Round 5 (pick 166): With Zach Thomas heading north to Kansas City, the Cowboys could use another run-stuffing inside linebacker, and could consider Georgia's Dannell Ellerbe (6-1, 236, 4.65). A great athlete who closes quickly and crushes ball carriers, Ellerbe also can rush the passer and drop into coverage better than many inside linebackers. His aggressive nature, however, can sometimes cost him as he can be prone to over-pursuing and getting caught out of position. He also had a knee injury in his senior season, and was suspended after an arrest that resulted in charges of DUI, underage possession of alcohol, theft of an automobile and giving false information to police. If the Cowboys are convinced his off-field issues and injury are in his past, Ellerbe could be a steal as a backup linebacker and special teams kamikaze.
Round 5 (pick 172): At the beginning of the 2008 season, there were some who thought Ohio State's Alex Boone had first-round potential. On paper, it makes sense: Boone stands just over 6-7 and weighs close to 320 pounds. He has extremely long arms and exceptional strength and power as a run-blocker. He's not quick enough to play left tackle, and might bulk up into the 350-pound range to become a massive guard. Like Ellerbe, he has had off-field issues, including a pair of alcohol-related arrests. Boone is a mean, powerful blocker with the potential to be a dominant NFL lineman. If he can't straighten out his off-field lifestyle, he also has the potential to be unemployed soon.
Round 6 (pick 197): When he came out of high school as the top-ranked quarterback prospect in the country, Rhett Bomar's future seemed as bright as anyone's. But after the scandal that led from his transfer from Oklahoma to Sam Houston State, many questioned his decision-making ability. The son of his high school coach, Bomar has been immersed in the game as deeply as anyone, and has the physical tools to play at the professional level. At 6-2.25 and 225 pounds, Bomar has a solid build, and complements his size with a strong arm and quick release. He throws an accurate deep ball and is very tough. Stock has dropped because of the OU investigation and his 2007 ACL injury. In Dallas, of course, he wouldn't have to play anytime soon, as Tony Romo is entrenched as the starter and the Cowboys paid a stiff price (in Anthony Henry) to bring in Jon Kitna as Romo's backup. Bomar could be a perfect candidate to hold the clipboard as the No. 3 QB and learn the game from a couple of consummate professionals.
Round 6 (pick 208): Arizona State guard Paul Fanaika is somewhat hard to figure out. On one hand, he has ideal size (6-5, 327), is a very powerful run blocker and has an explosive initial punch. On the other hand, he bench pressed 225 pounds just 15 times at the NFL Combine, a total exceeded by players at every position. Leonard Davis is locked in at right tackle, and Kyle Kosier figure to be the starter on the left side, but the Cowboys lack quality depth in the interior of the offensive line. Fanaika also can block on special teams.
Round 7 (pick 210): After Williams, Miles Austin and Patrick Crayton, it's hard to assess what the Dallas coaches really think of their wideouts. Are players like Isaiah Stanback and Sam Hurd really part of the team's future, or are they on the roster because the team has nobody better? Jerry Jones has a little Al Davis in him, in the sense that he'll reach for a player who might not have lit up the stat sheet in college, but has the physical gifts to shine once he is properly coached and his technique is refined. One such player is Duke wide receiver Eron Riley (6-3, 206.25, 4.36), who boasts first-round size and speed. Unfortunately, he also has been inconsistent throughout his career. He doesn't get off the line as well as a player his size should, and sometimes drops catchable passes. But then again, he also can blow by most defensive backs and outleap almost all of them. A smart player with three years of starting experience and two second-team All-ACC awards on his résumé, Riley is a guy who can play special teams and might be athletic enough to stick as a backup wideout.
Round 7 (pick 227): Houston's Phillip Hunt is too short (6-0), has short arms and has never been asked to drop into coverage. Appealing, huh? He also is exceedingly productive. As the Cougars' top defensive end last year, Hunt was the best pass rusher in Conference USA, pick up 14 sacks as a senior and 24 over his last two years. He doesn't look the part, and will have to learn a new position. If he makes a team, the defense will have to compensate to "hide" him and keep him out of situations that require him to cover too often. He also can play on a number of special teams.
2009 Dallas Mock Draft (part II)
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