Six days from now, we will know who the latest first round draft pick for the beloved Dallas Cowboys is. Whoever the name is that appears on that card presented to Roger Goodell by Jerry, Stephen, Jason and the rest of the Cowboys brass will hopefully continue the trend of solid first round picks by this team over the past three years. All the speculation will be over. We will finally have the identity of the newest shiny toy to don the silver and blue.
Until then, however, we still have nothing but speculation and conjecture. That brings us to my version of the Dallas Cowboys full six round mock draft. Before we get to the Cowboys however, let’s take a look at how I see the picks in front of Dallas shaking down. The following is my attempt to predict the first 17 picks. I am not accounting for any possible trades and utilizing a combination of need and best player available.
|2||JAGUARS||DE / CB||Dion Jordan||DE|
|3||RAIDERS||DE / DT||Sharrif Floyd||DT|
|4||EAGLES||DT / OT||Star Lotulelei||DT|
|5||LIONS||OT / CB||Dee Milliner||CB|
|6||BROWNS||CB / QB||Geno Smith||QB|
|8||BILLS||OL / QB||Chance Warmack||OG|
|9||JETS||OL / DE||Lane Johnson||OT|
|10||TITANS||DT / OL||Ezekiel Ansah||DE|
|12||DOLPHINS||OL / CB||Xavier Rhodes||CB|
|13||BUCS||CB / WR||Cordarrelle Patterson||WR|
|14||PANTHERS||DL / CB||Sheldon Richardson||DT|
|15||SAINTS||DE / S||Barkevious Mingo||DE|
|16||RAMS||WR / S||Tavon Austin||WR|
|17||STEELERS||LB / WR||Jarvis Jones||LB|
That brings us to our pick. With some of the desired names off the board, I forecast the Dallas Cowboys choosing…
Kenny Vaccaro, Safety, University of Texas
At 6’0″ and 214 lbs, Vaccaro has the size to deliver punishing blows over the middle and help stop the run if he is played in the box. He also possesses the footwork and athleticism you would wish for in a safety, as he was the combine’s top performer in the 20 yard shuttle drill. Vaccaro displays fluidity in his hips and quickly changes direction well. His 4.6-40 yd dash proves he has the necessary speed to cover slot receivers and deep threats equally well. While he does not have prolific zone coverage skills, he does have the range to play his half of the field in the Cover 2 that will be employed by the Cowboys.
Dallas has huge question marks at safety that they must address concerning the lack of experience Barry Church and Matt Johnson bring and the selection of Vaccaro definitely help. In round two, they have another glaring need that needs to be filled.
With the 47th overall pick in round two, the Dallas Cowboys select…
Larry Warford, Guard, University of Kentucky
While the Cowboys would love to have either Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper, unless they make a huge mistake a trade up to select a guard, that’s not happening. What Dallas needs to do is choose the next best player at a major position of need, which is what I have them doing here. Warford is incredibly both strong and stout, the exact type of player you want at guard. While he is more of a dominant pass blocker, his quick feet allow him the capability of getting around the tackle to lead on trap plays. He also has that nasty demeanor that is vital to being an offensive lineman and would immediately start for Dallas week one.
Dallas has now addressed two of their three biggest needs, adding the all-in-one safety they have been searching forever for and solidifying the line to protect Tony Romo and kick start their lackluster run game. Now it’s time to look at another position that must be fortified.
In round three, with the 80th overall choice, the Dallas Cowboys select…
John Jenkins, Defensive Tackle, University of Georgia
Since there is likely a stiff penalty coming down the pike, if Josh Brent is even allowed back on the team, there is an age issue with the Cowboys defensive front. No projected starter is under the age of 30. There also appears to be a lack of a true defensive tackle. Enter Jenkins. At 6’4” and almost 350 lbs, he is a true space eater. He has the size and arm length to disrupt pass attempts if he is unable to get to the quarterback. He is not an ideal pass rusher for his position, however that may work to the Cowboys advantage as they would be able to work more of a speed/agility package on third downs while dominating the line in running situations with Jenkins in the middle. In short, his massive size and strength is prototypical for the position and would be another significant upgrade.
The first three picks would be considered a home run for the Cowboys in this draft. It would also allow them the capability of really focusing on depth in the final three picks. Those three picks should help round out a very successful draft for the Cowboys. It has always been my opinion that in later rounds, sticking with players from teams that were consistently good at high levels is the shrewdest of methodologies.
Round 4, Pick 114: Le’Veon Bell, Running Back, Michigan State University
Bell represents a lot of what Marion Barber brought to the Cowboys, only in a bigger frame. At 6’1″ and 230 lbs, he is a huge bruiser type back with great lower body strength. He is not one dimensional though and exhibits a good amount of speed and sharpness in his movements. He is somewhat of a technician as a runner, with a repertoire of moves as well as a better than average receiver out of the backfield which allows him to be an every down type back.
Round 5, Pick 151: Lavar Edwards, Defensive End, Louisiana State University
Edwards is the kind of raw, diamond in the rough that is worth the gamble. The only knock on him is that he didn’t break through and ever become a full time starter while at LSU. This is exactly why he would be a great pick at this spot. He is likely to be available at this point. During Edwards career as a Tiger, he posted 10.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss, both categories the Cowboys are desperate to improve upon. He also plays the read option very well, something handy when facing RG3 twice a year plus whatever quarterback the Eagles decide to throw out there in Chip Kelly’s new offense.
Round 6, Pick 185: P.J. Lonergan, Center, Lousiana State University
Here we are, back again at the offensive line. Since the interior of the line is the most questionable part of the line and Phil Costa is most likely on his last chance to prove he deserves a long term spot, Lonergan makes sense here. Lonergan has been the starter for a national title contender since the last game of his freshman year. Along with Warford, he possesses that nasty trait you want in a lineman. While possibly best suited for pass blocking, he does well at keeping his feet moving in short-yardage situations to get movement.
So there you have it, one man’s attempt at completing the 2013 NFL draft for the Dallas Cowboys. Landing three starters and adding depth to areas of need is the aim that this organization needs to take next week to get Dallas out of the mediocrity it has recently been stuck in.