Dallas Cowboys - NFC East
Texas A&M QB Stephen McGee
Texas A&M QB Stephen McGee
Posted Apr 27, 2009

Dallas Cowboys - NFC East, 2009 Draft Selections & Prospects

Dallas Cowboys

- 2009 NFL Draft Breakdown and Analysis
1st Round
| 2nd Round | 3rd Round | 4th Round | 5th Round | 6th Rd | 7th Rd

CFN 2009 Draft Central & Team-by-Team Picks and Analysis


5 69 3rd Round (from Cleveland) 
Jason Williams, LB Western Illinois 6-1, 240
Very fast and very disruptive, Williams is a big-time athlete who set an NCAA record with 14 forced fumbles. He has the athleticism of a strong safety and hits like a linebacker. For good and bad, he's too aggressive and will overrun some plays, but he'll get to everything. After a strong East West Shrine week, he could be a surprise.
CFN Value Rank: Free Agent    CFN Position Rank: NR
11 75 3rd Round (from Buffalo)  
Robert Brewster, OT  Ball State 6-4, 325
Very quick for his size, he's a very durable, very reliable pass blocker who did a little of everything well for the high-octane Ball State attack. He needs to get himself into a weight room and go from being big to being big and NFL strong. Even with his athleticism he's not a pro left tackle and could end up at guard, but he could be a nice backup for a long time and a decent prospect at right tackle with a little bit of work.
CFN Value Rank: Seventh Round
   CFN Position Rank: 22
1 101 4th Round (from Detroit)
Stephen McGee, QB Texas A&M 6-3, 225
Welcome to the hot prospect of the off-season. McGee never got the chance to show what he could truly do at A&M having been used as a runner and eventually losing his job, partly due to injury, under Mike Sherman last season. While he ran the ball well showing off great speed at times, he's a passer who wasn't used correctly. One of the best athletes among the quarterbacks and with great size and toughness, he has the makeup to work through his issues, like his questionable decision-making ability, to become a player. He'll need a few years and a lot of footwork reworking, but if someone is patient there could be a Matt Cassell-but-athletic-like reward in a few years.
CFN Value Rank: Fourth Round     CFN Position Rank: 9
10 110 4th Round (from Buffalo)
Victor Butler, DE/LB Oregon State 6-2, 250
With decent quickness and nice pass rushing skills, he can be used in a variety of ways as either an outside linebacker or a 4-3 specialist. Quick off the ball, he should be able to burst his way by a few slower tackles who aren't going 100%, but he doesn't have a lot of moves. The big problem is his lack of physical ability; he'll get blasted by anyone with a little bit of power.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 34
20 120 4th Round (from Tampa Bay)
Brandon Williams, DE Texas Tech  6-5, 260 (Jr.)
Purely a pass rusher. That's it. He'll get rag-dolled if an offensive tackle gets his mitts on him and he's not going to do anything at the next level against the run, but if he's asked to be a third down specialist and get to the quarterback, he could be a game-changer. The potential is there to get a lot better if he continues to hit the weights and learns to play at a bigger weight, but he could be an ugly bust and an early cut if he's not getting to the quarterback in camp. If he's not flashing into the backfield, a coaching staff will have to be very, very patient in the developmental process.
CFN Value Rank: Fourth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 12
7 143 5th Round (from Oakland through Atlanta)
DeAngelo Smith, CB Cincinnati  5-11, 190
Mike Mickens might have been the best player in the Cincinnati secondary, but it was Smith's defensive backfield. A good starter who's willing to help out against the run and has no problems being physical, but he's just not a good enough athlete to be a regular NFL starter. His 4.5 in the 40 was solid, and his 17 reps on the bench were eye-opening, but was the slowest corner at the Combine in the agility drills and had the low 31.5" in the vertical leap. He'll likely make his money down the road as a safety and will be a regular in the rotation because of his toughness and character, but there's a hard ceiling on what he can do.
CFN Value Rank: Third Round
   CFN Position Rank: 14
30 166 5th Round (from Tennessee)
Michael Hamlin, S Clemson 6-2, 214
Built like a free safety he's better suited to strong safety because of his tackling ability. A good worker, high-character producer who doesn't miss many stops and doesn't make a slew of mistakes. Not quite fast enough to be a big-time free safety, he'll need to bulk up a bit on his long, thin frame to be better against the run, but he's not bad as is. Even so, he can play anywhere needed and isn't a liability against the pass. Plug him into the secondary and don't worry about him for the next several years.
CFN Value Rank: Third Round    CFN Position Rank: 4
36 172 5th Round
David Buehler, PK USC 6-2, 227
If nothing else, he has the big leg to be a kickoff specialist. Incredibly strong, he threw up a shocking 25 reps on the bench at the Combine and ran a 4.56. Originally a safety when he came to USC, he became automatic from close range. He didn't get a chance to make any big bombs, but he has the leg to give it a shot.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 1
35 208 6th Round
John Phillips, TE Virginia  6-5, 250
Most of the problems are correctable. He's a pure football player who's a willing blocker and a good enough receiver to keep the chains moving, but he needs to spend far more time in the weight room to bulk up another 15 pounds. Not very fast, he'll end up being used as a short to midrange target in two tight end sets. He'll never be a star No. 1 target, but he'll make every key catch and will be as reliable as they come.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 10
24 197 6th Round (from Miami)
Stephen Hodge, LB TCU 6-0, 234   No 26
An ultra-productive, very solid defender, he's a peerless tackler, has terrific instincts, and had a nice Combine showing off some good numbers. Part safety and part linebacker, he can be used in a variety of ways, but he doesn't have NFL skills to be a regular at either spot. He's purely a football player who could overcome his lack of height and average wheels to be a camp favorite.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round
  CFN Position Rank: 26
18 227 7th Round
Mike Mickens, CB Cincinnati  6-0, 185
Ultra-productive with fantastic ball skills, he's a playmaking corner who'll have to get by on his instincts and big play ability. He had a knee problem this off-season and wasn't able to work out at the Combine, and that's not the worst thing for him considering his 40 time probably wouldn't be better than around a 4.55. The lack of blazing speed is a problem since it forces him to gamble a bit too much. He'll make big plays here and there, but he'll also get torched against the speedsters. If he can add about 15 pounds of muscle he has a future as a ball-hawking nickel back or free safety, but he'll have to start out as a No. 3 corner who'll need to prove he's durable enough to be on the field for three downs.
CFN Value Rank: Third Round
   CFN Position Rank: 7
20 229 7th Round (from Chicago through Tampa Bay)
Manuel Johnson, WR Oklahoma 5-11, 190
He has the potential to surprise. Not a major factor in the high-powered Oklahoma offense, at least compared to the rest of the stars, he was certainly good enough to make big plays when they came his way. Quick more than fast, he has the ability to run short to midrange routes, but he isn't strong, can be shoved around, and will have problems holding up if he takes too many shots.
CFN Value Rank: Seventh Round
   CFN Position Rank: NR


