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A Closer Look At The Cowboys' Final Six Picks

Michael Hamlin Safety, Clemson 6-2, 214 5th round (166th overall)

Who's He: A defensive captain and two-time All-ACC safety, Hamlin started 43 consecutive games for the Tigers, a school record for defensive backs.
Unique Quality: Versatility. At 6-2, 214, Hamlin has the size to play in the box and stuff the run, a quality departed starter Roy Williams provided for seven seasons. Hamlin's also rangy and instinctive enough to make plays in coverage.
How He Fits: At the law firm of "Hamlin & Hamlin"? Kidding. Hamlin likely won't join veteran Ken Hamlin (no relation) in the starting lineup as a rookie. The Cowboys signed veteran Gerald Sensabaugh to a one-year deal and project him as Roy Williams' replacement at strong safety next season. Fellow draft pick DeAngelo Smith, who's expected to play safety, and incumbent backups Pat Watkins and Courtney Brown will challenge the younger Hamlin for playing time. But the Cowboys like his size and range. He could prove to be a steal.
Worth Mentioning: Hamlin finished with 18 career takeaways at Clemson, one short of the school record held by former Giants and Oilers safety Terry Kinard.

David Beuhler Kicker, USC 6-2, 227 5th round (172nd overall)

Who's He: A linebacker trapped in a kicker's body. Beuhler began his college career as a kicker, linebacker and running back at Santa Ana (Calif.) College in 2005 and transferred to USC the following year.
Unique Quality: Athleticism. This isn't your average kicker. Originally recruited as a safety, Beuhler finished 22-of-27 on field goal attempts at USC, including 20-of-22 from inside 40 yards. His powerful leg is his greatest kicking quality. The Cowboys project him as a kickoff specialist whose size and speed might make him an asset on other special teams units.
How He Fits: For starters, teaming his kickoffs with Folk's 86.8-percent accurate leg. At USC, Beuhler had a 67.9-yard average and 48 touchbacks out of 88 kickoffs. The Cowboys have had trouble in previous years keeping two kickers on the 45-man game-day roster, but Beuhler could find a niche by helping elsewhere on special teams.
Worth Mentioning: Beuhler ran a 4.56 in the 40 and bench-pressed 225 pounds 25 times in a row at the NFL combine, out-lifting 27 offensive linemen. You read that correctly.

Stephen Hodge Linebacker, TCU 6-0, 234 6th round (197th overall)

Who's He: A hard-nosed, physical college safety, Hodge had 138 tackles and 11 sacks in two years starting for the Horned Frogs. He was considered a "tweener" linebacker-safety prospect entering the draft but projects as an inside linebacker in the Cowboys' 3-4 scheme.
Unique Quality: Special teams. Hodge shined on the coverage units at TCU, and like most of the Cowboys' 12 picks, he'll be asked to do the same in Dallas.
How He Fits: Special teams is his ticket to the 53-man roster, but Hodge's experience at safety makes him an interesting developmental prospect at the weak-side linebacker spot. He has coverage skills and range, two traits that helped another former safety - the departed Kevin Burnett - excel on nickel downs the past few seasons.
Worth Mentioning: Hodge and seventh-round receiver Manuel Johnson each were standout high school quarterbacks in East Texas. Hodge chose TCU; Johnson picked Oklahoma.

John Phillips Tight end, Virginia 6-5, 251 6th round (208th overall)

Who's He: A big tight end prospect and yet another former captain in the Cowboys' '09 draft class. Phillips became a full-time starter as a senior last season, catching 48 balls for 385 yards and two touchdowns.
Unique Quality: Motor. Phillips didn't have spectacular production at Virginia and wouldn't have a significant pass-catching role in Dallas if he makes the team. But he's an intelligent, competitive player who could develop into a nice third option behind Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett.
How He Fits: The Cowboys must find a replacement for third tight end Tony Curtis, who did not receive a restricted free agent tender. Phillips likely will compete with Rodney Hannah, primarily a practice squad player the last two seasons. Phillips was a competent blocker in college and would have to excel there as the third guy.
Worth Mentioning: John Garrett, the Cowboys' tight ends coach, directed Virginia's receivers from 2004-06 and knows Phillips well.

Mike Mickens Cornerback, Cincinnati 6-1, 186 7th round (227th overall)

Who's He: A wiry, athletic cornerback whose draft stock dropped due to lingering effects from in-season arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Had he been healthy, Mickens might have been picked in the first three rounds. Instead, he could be a late-round steal for the Cowboys.
Unique Quality: Ball skills. The Cowboys wanted to acquire more aggressive defensive backs to help increase their takeaway total. Mickens is a ball-hawking corner, having tallied 45 pass breakups and 14 interceptions in college. He's also a great competitor, a prerequisite for successful corners.
How He Fits: If Mickens can stay healthy, he'll compete for a backup spot and potentially bolster a corner spot thinned by the departures of Anthony Henry and Adam Jones.
Worth Mentioning: The Cowboys seem confident Mickens can participate in this weekend's rookie mini-camp. Executive vice president Stephen Jones said Sunday, "He's ready to go. It's just a matter of him getting out there, performing and doing what we think he can do."

Manuel Johnson Wide receiver, Oklahoma 5-11, 189 7th round (229th overall)

Who's He: An underrated option on a talented Sooners offense, Johnson finished third with 42 catches for 714 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior.
Unique Quality: Speed. Johnson ran a 4.55 but has the quickness to get separation from defenders.
How He Fits: The Cowboys' current backup receivers - Miles Austin, Sam Hurd and Isaiah Stanback - all have found a niche on special teams, so Johnson must make an impression at receiver and prove he can contribute in the kicking game, too.
Worth Mentioning: Johnson was one of five Sooners taken in this year's draft, including fellow receiver Juaquin Iglesias (third round - Chicago).

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