work his magic again.
3rd Round (90th overall): Javier Arenas, CB/KR, Alabama - Never can have enough playmakers. Anyone who watched one game or even a half of Alabama last season would know that this guy can make plays. So why is he a third-round pick? Well, he's not exactly a total package. His cornerback skills don't rival the likes of Terence Newman or Mikes Jenkins, or even Orlando Scandrick. And there are some teams that might end up moving him to a roaming safety position, especially in the nickel and dime packages. But where Arenas would contribute immediately is in the return game, a spot where the Cowboys are needing an upgrade. Arenas could handle both kickoffs and punts, having averaged 15.9 yards a return last season - ranking sixth in college football. Arenas took three punts back for touchdowns and also averaged 23.6 yards on kickoff returns. If we're all in agreement that the SEC is the best conference in football, I think getting second-team honors as both a cornerback and a return specialist is pretty good. He not only comes in and handles the return duties, but would be a quality special teams player on the coverage units, too.
4th Round (125th overall): Jacoby Ford, WR, Clemson - Speed. Speed. Speed. I feel like I wrote the same exact thing last year. But at this point in the draft, you're not going to get a polished receiver. Or a polished anything, other than maybe kicker or fullback (and we'll get back to that). All players around this area have issues, but of the remaining receivers, give me a guy who can flat-out fly. No doubt Ford is that guy. He was clocked in the 40 at an amazing 4.22 seconds. That alone might be the reason he's gone by the third round. To me, he's this year's version of Mike Wallace, the speed receiver from Ole Miss who I lobbied up and down for the Cowboys to take. The Steelers grabbed him in the third round and they're so high on him they felt they could part ways with Santonio Holmes. I'm not saying Ford is ready to contribute that much, but speed is speed. Now Ford is considered too small (5-8, 182) to be an every-down factor. But on this team, the Cowboys don't need that. With Miles Austin, Jason Witten and Roy Williams getting most of the attention, there aren't many defenders left for the rest. That's why the Cowboys can plug in a true speedster like Ford and teams must take notice.
6th Round (196th overall): John Conner, FB, Kentucky - Other than a return specialist, this might be the one position that will need a new starter. The situation with Deon Anderson and his off-the-field incident this past February remains unclear. The Cowboys could stand to get better at this spot anyway and a guy like Conner could be a good fit. All they really need is a true blocker and a special teams guy. Conner lacks some receiving and running skills, but then again the Cowboys weren't really using that from the fullback position. Conner appears to be the best true fullback in the draft and could be a nice insurance policy if Anderson is no longer in the plans.
7th Round (234th overall): Joe Pawelek, LB, Baylor - At this point you want someone who can make your football team, and this guy has the ability to do so, especially on special teams. Pawelek might not look the part of a prototype middle linebacker, but all he did at Baylor was start four years for three different defensive coordinators, and finished second in school history in tackles, only behind Mike Singletary, who was pretty good. Pawelek has a knack for getting around the ball. He picked off six passes as a junior, tying for the Big XII lead in 2008.
OK, so there are my picks. Take it for what it's worth. I did this very piece last year and you can be the judge as to how successful that turned out.
But I think the Cowboys would be very happy to land this group of draft picks. They've added a safety who plays right away, a tackle who needs a little time but has the potential to be as good as anyone in this draft. They get speed at