Draft Day Target: RB Chris Perry

Several early mock drafts around the country have the Cowboys taking Michigan running back Chris Perry with the 22nd selection in the first round. Today, we take a more in-depth look at Perry and his possible future role in the Cowboys' offense. Would Jerry Jones take him in the <i>first round</i>?

RB Chris Perry
6-1, 220, 4.55
Projected Draft Position: 2nd Round

It's been well-documented by now the Cowboys' have genuine interest in acquiring the services of a primetime running back this spring. Whether it's through the draft or via free agency, someone will be brought in to compete with Troy Hambrick in 2004.

Who that is remains a bit of a mystery as we head into the heart of February.

There have been whispers of the Cowboys acquiring Kevan Barlow, Duce Staley, or Corey Dillon, and then there's also a good possibility of picking a quality back in the first round of this April's draft.

Enter Michigan running back Chris Perry.

By most services, Perry is considered to be the 4th best running back available this year, even though he was only ground gainer invited to New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony in 2003.

Michigan running back Chris Perry averaged 132 yards per game as a senior and finished 4th in the Heisman Trophy voting.
Overall, Perry ended his senior season in Ann Arbor with 338 carries for 1682 yards (5.0/attempt) and 18 touchdowns. He's also proved his worth as a receiver,catching 44 balls for 367 yards and 2 touchdowns.

For his efforts last season, Perry was also named as the Doak Walker award winner, an honor that recognizes the top running back in college football. And interestingly enough, he beat out Kansas State's Darren Sproles and Virginia Tech running back Kevin Jones for the award.

Perry is one of the most complete backs available in the draft this year, but most experts agree that lacks true breakaway speed. In addition, some analysts are suggesting that he's also had the luxury of playing behind one of the most dominating offensive lines in college football the last few years.

So where does that leave him in the eyes of the Dallas Cowboys?

Good question, and the answer is, somewhere in the 2nd round.

Perry sits somewhere after Kevin Jones and Steven Jackson on the Cowboys board at running back, and may even be behind FSU running back Greg Jones.

He's got the vision, he's definitely got the size, but he just doesn't haven't the kind of "take it to the house" type of speed that head coaches around the league are wanting.

"Perry is a guy that is vastly underrated in the eyes of most NFL scouts," a source told SilverStarDigest earlier this week. "His speed (or lack there of) obviously hurts him, but in the right offense, he has the potential to be a guy like Tiki Barber. He's got that kind of talent, and I think most people around the league are aware of what he can do."

Incidentally, word has it that Greg Jones is a running back that has seen his stock rise not only in Valley Ranch, but in several other camps around the NFL.

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