The day of reckoning is finally upon the anxious Cowboys Nation. As most Cowboys fans would agree, a sense of relief has engulfed my bones. This off-season has been little more than a constant barrage of useless quotes, empty interviews, and a relentless holding pattern.
Let’s get this bad boy rolling, it’s finally time to upgrade the stagnant depth chart. For preemptive purposes, I do expect a minimum of two trades to occur within the first 17 picks, yet it’s almost impossible to reliably predict the who and where of those scenarios.
Without further ado, below are my predictions for the first 17 picks of the 2013 NFL Draft, along with the grand finale culminating in the Dallas Cowboys first round selection at 18.
PICKS 1-17 IN THE 2013 NFL DRAFT:
1) KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
LUKE JOECKEL – OT – TEXAS A&M
2) JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
DION JORDAN – DE – OREGON
3) OAKLAND RAIDERS
SHARRIF FLOYD – DT – FLORIDA
4) PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
GENO SMITH – QB – WEST VIRGINIA
5) DETROIT LIONS
ERIC FISHER – OT – CENTRAL MICHIGAN
6) CLEVELAND BROWNS
DEE MILLINER – CB – ALABAMA
7) ARIZONA CARDINALS
LANE JOHNSON – OT – OKLAHOMA
8) BUFFALO BILLS
RYAN NASSIB – QB – SYRACUSE
9) NEW YORK JETS
BARKEVIOUS MINGO – DE – LSU
10) TENNESSEE TITANS
STAR LOTULELEI – DT – UTAH
11) SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
CHANCE WARMACK – OG – ALABAMA
12) MIAMI DOLPHINS
XAVIER RHODES – CB – FLORIDA ST.
13) NEW YORK JETS
TYLER EIFERT – TE – NOTRE DAME
14) CAROLINA PANTHERS
SHELDON RICHARDSON – DT – MISSOURI
15) NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
JARVIS JONES – OLB – GEORGIA
16) ST. LOUIS RAMS
TAVON AUSTIN – WR – WEST VIRGINA
17) PITTSBURGH STEELERS
CORDARRELLE PATTERSON – WR – TENNESSEE
“And with the 18th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the DALLAS COWBOYS select…”
JONATHAN COOPER – OG – NORTH CAROLINA
I believe their plan all along was to slide Bernadeau over to center forming a starting o-line of Tyron Smith, Nate Livings (or Ron Leary), Mackenzy Bernadeau, Jonathan Cooper and Doug Free (or Jermey Parnell).
If this is the case, I hope they at least make a move for free agent OT Eric Winston to upgrade RT before training camp. If Winston finds his way to Dallas, this starting line will look much improved from 2012 and give the Boys a solid shot at the playoffs.
Before analyzing these first 17 draft picks in such detail according to team needs and coaching strategies involved, I truly felt Dallas would miss on both their prized guards and the safety here. I was almost certain Chance Warmack, Jonathan Cooper, and Kenny Vaccaro would all be gone by 18.
Surprisingly both Cooper and Vaccaro are available for the Cowboys in my latest mock draft. It’s a no-brainer in my eyes that Dallas would go with Cooper. Dallas may even value Cooper over Warmack according to their desire for a big man who can move better in space. It seems the Cowboys luck will hold up well in Round 1 tonight.
I’m just glad it seems the explosive WR Tavon Austin will be snatched up by 18. If the top OT’s, DT’s, Warmack, Cooper, and Vaccaro were all missing by the Cowboys selection, I have a hard time believing the splash-loving Jerry Jones could pass on the dynamic WR.
While Austin would certainly provide a new, imposing force to the Cowboys offense, the benefits would be muted by Tony Romo continuing to run for his life behind the same feeble offensive front wall. It’s time for Dallas to load up on capable big men that allow our talented specialty players to flourish. Tonight should be a good night for the silver and blue, it’s time to take back the NFC East in 2013.