It is believed by many that Dallas will target a rangy safety with their first pick (#52) and the choices just got a bit more lean.
With the news of USC safety Taylor Mays returning in 2009 for his final year of eligibility, the NFL draft in April takes a different shape at the position, possibly directly affecting the Dallas Cowboys.
The top five safeties in this year’s draft, according to many notable draft gurus, consist of:
William Moore, FS/SS, Missouri
Height: 6-1. Weight: 227.
Projected 40 Time: 4.45.
Projected Round (2009): Top 20 Pick.
Patrick Chung, SS/FS, Oregon
Height: 6-0. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.49.
Projected Round (2009):1-2
Rashad Johnson, FS, Alabama
Height: 6-0. Weight: 189.
Projected 40 Time: 4.44.
Projected Round (2009): 2
Emanuel Cook, SS/FS, South Carolina
Height: 5-10. Weight: 203.
Projected 40 Time: 4.49.
Projected Round (2009): 2-3
Michael Hamlin, SS, Clemson
Height: 6-3. Weight: 205.
Projected 40 Time: 4.51.
Projected Round (2009): 3
Two teams stand out, picking ahead of the Cowboys, possibly targeting safeties:
The Bengals at 38 and the Giants at 45.
It should be a given that William Moore will be long gone by either of those choices, leaving only three possible candidates worth choosing. ( I rule Emanual Cook out of Dallas’ candidates due to size)
In reality, I would be very happy with either Chung or Johnson.
Here’s how I could see it play out:
If Chung falls in our lap at 52, Henry stays at corner for his final contract year and competes with Scandrick and Jenkins for a starting spot. Leaving Chung and Watkins (if resigned) at FS and moving Hamlin back to his natural position at SS with Keith Davis (c’mon, they’ll resign em) backing him up.
If Johnson is our pick at 52, we should have to have an open competition between Henry, Watkins (again, if resigned) and Johnson for the FS spots. This scenario could possibly hurt our CB depth, depending on how this works out, thus forcing us to either sign a low budget free agent or spend a draft pick on another corner. (I assume we would do both actually. Anyone wanna go to bat for Alan Ball?)
Another scenario might involve drafting a strong safety. If the top players mentioned above are off the board, we could go for value at another position with 52 and wait until the third round (5th pick, 69 overall) and draft a player such as Michael Hamlin, leaving Ken Hamlin at free safety and Henry at corner. (one more year)
It might be confusing having two Hamlins playing safety for the Boys in 09, however this would allow us to focus our drafting efforts on other positions of need one round higher than we otherwise would.
With all this said, I’m sure none of this will happen and Jerry will probably make some crazy trades and blow everyone’s minds yet again. If it ends up half as good as the 2008 draft, I, for one, will consider it a success.