Clearing Away the Smoke: Wes Bunting Looks at the Draft

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Part One of Cowboys Nation’s weekly chat with The National Football Post’s Wes Bunting looks at draft rumors involving Dallas’ first pick, players with medical and character concerns, 2nd and 3rd round options and the top fullback prospects:

Cowboys Nation:  I want to follow up on the Aldon Smith rumors.  On the weekend you tweeted that you’ve heard the Cowboys really like Aldon Smith.  Yesterday, I saw Michael Lombardi say the same thing on the NFL Network.  Can you say more about what you have heard?

Wes Bunting:  I’ve heard they have some interest. They like Aldon Smith and they like Tyron Smith and those are the two players who could be the pick.  That’s about as much as I can say.  They like a pass rusher and they like an offensive tackle and I agree.  I think they’re both excellent players.

CN:  You’ve talked about Aldon Smith for a while.  I think you mentioned back when the underclassmen declared and DaQuan Bowers was the hot name that you liked Smith’s rush better.  That gets me to question two.  Bowers re-tested his knee and it does not seem to have gone as well as he expected.  Can you add more to what’s already on your site?

WB:  People are worried that’s it’s a chronic knee, an arthritic knee, and that it could affect him long-term.  That’s the big concern.  I don’t think he falls outside the top 20, but I think he falls outside the top 10 now, and Aldon Smith and Robert Quinn will be the beneficiaries.

The Cowboys think Aldon Smith has some Demarcus Ware in him, and that’s why they’re so intrigued, and I’ve heard they like him more than Robert Quinn.  I’m not sure Quinn would be there anyway at pick 9.

CN:  Did another other players re-test besides Bowers, who had a lot riding on their new medicals? Are there any other big medical risks?

WB:  I heard one, but I don’t have a name for him.  I was told there’s a top 100 rated player who has a career-threatening back injury, but I could not get a name for him.

CN:  Are there any other wafflers, for medical reasons or character reasons?

WB:  Jimmy Smith continues to be the guy.  He’s not going to fall as many people has suggested.  That’s a bit inconvenient for the Cowboys.  Ben Ijalana’s fine.  His legs checked out.  The one player still iffy is Deunta Williams, the North Carolina safety.  He had a severely broken leg in their bowl game and that’s still a big concern.

CN:  Where does he rate now, because of the injury, 4th to 5th round?

WB:  I’d say that’s pretty fair, 4th to 5th.

CN:  You had your two round mock and I have to say I liked the picks, but it left me shaking my head.  You had the Cowboys taking Tyron Smith in the 1st and Brandon Harris in the 2nd, and I’m okay with those two selections.

I was shaking my head because a lot of the players we’ve talked about as potential 2nd rounder or as potential 3rd round options at pick 71 fly off the board.  In the 10 selections after Dallas takes Harris at 40, Martez Wilson, Aaron Williams, Christian Ballard, Mason Foster, Stefan Wisniewski and Jon Baldwin all go. They’re all gone by pick 50.  You even have Kenrick Ellis, a defensive lineman we’ve talked about for a long time, going at pick 37.