The Dallas Cowboys have many needs entering April’s Draft. As we enter the NFL Combine a week from today, sitting at 18 leaves the Cowboys in a situation with big decisions. They need both sides offense and defensive line. This Draft is top heavy in offensive lineman, and deep at DT. If teams stay put and are forced to Draft where they are, the tackles will go quick. If things play out the way I believe they will, the defensive tackles will go fast.
NOTE: This is a Mock Draft so trades are not projected because it is too hard to predict what teams are willing to give up to get a prospect, or what a team is willing to accept to move out of their initial spot.
NOTE: Since the Combine has not been completed my Mock Draft consists of my own personal feelings as if drafting for each team, so they are not a prediction of how teams will actually draft.
1. Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Joeckel – OT – Texas A&M
The Chiefs are in dire need of a quarterback, but there just is not a quarterback available to draft with the first overall pick. When in need of a quarterback the next best thing is to get a Left Tackle to protect the blindside for years to come. Joeckel is the best lineman in the Draft and he has the footwork and power to translate to the NFL.
Other Possibilities: Geno Smith – QB – West Virginia, Star Lotuelei – DT – Utah, Jarvis Jones – LB – Georgia
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Star Lotulelei, Defensive Tackle, Utah
The Jaguars are in need of so many things it is ridiculous to even think about what they will do with the second pick. If you think back to the days of Mark Brunell and the glory of the Jaguars, you will notice one thing stands out. Defensive line play. They need a strong defensive line and that starts in the middle. Lotulelei has been compared to Ndamakong Suh when he came out of Nebraska, so if he reaches that kind of potential he could be a good piece to build around in Jacksonville.
Other Possibilities: Jarvis Jones – OLB – Georgia, Chance Warmack – G – Alabama, Eric Fisher – OT – Central Michigan
3. Oakland Raiders – Jarvis Jones – OLB - Georgia
Jarvis Jones has been number one on the board for most of the college season. He is a freakish athlete that can play all three linebacker positions. He can play straight outside line backer, he can slide inside and play in the middle, and he can also put his hand in the ground and rush the passer. His versatility makes him a huge option for the Raiders. Oakland got rid of their first round pick from two years ago, Rolando McClain late in the 2012 season, so they have a huge opening at the LB position.
Other Possibilities: Damontre Moore – DE – Texas A&M, Dee Milliner – CB – Alabama, Bjoern Werner – DE – Florida State
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Eric Fisher – OT – Central Michigan (Previous – Damontre Moore)
The Eagles have decided to keep Michael Vick for another year. That means they need to beef up the offensive line. Eric Fisher is a true mauler. he has extraordinary feet for a tackle being a converted tight end. Fisher would fit Chip Kelly’s blocking scheme perfectly because of his ability to get up field and still be able to handle a power rusher from the outside.
Other possibilities: Dee Milliner – CB – Alabama, Bjoern Werner – DE – Florida State, Manti Te’o – LB – Notre Dame
5. Detroit Lions – Dee Milliner – CB – Alabama
The Lions defensive backs are a mess. They need serious help at both cornerback and safety. Notre Dame provided the blue print for Milliner to rise up the draft board in the championship game. Every time Notre Dame tried to test Milliner he passed with flying colors. Milliner is the best shut down corner in the draft.
Other Possibilities: Damontre Moore – DE – Texas A&M, Bjoern Werner – DE – Florida State, Chance Warmack – G – Alabama
6. Cleveland Browns – Bjoern Werner, Defensive End, Florida State
Cleveland is one of the youngest teams in the league and they were a team that got better as the year went on. They lost many close games, but had many chances to beat the teams on their schedule. They need a major overhaul of the defensive line, they have a former first round pick in Joe Haden in their secondary and D’Qwell Jackson is a stud at middle linebacker. Now is a time to get a significant pass rusher to go along with the other two stud defensive players. Werner is a foreign born player so he is raw with skills, but full of abilities. The Browns can mold him into whatever they need based on the philosophy of their head coach. He can be a rush end in a 4-3 or be a stand up OLB in a 3-4 style defense.
Other Possibilities: Damontre Moore – DE – Texas A&M, Chance Warmack – G – Alabama, Barkevious Mingo – DE – LSU
7. Arizona Cardinals – Chance Warmack – G – Alabama
The Cardinals have a major need at QB, but just like the Chiefs there is not a reason to take a quarterback this high in this draft class. That being said, the best thing is to get an offensive line to protect whoever is taking snaps next season. Warmack is the best lineman from the best offensive line not only this season but in the history of college football. He is a large body and moves very well for his massive size. He is the perfect guy to build the new Cardinals offensive line around and will be a foundation for the offense for years to come.
Other Possibilities: Geno Smith – QB – West Virginia, Lane Johnson – OT – Oklahoma, Damontre Moore – DE – Texas A&M
8. Buffalo Bills – Manti T’eo, Linebacker, Notre Dame
The Bills are another team stuck with the conundrum of drafting a need at quarterback, even though there is not one worthy of this high pick. The Bills are in need of a leader on defense and there is no better leader in the entire draft than that of Manti Te’o. He fits a need for the Bills at Linebacker and gives them the leader they so desperately need. Sad to know that a rookie can come in and be the best leader on the team, but that’s the state of affairs in Buffalo.
Other Possibilities: Geno Smith – QB – West Virginia, Keenan Allen – WR – California, Damontre Moore – DE – Texas A&M
9. New York Jets – Damontre Moore – DE – Texas A&M (Previous: Kenny Vaccaro – S – Texas)
The Jets are in a state of disarray in the front office. They need to figure out a consensus direction. They have too much money tied up in Mark Sanchez to move him at this juncture. They need to cut bait, and one of the ways they can cut salary is to get rid of OLB Calvin Pace. Moore fits the Jets prefectly, coming from Texas A&M where he played the same position as Von Miller, and we have seen how well he has progressed to the pass rusher in a 3-4 defense in Denver. The Jets need that kind of pass rusher to help their defense.
Other Possibilities: Barkevious Mingo – DE/OLB – LSU, Lane Johnson – OT – Oklahoma, Alec Ogletree – LB – Georgia
10. Tennessee Titans – Alec Ogletree – LB – Georgia (Previous: Barkevious Mingo – DE – LSU)
The Titans have a lot of speed on defense, but they need a player that can tackle and play coverage from the linebacker position. Ogletree is a tall linebacker that is used to dropping in coverage when he played at Georgia.
Other Possibilities: Sheldon Richardson – OT – Missouri , Desmond Trufant – CB – Washington, Keenan Allen – WR – California