Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Cowboys Aren't Just Drafting for Special Teams This Year

With their 4th round pick the Cowboys have selected offensive guard David Arkin from Missouri State. Playing at a small school allowed Arkin to slip down to the middle rounds in the draft but many of the draft experts project him to be a starter down the road. He is big (6'5" and 300 lbs) and will probably put on more weight in the next few years. Not only is he a good blocker but he has a nasty attitude on the field that could help fill the leadership void if Colombo is cut this offseason.

In the 5th round the Cowboys finally made a move to address their deficiencies in the secondary. But they didn't take a safety with the pick, they went for cornerback Josh Thomas from Buffalo. Taking a player at this point in the draft usually doesn't net you an immediate impact player. He looks like he could provide some much needed depth at cornerback but it would be a surprise if Thomas develops into a starter.

In a bit of a surprise pick the Cowboys drafted a wide receiver in the 6th round. Again, you aren't expecting to find an immediate impact type of player here. But Dwayne Harris from East Carolina was the Conference USA player of the year. He looks to be more of a slot receiver since he is just 5'10" and lacks top end speed needed on the outside. Harris ran a 4.55 at the NFL Combine which isn't terrible but obviously not elite speed. This pick probably means that Sam Hurd could be allowed to leave via free agency whenever it finally starts.

With their first pick in the 7th round the Cowboys drafted a fullback. Shaun Chapas (6'2", 247 lbs) from Georgia taken with the 220th pick in the draft. I'm thrilled with the pick. Chris Gronkowski didn't do anything last year to make the Cowboys believe they had found their long term solution at fullback. Now there will most likely be a training camp battle for the fullback position.

And, finally, the Cowboys went offense yet again with their last pick in the draft. Bill Nagy (6'2", 302 lbs.) from Wisconsin will get his change to earn a roster spot in training camp. He can play guard or center so he has some versatility that will work to his advantage. Hopefully he can develop into a contributor in the next few years.

Looking back at the picks the Cowboys made there are a couple of glaring omissions. They didn't pick a safety or defensive lineman which means that both of those positions will have to be addressed in free agency. Jason Hatcher and Stephen Bowen could both be resigned to fill the hole at defensive end, but the Cowboys will probably look elsewhere for a new starting safety.

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