The Dallas Cowboys and head coach Jason Garrett have some glaring needs in the defensive secondary at both the CB and safety positions. With upgrades and depth needed at the LB position and in the backfield, let's take a look at the prospects that would fit the Cowboys roster.
2011 Record: 8-8First round draft position: No. 14
Top Priority: CB
Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama: Will be an ideal zone corner at the next level because of his size, instincts and physicality. However, he can also press off the line and consistently re-route receivers. Isn't a dynamic quick-twitch athlete, but showcases good balance, can keep his feet under him and looks like a "plus" caliber starting cornerback in the NFL. Reminds me some of Chargers cornerback Quinton Jammer physically.
Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama: If he can put it all together off the field, he's got the ability to develop into a very good cover man in the NFL and despite his size he's going to be a really tough guy to separate from in just about any scheme he plays in.
Secondary Priority: S
Mark Barron, SS, Alabama: Has the makings of a heck of a special teams player who can also attack downhill vs. the run game, play inside the box and drive on the football in front of him in the pass game. Isn't going to be a major threat turning and tracking the football, but his improved instincts makes me think he can start in the league early on.
George Iloka, SS, Boise State: Iloka is a tall kid with solid balance for his size and has some natural athleticism and pop. Has experience playing corner and being a physical press coverage man. However, he isn't a guy who can quickly re-direct and close on the football in the deep half. He needs to play with his hands on defenders, but is a more coordinated bigger safety than say Seahawks starter Kam Chancellor and he could start at the next level.
Mid-Tier Priority: ILB, RB
Mychal Kendricks, ILB, California: Is a thick, shorter compact backer who explodes through contact and is a real violent striker. Finds the ball quickly vs. the run and has the range to make plays in pursuit. Lacks ideal size however to stack and shed and lacks a great feel in zone. However, as a thumper inside with the potential to get into the backfield as a blitzer who should get plenty of looks from 34 teams in need of a versatile, high motor backer.
Nigel Bradham, ILB, Florida State: Is a physically built backer who can run and play in pursuit. However, he's tighter in the hips and isn't real instinctive. Needs to play OLB only in the NFL in more of a run and hit scheme, as he won't be able to handle much volume. Has the talent to start, but might not ever live up to his skill set because of awareness problems.
Michael Smith, RB, Utah State: An overlooked senior because of a talented runner in front of him but has an NFL skill set and should make a roster.
Vick Ballard, RB, Mississippi State: Possesses some natural running skills and is a strong kid who always falls forward. However, isn't going to break nearly as many tackles in NFL as he did in college and will struggle averaging over 4.0 yards per carry. A reserve only.
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