2013 NFL Mock Draft: Cowboys Acquire the Key to their Defense

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There is good news and bad news surrounding the Dallas Cowboys as they enter the 2013 NFL Draft. The Good News is they have so many needs on the offensive and defensive lines, they are sure to acquire an impact player at a position of need. The Bad News is … well…they have a lot of needs!

Word on the street is only about 15-18 players this year are projected as 1st round talent. Translation: this is a weak draft. Fortunate for Dallas is the strength of this draft lies in the offensive and defensive lines. Notice below how many defensive linemen could potentially go in the first round. The second round looks like a run on offensive linemen is also likely. Dallas appears to be in excellent shape for this year’s draft.

Since the NFL combine and Pro Days are yet to come, this is a very premature projection. Every year players rise and fall based on the results of these workouts. The most important thing at this point is to gain an understanding of different teams’ needs. For instance, If the Cowboys need a DT and no one before the Cowboys has that need, baring a trade, you can project the Cowboys to have their pick of DT’s (sadly not the case here as almost everyone could use defensive line help).

The Cowboy’s should have the opportunity to pick the impact player this defense sorely needs: the infamous 3-technique undertackle. I only see one player in this year’s draft who would fit this position perfectly and he is Sheldon Richardson. More will be known after the combine and workouts but for now the Cowboys defensive success hinges on one man. Here is his draft profile.

NOTE: Like most Mock Drafts this does not project trades. While I only have one QB going in the first round here, I fully expect 2-3 teams to trade into the back half of the round looking for signal callers.

  1. Kansas City Chiefs – Geno Smith, Quarterback, West Virginia: For some reason my 30th ranked player will be #1 off the board. QB’s always rise up as the draft nears and Andy Reid loves mobile QB’s with a good deep ball.

 2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Star Lotulelei, Defensive Tackle, Utah: DT’s Alualu is a bust and Knighton may be too expensive to lockup long term. Great player and great need.

 3. Oakland Raiders – Damontre Moore, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, Texas A&M: After ranking 31st in sacks the Raiders are looking to upgrade the pass rush

4. Philadelphia Eagles – Luke Joeckel, Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M: Possibly the highest rated player in the draft fills a major need for the Eagles. Peters recovering from a torn Achilles is best served as a RT now.

5. Detroit Lions – Bjoern Werner, Defensive End, Florida State: This could get tricky because Mingo is the better pass rusher but Werner is better suited for the 4-3. Cliff Avril will need to be replaced on the end.

6.  Cleveland Browns – Barkevious Mingo, Defensive End, LSU: Mingo is a no-brainer since the Browns are expected to be an exclusive 3-4 defense in 2013.

  7. Arizona Cardinals – Eric Fisher, Offensive Tackle, Central Michigan: After a fantastic Senior Bowl Eric Fisher should be moving up draft boards. The Cardinals would rather go unsettled at QB than risk drafting another overrated USC QB like Matt Barkley in the first round.  

8.  Buffalo Bills – Dee Milliner, Cornerback, Alabama: The Bills have been building their defense up the last two years and now look to add the best DB in the class of 2013. Best/Safest Player available. They desperately need to upgrade the QB but none are worthy in early round one. They will be looking to trade back into the back half of the 1st round for a QB.

9. New York Jets – Jarvis Jones, Outside Linebacker, Georgia: Physical and character issues can only allow a pass rusher to drop so far. The Jets will begin the rebuild with high risk/high reward player like Jones.

 10.  Tennessee Titans –Chance Warmack, Guard, Alabama: The Titans have major needs in the secondary but ultimately their need for a superior run game will trump all. They have long valued OG’s more than most teams and will have no problem selecting Chance and plugging him into the lineup immediately. 

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