Where will the Pokes go?

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Cheyenne-KGWN-I have sat around my office and looked at countless mock drafts over the last couple of months. You could say I am a bit of a sports nerd - well, specifically a draft nerd. I wanted to be the next Mel Kiper Jr. But when I realized he hardly got it right, I wanted to be better than him. So here we go.

In all likelihood, three Wyoming Cowboys will have their names called on one of the 3 days of the NFL Draft. Marqueston Huff, Robert Herron and Brett Smith have gone up and down the mock draft boards.

Let us start with Brett Smith. He did not get an invite to the NFL Draft Combine and that seemed to motivate him more. He came into the Wyoming Pro Day motivated and it showed. He was zipping off passes and throwing the deep ball even better than before (I know that doesn't seem possible). He sky rocketed up the draft board and the earliest projection I saw for him was the late 4th round to 49ers to back up former Mountain West QB Colin Kaepernick. But since the pro day, Smith has fallen gradually. As of the day before the draft, Brett’s highest draft spot is in Round 5 to the Jaguars and lowest is in Round 7 to the Bucs. CBS Sports has him as a 7th round pick or an undrafted free agent. I personally think the Jags are a good fit for Smith. The Jaguars starter right now is Chad Henne. With his determination, Smith could easily go there and take the starting job away from Henne. But going to the Panthers, Dolphins or the Packers like the other mock drafts say, Smith could have the chance to learn behind a Super Bowl winning quarterback or two similar QB's.

My prediction for Smith:
Round 6 Pick 3 (Overall Pick 179) to the Jacksonville Jaguars
Other Possibilities for Smith: Texans, Chiefs, Panthers or Dolphins in Rounds 6 or 7

This year’s wide receiver class is very deep. Robert Herron is the 20th ranked WR according to CBS Sports. But that doesn’t mean he will have to wait until the seventh round to be picked. He is projected in the fourth round by CBS Sports. The mock drafts have him anywhere from round 3 to the Packers to round 6 to the Bears. Of the 5 mocks I have checked, two of them agree that "Zoom" Herron will go to the Packers in the 3rd round. The Packers are running thin on wide outs. He will fit in well because the system is great for small fast wide receivers - just ask Randall Cobb. Cobb is the same size as Herron and both have the same kind of speed. The Packers have lost WR's in each of the last 2 years to free agency so I know for sure they will draft 1 and maybe 2 in this years draft. The other team that has showed interest is the Dolphins. They need another speed guy to go with Mike Wallace.

My Prediction for Herron:
Round 4 Pick 16 (Overall Pick 116) to the Miami Dolphins
Other Possibilities for Herron: Packers, Panthers, Bears or Ravens in the 3rd,4th, or 5th rounds

Marqueston Huff is being looked at corner or safety in this year’s draft. He is ranked the 4th best free safety by CBS Sports. Huff told us at Channel 5, he will play wherever the team who picks him needs him to play. At the scouting combine, he was looked at by every team in the NFL. Since then, one team had him in for a workout and liked what they saw. With the Panthers being the only team to take extra looks at Huff, you have to think the Panthers really like him or they are looking at all free safeties in the draft. They lost Mike Mitchell in free agency to the Steelers. I think they are just doing their due diligence at the position. Plus, the most obvious team is not always the one who gets their guy. There are other teams who are in dire needs for a safety like Huff. The Bills lost Jairus Byrd and the Colts lost Antoine Bethea. The Falcons might be in the market for a DB also. With his versatility, Huff could draw late attention from a lot of teams. Huff is listed as going in the 5th or 6th round in every mock draft I check on a daily basis.

My prediction for Huff:
Round 5 Pick 26 (Overall Pick 166) to the Indianapolis Colts
Other Possibilities for Huff: Panthers, Bills, Dolphins or Falcons in rounds 5 through 7

I have done this research from those mock drafts and from talking to people affiliated with Cowboys Football team. Huff, Herron and Smith will always be Cowboys in the minds of Wyoming residents but hopefully they won't become the Dallas version or Patriots because come on it is the Patriots.

Kurt Maddox

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