Welcome To The Cowboys 2011 Draft Class

The 2011 NFL Draft is finally over and the Cowboys came away with some solid picks including their top selection, offensive tackle, Tyron Smith. Here is a quick rundown of each player, eight in all, including comments from ESPN or NFL.com. 

Tyron Smith – OT – USC

With the ninth pick of the first round, the Cowboys selected Southern Cal’s Tyron Smith on Thursday, putting the future of Marc Colombo, in question. Smith was a two-year starter at Southern Cal and is viewed as the best tackle in the draft with the highest ceiling because of his tremendous athletic ability. While some see him as a left tackle in the future, the Cowboys will likely plug him in at right tackle.

* * * * *

Bruce Carter – LB – North Carolina

The Cowboys selected North Carolina linebacker Bruce Carter with the 40th overall pick in the second round of the NFL Draft on Friday. Carter, who is 6-2 and weighs 245 pounds, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last November in a game against North Carolina State and had surgery the following month. Carter said he is confident he will be fully recovered at some point during training camp and added he has already started “cutting.”  When Carter was on the field, he flashed athleticism. He started 44 games with the Tar Heels, recording 9.5 sacks and 215 tackles — 24 of which resulted in a loss. In 2010, he was a Butkus Award finalist.

* * * * *

DeMarco Murray – RB – Oklahoma

With the 71st overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected Oklahoma RB DeMarco Murray. A physically talented skill player who has flashed dominance in the past, Murray runs with a smooth style, has good quickness, and displays the ability to bounce around piles and make defenders miss. He possesses the agility to turn the corner, finds cutback lanes, and quickly gets through them. He also keeps his feet moving on contact, runs with good lean, and shows a burst. Murray has displayed skill the past three seasons and at times makes scouts think he offers potential as a feature runner in the NFL. His penchant for injuries and occasional soft style will downgrade him, though Murray possesses all the skills necessary to produce at the next level if he plays up to his potential. 

* * * * *

David Arkin – OL – Missouri St.

With their fourth-round pick on Saturday the Cowboys went back to the offensive line in selecting Missouri State guard David Arkin. Arkin, 6-5, 300 pounds, played tackle but will move to guard with the Cowboys. He started 31 games at guard. He will be making a jump from FCS level of play to the NFL but the Cowboys like his potential. They also have a need for some depth. There have been rumblings about the future of right guard Leonard Davis and left guard Kyle Kosier is a free agent. Backup Montrae Holland is in the final year of his contract and Phil Costa is more of a center who can play guard.

* * * * *

Josh Thomas – CB – Buffalo

With the 143rd pick overall (12th in the 5th round), the Dallas Cowboys selected cornerback Josh Thomas from Buffalo. Thomas, who is 5-10 and weighs 196 pounds, started 24 games at Buffalo and completed the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds at the NFL Combine. In four years at Buffalo, Thomas contributed 29 pass breakups and as a senior he accumulated 58 tackles, two sacks and an interception — the second of his career. Before arriving at Buffalo, Thomas was a standout player at Cedar Hill, where he was a member of the team that won the Class 5A Division II state championship in 2006.

* * * * *

Dwayne Harris – WR – East Carolina

With the 176th pick overall (11th in the 6th round), the Dallas Cowboys selected wide receiver Dwayne Harris from East Carolina. Harris was productive and an All-Conference USA pick after catching 101 passes for 1,123 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was fourth in FBS in all-purpose yards per game. While he does not have top speed, Harris can return punts and kickoffs. Harris could come in as a slot receiver. In some ways he could be similar to Patrick Crayton. 

* * * * *

Shaun Chapas – FB – Georgia

With the first of two seventh-round picks, the Cowboys continued to address their backfield depth by drafting Georgia fullback Shaun Chapas No. 220 overall. Chapas was the second back taken by the Cowboys this weekend, following third-round pick DeMarco Murray. At 6-2 and 245 pounds, he has the size and strength to be a sturdy blocker out of the backfield. He started for the Bulldogs for most of his career and served as team captain. Chapas presumably will compete with Chris Gronkowski at fullback and try to earn a spot on special teams.

* * * * *

Bill Nagy – C/G – Wisconsin

The Cowboys selected Wisconsin center Bill Nagy with the 252nd overall pick in the seventh round of the NFL Draft on Saturday. Nagy played guard and center for the Badgers and was named an honorable mention All-Big Ten pick by the coaches. He made two starts at center as a senior while spending the rest of his time at guard. He also lined up as a tight end in a jumbo package. He was the third offensive linemen selected by the Cowboys, joining tackle Tyron Smith and guard David Arkin. The Cowboys selected six offensive players and two defensive players.