2012 Cowboys Mock Draft: Rounds 1-3

It's here — it's finally here. The NFL will kick off its biggest offseason event Thursday when the Indianapolis Colts select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Predicting how a team will draft in the first round is guesswork. Peering into a crystal ball to anticipate picks in later rounds is like trying to solve a mystery, at best … and that's assuming a team retains all of the picks it has leading up to the draft. Throw in a few trades, and predicting complete drafts becomes a shot in the dark.

However, it's not unreasonable to do a mock draft based on which players a team should pick, or at least consider, based on conversations with scouts from the team in question and others around the league, which is exactly what ranchreport.com has done. So without any further ado … ranchreport.com's 2012 Dallas Cowboys mock draft.

First round — No. 14 (14th overall):
Safety Mark Barron (Alabama) is just too logical a choice to pass up. A captain and three-year starter for the Crimson Tide defense, Barron presumably would step in next to strong safety Gerald Sensabaugh from the day he arrives in Dallas. Big (6-1, 213) and exceptionally physical, Barron is universally considered the best safety in the class, and would improve the Dallas defense against the run and the pass.

Second round — No. 13 (45th overall):
North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins is a perfect Jerry Jones pick, an elite athlete with exceptional ability who somehow slides in the draft because of an off-the-field question mark. In the case of Jenkins, it is the discipline issues that got him dismissed from Florida before he transferred to North Alabama. Jenkins (5-10, 193, 4.46 at the Combine) is a mid-sized cornerback with elite cover skills and the athletic ability and natural instincts to play on special teams.

Third round — No. 18 (81st overall):
Colorado guard Ryan Miller is a versatile, athletic blocker with great size (6-7, 321) and the ability to play tackle at the NFL level. The versatility to play multiple positions could make him exceptionally valuable.

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