Cowboys Draft 2012: Will Defenders Fall to 14 & 45?


Tannehill: a sure top-10 pick?

The third helping of draft rumors looks more closely at the chance of an offensive player run in the top 10, which would suit the Cowboys’ needs just fine.

— Michael Floyd is a hot name, with one source saying he’s heard the Jaguars could grab him at pick 7.  This would make some sense, as Laurent Robinson is currently the team’s best receiver.  If this rumor came to truth, it would push another offensive player into the top 10.  This would benefit the Cowboys.

Consider that three quarterbacks (Luck, Griffin and Tannehill) could go in the top 10.  If Trent Richardson, Justin Blackmon and Floyd join them, that’s six skill position players.  Add two offensive tackles, say Matt Kalil to Minnesota and perhaps Riley Reiff to Buffalo and you have eight offensive players up top.  Only Morris Claiborne and another defender would go in the top 10.

No interior offensive linemen, and at most one outside linebacker or defensive lineman would be picked in this scenario, maximizing the options for Dallas at pick 14.  Round up the Dallas rumor boys — DeCastro, Glenn, Kirkpatrick, Barron, Gilmore, Upshaw, Ingram, and two of Cox, Brockers and Poe.   That’s nine players.  The Chiefs, Seahawks and Cardinals can’t pick them all.

Dallas would be well positioned to trade down and still get a priority player, provided a desirable player dropped, and the Cowboys found a trade partner.

— One source said he’s heard that as many as six wide receivers could go in the 1st round.  If this happened, it would affect Dallas’ 2nd round pick, and perhaps push some defensive options into that early 2nd.

— I was told that Kansas City is looking for a nose tackle, a linebacker and a pass rusher in the 1st.  If Poe is snapped up before 11, Luke Kuechly is getting some serious consideration.

— Ryan Tannehill is now seen as a top 10 pick, with the usual suspects Cleveland (4) and Miami (8) topping the list.

— One intriguing rumor has Brandon Weeden making the 1st, with the Dolphins selecting him if they trade down and out of the 8th slot.  A fourth 1st round QB would combine with a WR rush to push another defensive option to 45.

— Trent Richardson’s position remains fluid.  One source said he becomes an immediate trade-up target if he gets past the Bucs at 5, and thinks he probably would not slide to 14 and become a tradeable asset for Dallas because, “teams want to be safe [with their first picks] and he’s safe.”

At the same time, I heard that Richardson probably would slide out of the top 10 if he started to drop.  Cleveland is the team mentioned as the most likely candidate to trade up.  If the Browns take a Claiborne or a Tannehill at 4, they could leave the 1st round with some mojo if they deal up from 22 and add Richardson to their haul.

— One source said of Stanford TE Coby Fleener, “I keep hearing 1st round, but I can’t find a team that says they’ll take him.”  He nonetheless thinks Fleener’s floor is the Colts at pick 34.  He would be an ideal complement to his college QB Andrew Luck.