The final candidate at DT I will mention today is Sheldon Richardson from Missouri. He may have the highest motor of the three DTs who are projected in the top 20 picks of this Draft. This big man played his best games against the best competition, and don’t think for a minute that doesn’t matter in scouting. If he were the pick it would not be a consolation prize at all. This kid can play.
Moving on to Offensive Tackle. Point blank, Doug Free was a huge disappointment in 2012. I was a big fan of the guy prior to last year. Now, I am counting the days to the Draft, and then June 1 when I anticipate he will be cut. I believe the only reason he is still on the team at this point is because the Draft hasn’t happened yet. I wouldn’t wait. I’d sign Eric Winston or Andre Smith or the newly released Tyson Clabo, and designate Free a June 1 cap casualty and move on. That’s just me. His cap savings alone would be worth it, not to mention not having to see another lackluster, disappointing season from him.
If the Cowboys look at OT at 18 it might be Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson. Johnson is a great athlete. He began his football career as a QB, moved up to TE, and on to OT. He has excelled at each position in some way, showing that he truly loves and understands the game. He will probably be the third OT off the board after overall number one Luke Joeckel of Texas A & M and Eric Fisher of Central Michigan. If Johnson is the pick at 18 he would be a great bookend for 2011 number 1, Tyron Smith.Their athleticism might be unmatched.
The possible 4th OT is Alabama’s monster D. J. Fluker. He is one of the biggest OTs in this Draft, and some people think he might actually be better suited to Guard due to his being kind of lumbering. I say that, and his power make him a prototypical RT at the NFL level, and that is what we need. I think he would be a liability at LT but an asset at RT. However, I don’t think Dallas would take him at 18. Instead they might trade down a few picks and take him later. I will discuss a trade down thought later in this article.