The Draft Was ... Not quite as splashy as it should've been. Felix Jones was the targeted running back, but over Rashard Mendenhall? All six picks were good ones, getting six productive, talented college players, but if Jones isn't the home-run No. 2 back the Cowboys are banking on, the draft quickly becomes average.
Best Value Pick: Tashard Choice, RB Georgia Tech. 4th round. While a bad pick when it comes to need, Choice is a good player who has plenty of value and upside. If he doesn't have to be a workhorse, which he won't be at Dallas, he should be productive. He should've gone a round earlier.
Biggest Reach: Erik Walden, DE/LB Middle Tennessee. While he fits the Cowboy mold of tweeners, taking a chance on a late receiver prospect would've done more good.
They Should've ... Gotten a receiver. Dallas had its choice of any receiver at the end of the first round but decided on Mike Jenkins. While that was certainly a fine pick, taking a Devin Thomas, and then getting a corner in the second round, would've made more sense.


22 22 1st Round   Felix Jones, RB Arkansas
He'll be the back for someone trying to get a speed runner on the cheap. Don't want to pay the high price to get a McFadden, Mendenhall or Stewart? Then wait for Jones and roll the dice on a jack-of-all-trades back with a ton of tread on the tires and devastating breakaway speed. The big question is whether or not he's a workhorse No. 1 back. He wasn't in college and he's not built like a 25-carry-a-game NFL runner. Ideally he fills a Reggie Bush role on a team with a Deuce McAllister and is used to run and catch on the outside and not between the tackles. With his ability to go from 0-to-60 in a heartbeat, he's the type of player who makes offensive coordinators drool at the possibilities. He'll be a fun toy to play with.
CFN Value Rank: Late First Round to Early Second Round    CFN Position Rank:
25 25 1st Round (from Seattle)   Mike Jenkins, CB South Florida
A tremendous three-year starter on a good USF defense, Jenkins is a true shut-down corner who isn't afraid to get physical and can all but erase the top receivers when he has his game on. The question is his motor. If it's going full-tilt and he wants it, he looks like an all-star. When he suffers lapses or doesn't get up for the competition, he can be beaten by average receivers. He needs to bring it game in and game out. It would be nice if he picked off more passes, taking away just six despite being a four-year regular, but that's a bit misleading.
CFN Value Rank: First Round   CFN Position Rank:
30 61 2nd Round   Martellus Bennett, TE Texas A&M
A big, imposing target, even if he's a big thin on a 6-6 frame, Bennett looks like an NFL tight end. Athletic with the moves of a big receiver, he's smooth and strong when the ball comes his way. He's not all that fast and he needs to prove he can produce at a high level after being underutilized at A&M, but the former basketball player could be another Antonio Gates if he reaches his potential.
CFN Value Rank: Late Second Round     CFN Position Rank: 3
23 122 4th Round (from trade)   Tashard Choice, RB Georgia Tech
If healthy, he's a top five back. He won't stay healthy. He has speed, but he's a physical runner who'll wear down in a big hurry, but when he's on, he's tough and will carry an offense. While he doesn't have elite measurables and he doesn't do any one thing all that well on an NFL level, he's a dream No. 2 back, or even a No. 1A, with high character, great drive, and the potential to save an offense for a game or five when the star back can't go.
CFN Value Rank: Third Round  CFN Position Rank:
8 143 5th Round (from trade)  Orlando Scandrick, CB Boise State
Blazing fast, running a 4.36 at the Combine, Scandrick upped his stock after a good but not great three-year career. He has decent size, but he doesn't use it enough and isn't too physical and has a major question mark about his toughness. On speed alone he'll be worth playing around with in the secondary at several spots, but he needed to stay in school another year to up his stock.
CFN Value Rank: Late Fifth Round to Early Sixth  
CFN Position Rank: 19
1 167 6th Round   Erik Walden, DE/LB Middle Tennessee
Undersized for an end and not fast enough as a linebacker, Walden's a tweener who has to fit a specific need and a specific role. He'll never be a starter, but he was ultra-productive at the Sun Belt level and was good at getting into the backfield. He'll have to be a rush-OLB to make any sort of an impact.

CFN Value Rank: Free Agent  
     CFN Position Rank: NR