*(Editor's Note: The staff of DallasCowboys.com is currently previewing the depth chart at each position on the Cowboys' roster. The biggest remaining variable in determining that depth chart is the NFL draft, which begins April 30. This series will identify five potential draft picks who could affect the depth chart at each position. Today, we continue with safety.) *
IRVING, Texas –The Cowboys haven't drafted a safety in the first round in 13 years and it's not likely to change this year.
The club has a pair of young starters in Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox and picking a player in the first round, even at No. 27 overall, likely won't help the Cowboys much this year, considering this draft class is considered weaker than most years.
However, there could be some possible fits at safety for the Cowboys. Let's look at five:
1. James Sample, Louisville –He's considered by most draft analysts as a second-day player who could sneak in the second round but possibly the third. Often overshadowed last year at Louisville by teammate Gerod Holliman who tied an NCAA record with 14 picks, Sample seems to be the more polished, NFL-ready of the two. He's not afraid to tackle and would likely help the Cowboys as a good-sized, physical player.
2. Damarious Randall, Arizona State –He's in the same draft range as Sample, although he's more of a coverage safety. His 5-10, 196-pound frame is a bit undersized for a safety, Randall is a good tackler, which could give any team an immediate boost on special teams. Playing him in the slot could even be a possibility.
3. Derron Smith, Fresno State –Not the biggest of safeties at 5-10, 200 pounds, Smith is a physical player who isn't afraid to step up in the box and take on blockers. Smith is one of those sideline-to-sideline players who tends to play faster than his clock speed, which was still 4.59 at his FSU Pro Day. In the later rounds, if the Cowboys haven't drafted a safety yet, a player like Smith could be a good fit to add defensive depth.
4. Kurtis Drummond, Michigan State –A first-team All-American and winner of the Tatum-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year, his lean body type has him listed too high on draft boards. But the game won't be too big for him and could be late-round steal for a team like the Cowboys, who don't have much depth behind the starters.
5. Collin Brence, Baylor –More of a priority free agent who is a tweener between linebacker and safety, Brence had a good Pro Day at Baylor, running in the 4.6 range. Several scouts were pleasantly surprised by his workout and considering his body type, he's got "special teams contributor" written all over him. Every year, it seems as if the Cowboys are finding a safety such as Danny McCray or Jeff Heath, or even Barry Church, that make this team from the undrafted status. Here's another longshot that could be next in line.