My 8 Picks For the Cowboys in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Safety Barron with a pick against the Gamecocks. Will he be the Cowboys first pick in the draft?

The 2012 NFL draft is less than a week away so it’s time to get it on. Time for Mel Kiper to tell us who the “best available” is and for the Jet fans to boo their first pick no matter who they select.

I’m speculating who I think the Cowboys will draft based on who they have worked out and needs. Also based on where these prospects are ranked and expected to get drafted which of course can change. That’s what makes it exciting. No one knows what drama will unfold as some prospects slide while other prospects come off the board sooner than expected.

The Cowboys have 8 chances to get better next weekend….

First Round: SS Mark Barron, Alabama 

This pick could change on Thursday but the Cowboys are definitely considering drafting Barron based on Coach Jason Garrett’s Pro Day visit and conversations with Bama Coach Saban. Barron along with free agent CB Brandon Carr will help solidify a secondary that was very shaky last year. Barron is a good character guy that fits Jason’s criteria.

Second Rd: DE Vinny Curry, Marshall.

Another area on the Cowboy fans wish list is a bona fide pass rusher. Curry can develop into a pass rushing specialist in the Cowboys rotation. He can play DE in the 4-3 and 3-4 which indications are the Cowboys will line up in both next year. Bringing in a pass rusher with fresh legs on passing downs and during 2 minute offense would be a good idea. Curry reminds me of a former Cowboy pass rusher Charles Haley.

Third Rd. CB Ron Brooks, LSU  

Brooks is from Irving, Texas and he worked out for the Cowboys recently. So at least I know he is being considered a prospect. I like it that he was a punt team “gunner” at LSU and can contribute to the Cowboys special teams which is needed with the departure of WR Jessie Holley. Ron also had success returning kickoffs too.  Brooks is experienced at playing in the Nickel and Dime packages which I think would be his role for Dallas as well. Helping the secondary in passing situations. Check out this highlight video of Ron. He is an effective blitzer and hey he has got gunner skillz y’all. Dallas really can’t draft too many CBs as it is a position that often has injuries and under performers.

Fourth RD. *Cowboys have Two picks: Center Philip Blake, Baylor and WR Joe Adams, Arkansas.

BLAKE

The center who snapped the ball to RG3 worked out for the Cowboys offensive line coach earlier. LINK Last season the center position was a weak spot so it makes sense that they would bring in someone to compete for the position next year. At the least, Blake provides more depth on the offensive line where it has often been needed.

ADAMS

The Cowboys did not resign WR Laurent Robinson who went to the Bucs and they also let Holley go as well.Ogletree will compete for the 3rd WR spot along with a few guys on the practice squad that Jerry Jones thinks can get it done. Fact is those guys are unproven and this spot is wide open on the Cowboys roster so why not bring in a quick play making WR like Adams?

Adams was a very effective punt returner for Arkansas with an impressive 15.8 career return average while being named the 2011 SEC Special Teams player of the year.The Cowboys productivity  in punt returns last season was very minimal. This punt return by Adams against Tennessee is SICK! VIDEO I’ve watched it several times and every time I think they are going to tackle him. Adams was productive as a slot receiver at Arkansas and could provide the Cowboys with a much needed spark on special teams as well as offense.

5th Rd. Travis Lewis OLB, Oklahoma

I think the Cowboys could use a little more depth at linebacker and Lewis can provide that for them. Lewis was less productive last year due to injuries (broken foot) but he has shown signs of being an outstanding linebacker in previous years with Big 12 Freshman of the year and First team Big 12 honors. A 3 year leading tackler for the Sooners with enough versatility to provide depth at ILB as well.

Sixth Rd: TE James Hanna, Oklahoma

The Cowboys parted ways with Marty Bennett so there is a need for depth after Witten and Phillips. Hanna who is from Flower Mound, Texas has excellent speed for a TE and demonstrated his athletic ability at the combine. In fact Hanna posted the second best time in the 40 (4.49) for TEs and posted the top times in both the cone and shuttle drills. Not only that, he was first in the vertical jump and third in the broad jump. Oh and he managed to be fourth in bench reps. Had it been a decathlon, Hanna wins it going away.  James Hanna could be a challenge for opposing LBs to cover.

Seventh Rd: RB Bobby Rainey, Western Kentucky

Too often the Cowboys seem to lack depth at RB and that certainly was the case last year when both Murray and Jones were injured. I think it makes sense to get a RB late in the draft and particularly if you can land one that is durable and Rainey demonstrated he is durable with 369 carries last year. He was the second leading rusher in the country and named Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Year for the last two years.  A true work horse.

In my view, Rainey is flying under the radar and some team is going to get a pretty darn good RB at this point of the draft. Maybe it will be Dallas.

Next weekend’s NFL draft is an exciting event for NFL fans as they anticipate the picks that will hopefully improve their team. I named the eight guys that I think could help get the Cowboys over the hump.

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