Consensus Draft Grade for the Cowboys: Around a C
The commentators aren’t exactly impressed with the Cowboys’ 2011 draft. Grades from the Sporting News, CBS, and Mel Kiper were, respectively, C, C, and B-.
Here are the comments.
Sporting News (Grade: C)
They got offensive tackle Tyron Smith in the first round, but a pass rusher out of this draft would have been nice.
The Cowboys answered one of their primary concerns with the No. 9 overall in USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith. While Smith’s athletic upside is limitless, I have reservations about his ability to provide the physicality needed to play at right tackle immediately or transition quickly to the left side – a position he never started at while at USC. The Cowboys took a similar gamble on pure athleticism in the second round with workout wonder Bruce Carter (who is coming off a torn ACL). When healthy, Carter has shown the speed and explosiveness to be a playmaker in every phase of the game, but his lack of instincts is a concern. One Day Three prospect who could surprise is East Carolina wideout Dwayne Harris. Unlike the Cowboys’ first two selections, Harris isn’t a phenomenal athlete. He was very productive, however, and is a tough, versatile player who could surprise as a target in the slot. This was a typical Jerry Jones draft — heavy on flashy athletes, but lacking the game-to-game consistency that translates into NFL victories.
While I thought Dallas might trade down off No. 9 and get more value at the tackle position a little later in Round 1, Smith made a lot of sense at No. 9, and the Cowboys showed conviction with the pick. He could be the solution for them at left tackle if he develops, or perhaps gets moved to the right side for now. After that, it got a little confusing for two rounds. Dallas went linebacker and running back in Rounds 2 and 3 before targeting more pressing needs at corner and guard in the following two rounds. Dallas got good value later, but never took a player that seemed like a steal at the position. Harris is a guy who might continue to develop at wideout.