The Dallas Cowboys have two major weaknesses to address this offseason: Offensive Line and Defensive Line. Say what you want about the secondary, linebackers, receivers, etc… It all pales in comparison to the big boys in the trenches.
At #18 in the draft they should have choices to make and value to be found in regards to the offensive and defensive lines. The Safety position is certainly concerning but most of them are valued at the end of the first and top of the second.
Top linemen like OT’s Joekel, Fisher, and Johnson will probably be gone. DT’s Floyd and Richardson will probably be gone too. In the middle of the first round the Cowboys could be looking at a combination of OT DJ Fluker, OG’s Warmack and Cooper and/or DT’s Sylvester Williams and Kawann Short. All of these are great options to have and project as instant starters on the Dallas Cowboys. With so many options here at 18 would anyone be surprised if Jerry Jones trades back a little to acquire an extra second rounder? The first rounder could go to whomever in that target group slips through and the two second rounders could be split between more line help and a top safety. That may not be the smartest move but hey, we’re talking about the Cowboys, right?
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 teams to trade into the back half of the round looking for signal callers.
*Star Lotulelei was diagnosed with a heart condition at the combine and therefore did not participate. Until further medical tests have been conducted and reported, it’s foolish to even guess where he may go. He will probably pass enough tests to warrant a first round grade again but it would merely be guessing and not based on any facts. For that reason he is completely removed from this mock draft and will be added again when information is made available.
1. Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Joeckel, Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M: With Alex Smith signed KC is no longer tempted to reach for Geno Smith. Alex Smith is one of the worst rated QB’s in the league when under pressure. Luke will provide an upgrade over Branden Albert on the left side.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Dion Jordan, Outside Linebacker, Oregon: Star Lotulelei’s unknown heart condition really impacts Gus Bradley’s first draft with the Jags. Luckily workout warrior, Dion Jordon, fits the all-important LEO position wonderfully and will be an excellent second choice.
3. Oakland Raiders – Sheriff Floyd, Defensive Tackle, Florida: Perhaps no one has benefited more in the offseason than Sheriff. He is a big-time talent who will provide youth and skill to the recently depleted Raiders defense.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Eric Fisher, Offensive Tackle, Central Michigan: Another offseason riser, Eric Fisher impressed coaches at the Senior Bowl and appears to have future Pro Bowl potential. With Peters recovering from a torn Achilles he could man the right while Fisher slides into Left Tackle. Millner may be too tempting to pass up but at the end of the day Chip will make the smart move.
5. Detroit Lions – Dee Milliner, Cornerback, Alabama: The reality is Detroit really wants a pass rusher the most this draft. But word on the street is the front office is in love with Dee Milliner and may look for a DE in the 2nd and 3rd round. Others are suggesting this is all just posturing to trade back to acquire extra picks.
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 and Mingo is a great weakside pass-rusher.
7. Arizona Cardinals – Geno Smith, Quarterback, West Virginia: AZ is pretty happy Alex Smith signed with KC. It let Geno fall to them and removed the temptation of trading for Alex themselves. The smarter move is probably Lane Johnson but Lane doesn’t sell tickets. Geno = Hope and Hope = $$$.
8. Buffalo Bills – Bjoern Werner, Defensive End, Florida State: If Detroit passes on Werner the Bills will the next likely suitor. Many pass rushers are available so look for many possible trades between picks 5-10. QB and O-line also need to be addressed so it’s possible Buffalo may trade around to maximize picks in the top 2 rounds.
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.