D.J. Fluker – Tackle/Guard – Alabama
And you wonder why the Crimson Tide have dominated SEC play the last two seasons and claimed back-to-back national titles. Chance Warmack, D.J. Fluker, and Barrett Jones…never underestimate what elite offensive lines can do for your team. Because of the high demand for tackles, Fluker’s draft stock has risen to the top half of the first round. Like his Alabama teammate Warmack, Fluker is a classic road grader but with freakishly long arms to hold off opposing pass rushers. With his mammoth 6-5/ 334 pound frame, Fluker would be an instant upgrade and plug-in-play starter at right tackle likely sending incumbent Doug Free packing or taking a substantial pay-cut as a back-up tackle. In Alabama’s 267 pass attempts last season, Fluker was beat for only four sacks. Because of his massive frame, scouts are also talking about the possibility of Fluker playing guard at the NFL level.
With his long arms and pure power, his initial punch is fierce. Once he gets his hands on you; he controls you, you don’t control him. Playing in the vaunted SEC, Fluker has put down some of the best pass rushers in the country. Bryan Broaddus, from DallasCowboys.com, has even claimed that Fluker “reminds him of Flozell Adams physically, but with the nastiness of Erik Williams.” Either way, the thought of Tyron Smith and D.J. Fluker manning the starting tackle spots for Dallas in 2013 should bring a smile to the face of Tony Romo. I could sure get used to seeing the Tryon Smith/D.J. Fluker combo in Dallas for years to come! Fluker also started 35 games in his three year career with the Tide.
Menelik Watson – Tackle – Florida State – Trade-Down Option
This of course assumes the combination of Joeckel, Fisher, Johnson, Warmack, Cooper and Fluker are ALL off the board. If this is the case, Watson would still be a great pick-up in the 20’s to move into the starting right tackle spot in 2013. Going this route, we pick up another 2nd or 3rd round pick as there will still be plenty of quality starting talent on day two of the draft. Like Fluker, Watson (a Manchester, England native) is another promising tackle that has seen his draft stock sky rocket in the last month or so. Like current Cowboy’s tackle Jeremy Parnell, Watson is a former basketball player that will be raw at the next level, but has proven to be a freakish athlete at the tackle spot for the Seminoles. Though he has limited football experience, his unlimited potential and immense upside have draft experts projecting him as a solid first round draft pick.
Many scouts have even projected Watson to be a formidable left tackle at the NFL level due to his quick feet and athleticism. So if Dallas ever wanted to move Tyron Smith back to his college position of right tackle and let Watson man the left tackle spot, it would remain a possibility, especially with the coaching he could receive from Bill Callahan. Watson also impressed coaches and scouts with his one-on-one interviews at the NFL Combine.
So, IF Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson falls to 18 (which he won’t), that becomes a no-brainer for Dallas with our top pick. Out of Cooper and Warmack, I would lean toward Cooper at 18 (if either player falls that far). If NONE of the “Big 5” (which remains a high possibility) are there, I believe the pick will be D.J. Fluker from Alabama. IF all six are gone, look for a possible trade-down scenario.
Whatever the pick is tomorrow, I still strongly believe it needs to be used to shore up our offensive line. If we don’t make changes to the offensive line, how are we going to expect different results from the group protecting Tony Romo and opening up holes for DeMarco Murray? I think as ANY Dallas Cowboys fan can attest to, we as fans, DESERVE far different results from the five big men up front.
We don’t deserve watching Romo get man-handled 72 times the last two seasons. We don’t deserve watching Romo suffer from a broken collar bone (2010) and broken ribs (2011) therefore being delegated to sideline duty because his blockers proved useless. We don’t deserve to witness only 13 rushing touchdowns the last two seasons (and keep in mind Romo accounted for TWO of those 13 scores on the ground). We certainly don’t deserve the 31st ranked rushing offense.
We deserve better results folks. Better results for Tony Romo. Better results for DeMarco Murray. Better results for Jason Garrett. Better results for the fans. And yes, better results for our Dallas Cowboys. Our first round drafting history suggests drafting an offensive big man won’t happen. Will we draft only our second first round guard? Will we draft only our third first round tackle? We will find out soon enough.
T-minus 28 hours…tick tock…tick tock…
Topics: Chance Warmack, Cowboys Mock Draft, D.J. Fluker, Dallas Cowboys, DeMarco Murray, Jason Garrett, Jerry Jones, Jonathan Cooper, Menelik Watson, NFC East, NFL Draft, Offensive Guard, Offensive Tackle, Renny Mason, The Landry Hat, Tony Romo, Tyron Smith