Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft 1.0
By Kenny Decker
The 2014 NFL Draft is under two months away, which means all of our big boards should be analyzed and broken down daily. Whether it is after midnight (because that’s the only time available or during lunch breaks), big boards and mock drafts should be becoming integral parts of the lives of the NFL’s most avid die-hards. Experts, analysts and fans all have their thoughts on who should take who and where and why. Here are thoughts and predictions for the Dallas Cowboys’ 2014 draft.
Round 1, Pick 16: Calvin Pryor (Safety, Louisville)
HaSean Clinton-Dix from Alabama seems to be the sexy pick at safety in this draft, and he likely will fall off the board before 16. But Pryor will make the better pro player, and he would be a better pick for Dallas. The need at safety is huge, and Pryor could come in and play right away.
Round 2 Pick 47: Carl Bradford (Outside Linebacker/Defensive End, Arizona State)
The departure of DeMarcus Ware, Jason Hatcher and likely Anthony Spencer leaves a glaring hole in Dallas’ defensive line. They have added Jeremy Mincey, Terrell McClain and Henry Melton, but that’s only just a start. If they lose Spencer too, which seems likely, Dallas will be looking to replace 43.5 sacks from the past two seasons.
Bradford will help create pressure (8.5 sacks in 2013 at ASU). He’s no Jadeveon Clowney or Anthony Barr, but he’s not a poor man’s version of either. Bradford’s name will be heard on Sundays, and hopefully for Dallas, following a quarterback sack or tackle for a loss.
Round 3 Pick 78: Daquan Jones (Defensive Tackle, Penn State)
Dominque Easley may be the better available prospect at tackle but with a torn ACL in his past, Dallas shouldn’t touch him. There’s no sense drafting risk when there’s a player with lots of upside and little risk. Jones is a big body and could help Dallas’ run stopping in 2014.
Round 4 Pick 115: Anthony Steen (Guard, Alabama)
The Cowboys have little depth at guard after losing Ryan Cook and Brian Waters, and Steen would be a nice addition. He is coming off of shoulder surgery, but that’s not too much of a scare on the offensive line. Knees and ankles are more of a concern, so the shoulder injury shouldn’t be something that lingers for Steen.
Round 5 Pick 146: TJ Jones (Wide Receiver, Notre Dame)
Jones will likely stay on the board until the fifth round. If so, Dallas should jump on him. Dez Bryant is a stud and Terrance Williams was one of Romo’s favorite targets in 2013, but after Miles Austin’s release, Dallas should look to draft another receiver. Jones has good hands and speed, and Romo will likely turn him into a solid outlet when Bryant faces double teams or when check-downs are necessary.
Round 7 Pick 206: Aaron Lynch (Defensive End, South Florida)
His physicality and speed could add some much-needed depth on the defensive line for Dallas. Lynch can play, and Dallas would like to have him if he stays until the seventh round.
Round 7 Pick 208: Osahon Irabor (Cornerback, Arizona State)
Another Pac-12 guy, Irabor would help Dallas’ depth in the secondary, and they could take advantage of the compensatory picks they received by picking up Irabor here.
Round 7 Pick 215: Corey Linsley (Center, Ohio State)
Following the release of Phil Costa, Linsley could back up Travis Frederick at center or fight for the other spots on the line. Linsley’s versatility will determine his own fate for playing time but Dallas should like him to back up Frederick.
Round 7 Pick 248: Jacob Pedersen (Tight End, Wisconsin)
Another compensatory pick could allow Dallas to give Pederson a shot. Jason Witten is getting up there in age, and he’s not easy to replace. But adding some depth at the position now could make the transition easier when Witten does decide to hang them up.
Round 7 Pick 251: Denicos Allen (Outside Linebacker, Michigan State)
Allen is small for the position but quick to the ball. Another compensatory pick here gives Dallas a chance to add depth where they lack it.
Round 7 Pick 254: Marcus Lucas (Wide Receiver, Missouri)
Late seventh-rounders can be a long shot to even make the roster, but Lucas might be able to prove his worth. Targeted pretty consistently at Mizzou, he has size and speed that could be useful for Dallas.
So there’s a late-March prediction of Dallas’ 2014 draft. It’s going to be a fun draft with Dallas currently holding 11 picks (six in the final round). The smart move would be trying to trade some of those seventh-round picks for a pick in the fifth or sixth round. But if Dallas decides to keep all 11, they could make some noise with big-name players along with adding depth where they need it most.