2012 NFL Draft Picks By Team: Cowboys
Only a junior (but expected to put his name in the 2012 NFL Draft), Claiborne has been one of the best cornerbacks in college football over the past two seasons. After playing sparingly as a freshman, the star cornerback broke out in 2010 and earned Second-Team All-SEC honors from both the Associated Press and the conference's coaches. He led LSU with five interceptions and 11 passes defensed. Through nine games as a junior (all wins for the top-ranked Tigers), Claiborne again leads the team with four interceptions and nine passes defensed. He had one interception in a 9-6 win over Alabama and returned it for 33 yards.
Claiborne has good size at 6'0'' and 185 pounds. He runs consistently in the 4.4s of the 40-yard dash and has been clocked as fast as 4.36 from that distance. Les Miles and company also line Claiborne up at kick returner due to his speed and elusiveness. He has returned 13 kicks for 383 yards, good for a 29.5 average, including one for a 99-yard touchdown. Claiborne is an outstanding cover corner and can go up against the best receivers in any league. He could add some bulk to his frame as heads into the next level and needs to improve against the run. With contin... [Read More
Tyrone Crawford is certainly an intriguing prospect with limited football playing experience. He has only started one year of football for Boise State and only played one year of football in high school. Crawford looks to be scheme versatile, can play end, outside linebacker, standing or with one hand on the ground. He's explosive, quick and powerful.
NFL coaches will have to be real patient with him. Crawford has such limited playing experience that it is almost a given he doesn't play at all as a rookie. He needs to find his style of play essentially. He's not a speed rusher who can hit the edge and bend. Crawford will be the long-armed power guy who can explode into the chest of an offensive lineman in order to collapse the pocket.
Crawford's fundamentals are all over the place and it isn't fair to critique each detail. What teams are drafting is the full package and the high ceiling? A team is going to take a flyer on him somewhere in the third or fourth round. He'll fit nicely on a team where he can be a backup and learn from his teammates ahead of him in the short term.... [Read More
Eastern Washington safety Matt Johnson was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys with the No. 135 overall pick in the fourth round. His senior season ended abruptly after sustaining a biceps injury. Johnson isn't likely to start in his rookie season but he will compete for a role on the team. The Cowboys had their eye on Mark Barron and athletically, Johnson is comparable on paper.
Johnson ran a 4.54 40 yard dash and bench pressed 225 pounds 18 times at his pro day. That is quite a performance for a defensive back. Johnson is quick to diagnose plays and reacts well instinctively. He plays physical to the whistle and wraps up cleanly. He's at his best playing downhill which likely limits him to the strong safety position.
When in man to man coverage, he lacks the footwork to keep up with precise route runners. His feet will get tangled and he'll fall back on his speed to make up for it. Johnson has the potential to improve his coverage skills and possibly move to free safety later in his career. For now though, he'll be competing with multiple safeties to earn a roster spot in 2012.... [Read More
Hanna is an adequately sized tight end prospect that measured well at the combine and has some upside as a late round choice in the 2012 NFL Draft.
In spite of running a very fast 4.49 40-yard dash and having a successful combine, Hanna doesn't play up to his speed. He doesn't block very well and can really only seal the edge. Wouldn't be able to block consistently against NFL talent one-on-one.
He must learn to become a better route runner. Being more crisp and not "rounding the corners" will create more separation and improve his short-area agility. His speed will be useful if he can show a willingness to play special teams. As it stands, he lacks the bulk to be an effective in-line blocker. Hanna's ability to make difficult catches is his best attribute. He has good body control and can catch the ball away from his body.
Hanna could play a strong role in the red zone. He does well to go up and catch the ball at its highest point. Seven of his 18 receptions in 2011 went for a touchdown.... [Read More