Draft Day Target: TE Jeremy Shockey

Jeremy Shockey represents one of the top prospects at the tight-end position in this years NFL draft. Will the Cowboys trade down to grab this potential star, or will Jerry Jones stay the course and grab a defensive back with the 6th pick?

Shockey (6'6, 236, 4.63), considered one of the nation's finest tight ends for the national champion Miami Hurricanes this past season, emerged as a national star and a bigtime NFL prospect by putting up big numbers and showing strong downfield blocking in 2001. He finished the season as Miami's leading receiver, with 40 receptions for over 500 yards and 7 touchdowns.

In the national championship game, he caught five passes for 85 yards and a touchdown in the Hurricanes' 37-14 win over Nebraska.

One thing that you notice instantly about Shockey is that he isn't afraid to catch the football in traffic. He likes contact, and he'll often be the guy that delivers the hit, as opposed to taking one. Most scouts have been very impressed with his hands, speed, and route-running.

He also adjusts well to the errant throw, and uses his body effectively to shield away opponents. Shockey is also an intelligent football player and has demonstrated a nice work ethic his last two seasons at Miami.

Shockey joins running back Clinton Portis and cornerback Phillip Buchanon as Hurricanes players who have declared themselves eligible for the upcoming NFL draft.

Interestingly enough, this year appears to be one of the strongest in recent memory for tight-ends, with as many as 3 possible first round targets. Colorado's Daniel Graham and Miami's Jeremy Shockey are considered the top two, and Washington's Jerramy Stevens could also go late into the first round.

If Shockey becomes a "must have" player for Jerry Jones, the Cowboys will likely be able to trade down and pick him up somewhere later in the 1st round. It is almost unheard of to take a tight-end in the top 5 or 6 picks, especially in a year where there is so much talent available.

There is no question that there is a strong need to upgrade the talent at tight-end in Dallas. Jackie Harris has already been cut, David LaFleur was cut in the middle of last season, and Jeff Robinson (featured long snapper) is really only a marginal backup guy.

The need for a player of Jeremy Shockey's caliber is definitely there, and you can bet that one of the Cowboys' picks in the upcoming draft will be used to address the overwhelming concerns at the tight-end position.

After all, you can't win a Superbowl without a good tight-end....can you say Jay Novacek?

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