-Round Selections in 2012 Draft
After sleeping on it, I’m liking the Cowboys’ first-round trade-up for LSU Morris Claiborne a bit more. I hate losing this year’s second-rounder, but that’s not a bad price to pay for such an elite player. You can review my thoughts on the trade and watch Claiborne’s highlights/scouting report here.
The worst part of the Claiborne trade is that the second-round just became a whole lot less interesting. Let’s take a look at the top players left on my board, along with their original rank:
12. Vinny Curry, DE/OLB, Marshall (First Round) ***
15. Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson (First Round) ***
21. Devon Still, DT, Penn State (First Round)
23. Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford (First Round)
24. Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida State (First Round) ***
25. Jamell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma (First/Second Round) ***
26. Janoris Jenkins, CB, Florida/North Alabama (First/Second Round)
31. Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia (First/Second Round)
33. Rueben Randle, WR, LSU (Second Round)
35. Josh Chapman, DT, Alabama (First/Second Round) ***
37. James-Michael Johnson, LB, Nevada (First/Second Round) ***
38. Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State (First Round/Second)
39. Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers (Second Round) ***
41. Ben Jones, C, Georgia (Second Round)
42. Brandon Brooks, G, Miami (OH) (Second Round) ***
43. Brandon Washington, G, Miami (Second Round) ***
44. Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama (Second Round) ^^^
46. Lamar Miller, RB, Miami (Second Round)
47. Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech (Second Round) ***
48. Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska (Second Round)
49. Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech (Second Round)
50. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon (Second Round)
51. Brandon Taylor, S, LSU (Second Round)
52. Brian Quick, WR, Appalacian State (Second Round) ***
53. Marcus Forston, DT, Miami (Second Round) ***
54. Jaye Howard, DT, Florida (Second Round) ***
56. Mychal Kendricks, LB, Cal (Second Round)
57. Josh Robinson, CB, UCF (Second Round)
58. Nigel Bradham, LB, FSU (Second Round) ***
60. Emmanuel Acho, LB, Texas (Second Round) ***
61. Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati (Second Round) ***
62. Ladarius Green, TE, Louisiana-Lafayette (Second Round) ***
63. Matt McCants, OT, Alabama-Birmingham (Second Round) ***
64. Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State (Second Round) ***
65. Josh Norman, CB, Coastal Carolina (Second Round) ***
66. Jared Crick, DT, Nebraska (Second Round)
67. DaJohn Harris, DT, USC (Second Round) ***
Of those players, the best prospect who could legitimately drop to the Cowboys’ third-round selection is Alabama DT Josh Chapman. I love Chapman, grading him far ahead of others as a late-first/early-second round talent. Check him out:
Chapman can get blown back at times, and he needs to work on his conditioning. However, he possesses a good pass rush, including one of the best swim moves of any defensive lineman in this class. Chapman is likely going to drop because he’s only 6’1” with 32-inch arms, and he’s not an elite athlete by any means, even for his size.
For Dallas, Chapman has the size to play the nose and five-technique. Jason Garrett loves versatility, and Chapman could provide the team a lot of flexibility inside. He just seems like a Cowboys type of guy.
Here are the other prospects the ‘Boys might seek in Round 3:
- Let me preface this by saying Allen is unlikely to fall into the third round. You can click the link to see why I like him so much, though, and with no tight ends off the board, he could fall some. If Georgia tight end Orson Charles sneaks ahead of Allen, he might just be an option.
Ben Jones, C, Georgia
Brandon Brooks, G, Miami (OH)
Brandon Washington, G, Miami
- I have these players ranked back-to-back-to-back on my Big Board, all of them with legitimate second-round grades. You’d think at least one of the trio will fall, and there aren’t many other players I’d prefer over Jones and The Brandons.
Brandon Taylor, S, LSU
- Why not cap off the secondary transformation with a safety? Martin in particular seems like a likely target for Dallas. He’s intelligent and versatile enough to play either safety position.
Marcus Forston, DT, Miami
Jaye Howard, DT, Florida
DaJohn Harris, DT, USC
- Defensive tackle is by far the most loaded position left on the board at this point. If Chapman isn’t an option in the third, any of the players above might be. I have second-round grades on all of them.
Ladarius Green, TE, Louisana-Lafayette
- If the Cowboys hadn’t traded their second-rounder, I think tight end was a legitimate option for them at that point. With Allen likely to fall, Green could be the Cowboys’ guy. He’s a different sort of player than Martellus Bennett, though, so if the coaches are looking for a blocking replacement, this isn’t it.
Cam Johnson, DE/OLB, Virginia
Malik Jackson, DE/OLB, Tennessee
- The edge-rusher cupboard is bare. I didn’t put Vinny Curry on this list because I can’t imagine him falling, and Courtney Upshaw will obviously be off the board as well. After those two, these are my top guys, ranked all the way down at No. 69 and No. 76, respectively.